Wellsy wrote:Indeed it is a felony and can face some severe sentences, but on the other hand, it can be something that everyday people do unknowingly and not face any charges at all.
That's true. In the Floyd case, he was told the bill was fake by the store clerk. Yet, probably due to drugs, he continued to insist on the clerk accepting the bill, prompting the clerk to call the police. Floyd could very easily have vacated the scene before the police arrived, but he didn't. In no way does that justify Chauvin's conduct, but it highlights that Floyd's intoxication, insistence, and continuing to loiter in the vicinity are ultimately why he encountered the police.
Wellsy wrote:And the same point applies to the untaxed cigarettes, yes the government does pursue many avenues of making sure it get its taxes but at the same time there is proportion and severity to the nature of the crime once again where there is a difference between mass sales of organized crime and some petty stuff.
Well, this is where you get people who are--as the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski would characterize them--"oversocialized" and say things like, "I say make marijuana legal and tax the hell out of it!", while assuming everyone will just obey a law. You only need to drive on an American highway to see the regard Americans give to speed limits. When you create a huge tax disparity like New York state and city do, it creates the incentive for a black market for tax avoidance on cigarettes to develop. The history of "moonshine" and NASCAR is another fine example. Once you are cheating a government of tax revenue, they will not treat it as a penny ante crime. These same people will "get tough" on people who break the law. Yet, they will also purport to be upset at scenarios like the Eric Garner death or the George Floyd death.
Wellsy wrote:All of which have their sentencing and such but in the context we're discussing went a lot further with the death of the suspects. Nothing which anyone thinks to be in proportion to the crimes committed or a sense of danger to the police's own well being in securing their suspects.
Yet, almost all of these cases occur when someone is resisting arrest. Sometimes, you'll get an officer who uses deadly force in another context that seems quite disproportionate. However, in most cases you're dealing with resisting arrest, which is also a crime.
Wellsy wrote:THink you're being a bit hyperbolic while technically true, so I'll state the better qualifier that the US is the worst among the top GED, developed, or wealthy nations.
Sure. However, Brazil is not the Congo. They manufacture airplanes. Embraer for example. Brazil has significant economic limitations, because it is a country covered largely by mountainous rain forests and jungles. If they didn't have running water, electricity, etc., I think you could let them off the hook in that sense. Yet, they are a modern society. Constitutionally, the US government faces an armed population. So our police need to be armed.
Wellsy wrote:The idea being that this is the basis of a better comparison among 'apples to apples'.
But it's not. There is no constitutional right to keep and bear arms in most advanced European or Asian countries. The US is a very heavily armed society precisely so that the government is afraid of the citizenry. So American police will necessarily be carrying firearms.
Yet, in both the Eric Garner case and the George Floyd case, the suspects died without the use of a deadly weapon. Garner was obese and asthmatic. Floyd had pleural thickening due to long-term fentanyl use. Whatever the courts might say, these men's health issues were clearly a contributory factor in their deaths. Assuming Floyd didn't ingest a bunch of drugs pre-arrest, neither he nor Garner would have died if they hadn't resisted arrest. Alternatively, government could simply not enforce the law.
Wellsy wrote:If the US is increasingly shifting in comparison to the absolute worst in the world, then that in itself would be concerning. You can however contest this basis of comparison, but I think now having clarified it with a qualifier that better satisfies you, it's resolved.
I'm not convinced that being a wealthy country establishes moral superiority or that being a poor country excuses abusive behavior by authorities. China has the second largest economy on Earth, and routinely violates human rights. It is conducting an ongoing genocide, but people ignore it because they want their iPhones. Brazil is the 13th largest economy in the world. Congo is similarly a country of rain forests and jungles, but its economy isn't even in the top 100. So that morphological comparison makes some sense. That's why I say the obsession with the US is a bit bizarre and something of a media creation.
Wellsy wrote:I'm no sure shoplifting, on the face of it, is explanatory of San Fran's food desert amidst issues like cost of living.
Food deserts are largely defined as a "lack of access" to healthy foods. There isn't a grocery chain anywhere that would forego a market opportunity to sell more goods to a customer base. Yet, it gets blamed on institutional racism.Redlining and Racism – the Real Roots of Food Deserts in our Communities
Why are Walgreens and CVS shutting so many stores in San Francisco? It's because of shoplifting. They cannot turn a profit. Grocery stores run on razor thin margins. They cannot afford massive shrinkage. So how do stores remain open in that scenario? They raise their prices. Who is hurt the most by this? Poor people--often disproportionately minorities. You think I'm making this up.
This isn't a one-off. It's what it's like in San Francisco. So this will drive more people to online shopping, where shoplifting isn't an issue. Eventually, I think it will also cause a move to vending machines as is the case in Japan. No doubt, vending machines will be considered racist in the not too distant future.
For example, you don't need a Ralph Lauren Polo. It's a luxury item. Yet, if I want to buy a Polo near my house? I have to ask the clerk to unlock them, because they have steel cables running through the shirts to prevent shoplifting. It's literally like living in a third world country in certain aspects of life in California now.
"We have put together the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics."
-- Joe Biden