Wednesday, August 17, 2016

American Anarcho-Tyranny

This Bloomberg article focuses on Wal-Mart and corporate cost cutting, but it obscures the deeper truth: increased security costs will become a drag on all corporate profits as law and order deteriorates. It is Wal-Mart's job to deter theft, but the larger issue is society is not deterring theft. Wal-Mart isn't encouraging crime. Wal-Mart is not doing enough to deal with rapidly rising crime rates.

Even if the trend in anarcho-tyranny is slowed, local governments cannot afford the level of policing required to keep pace with changing demographics. As coloreds rise as a share of population, crime rates will inevitably follow, short of a major cultural shift or a true police state.

Furthermore, requiring Wal-Mart to do more is the solution of the 1970s and 1980s. Companies stepped up security and then were sued by criminals who claimed they were manhandled or falsely imprisoned. To restore order, corporations and individuals will need stronger rights, but that takes us back to the problem of anarcho-tyranny. If the law was creating order, we wouldn't have the problem in the first place.

Walmart’s Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy
Dennis Buckley found a way to get Walmart moving faster on crime: shaming and threats. A blunt former fire chief, Buckley is the mayor of Beech Grove, Ind., an Indianapolis suburb with a population of 14,000. He’d been swamped with complaints from his police chief about the daily calls to Walmart. He demanded action from Walmart’s local lawyer, as did the City Council. Nothing happened. Then, in June of last year, Buckley reached his limit. He received news that a local woman had been killed and her grandson seriously injured in a car crash caused by a Walmart shoplifter fleeing police. Later that day, he learned his town had become a laughingstock. A YouTube video of a fight at the Beech Grove Walmart was going viral. It showed two women, one riding a motorized scooter, the other accompanied by a 6-year-old boy, in a furious fistfight that turned into a profane wrestling match in the shampoo aisle. The video also contained glimpses of jeering bystanders recording the action on their phones. By the time Buckley saw the video, it had been viewed millions of times.

Enraged by the circus atmosphere around the video, he denounced Walmart on Facebook and in the local media. “The Beech Grove Walmart is NOT a good corporate partner,” he posted. The YouTube video “was embarrassing to the City of Beech Grove and the people who live in our beautiful city. Walmart should be ashamed of itself once again for failing to control the people who enter their store.”

Regional Walmart executives asked for a meeting with Buckley and Craig Wiley, the city attorney. “You could tell by their body language that they came to the meeting with a very conciliatory tone, and they were going to get their arms around the problem,” Wiley says. Walmart promised to hire security and extend a fence on the rear of its property, which barred an easy exit for shoplifters into a retirement community. It said it would skip calling the cops for first-time offenders shoplifting merchandise valued below $50 if the shoplifter completes the company’s theft-prevention program.

Buckley was pleased. But in the weeks following the meeting, Walmart dragged its heels. Buckley went public again, this time appearing on national cable news. “Walmart Beech Grove is draining our police resources,” he told Fox Business Network. “It’s the string of terrible events that have been occurring down there over the past two months that have led me to instruct our police chief to declare the Walmart a public nuisance.”

That meant the threat of a $2,500 fine for every call to the police. Walmart now pays for off-duty police to man the store, and the pressure on the local police has eased. A year later, Buckley is pleased, but it still irks him that he had to go to such measures to get Walmart to act. “Cities really need to put their thumb down and get them to the table,” he says. “It’s taken a long time, but they can really be good partners if they want to be.”

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