According to that temple of hyperconsumerism, Teen Vogue, retail theft is the responsibility, is caused by, the ultrawealthy and corporations. Rather than, say, folks who want something without having to go through the pain of paying for it.
We do not jest either, nor misrepresent them: “But the resulting wave of stories about retail crime feels like a misdirection from larger systemic atrocities being committed by corporations and the über-wealthy.”
The piece goes on to insist that the rich, by giving people something to aspire to, create the robberies and the corporations are just encouraging them. The solution suggested is vague but doesn’t include anything so oppressive as making shoplifting in a mob illegal or anything. Nor upping police presence and action to catch those who do it. That would be actually solving the problem perhaps, rather than having an excuse to upend society again.
The actual truth of the matter is that it is the small shopkeeper who suffers most from these crimes. As Teen Vogue points out the larger retailers are insured and while that’s a cost to be carried by the consumer, in the end, it’s not livelihood threatening like it is for the one store owner.
There is amusement at this sort of line of course: “ There’s also the possibility that a few of those people simply wanted a Louis (Vuitton) bag and knew this was the only way they’d be able to have one. Some purses cost the same as three months’ rent.” What is Vogue, or its Teen version, other than a continued insistence that one should lust after these brands and baubles?
Teen Vogue declares itself to be educating the influencers of tomorrow. It gains some 4 million views a month. It’s an important part of the media base aimed at teen girls. It doesn’t do its readership any favors by aiming this teenage socialism at them.
The people who really suffer from an absence of property rights are the poor, the rich can hire their own help to protect them. Advocating a free for all approach to steaming – one description of these flash, shoplifting, mobs – is just making life worse for those they’re claiming to try and protect. For of the police won’t protect the goods in the store then they’ll not protect the individual in the back street against the same theft and violence, will they?