Fun time in the big city - part two

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I had linked to something Peter Grant wrote yesterday: A very nice side effect to the Chinese Flu

Today, he expands on it and offers some very good advice for people still stuck in large cities.

The grasshoppers are already coming after the ants
A few days ago, I noted:

Another big problem is the unintended consequences of government policies to address the pandemic.  For example, many local and state governments are releasing lower-level inmates from prisons, to alleviate overcrowding and forestall the spread of COVID-19 in such close quarters.  That's a legitimate health objective . . . but it disregards public safety issues.  Those inmates are going to have to start earning a living on the street again, just when almost all businesses have been shut down under quarantine.  What are they going to do?  You know as well as I what they're going to do - they're going to revert to a life of crime.  I expect a massive increase in petty crime, and perhaps more serious offenses as well, as the newly released try to get money any way they can.  Even worse, some jurisdictions - for example, St. Paul,   Fort Worth,   Philadelphia,   San Francisco, etc. - are no longer giving priority to lower-level offenses.  They might as well issue licenses to criminals to commit them!  It's no wonder panicking people are trying to get their hands on guns, by hook or by crook.  The odds are pretty good that some of them will need them, sooner rather than later.

Peter continues to set the stage and has these observations:

To summarize it briefly, many of those who are accustomed to buying drugs with the proceeds of panhandling, begging and minor crime are finding their usual fields of endeavor have become barren.  With most people staying at home, there aren't nearly as many drivers, pedestrians, shoppers, etc. to approach for money;  and many stores are also closed, making shoplifting of higher-value items almost impossible.  Supermarkets are overcrowded and under-stocked, and besides, stealing a jar of mayonnaise or a tin of peas isn't exactly going to bring in a lot of money.  Therefore, many of the aforementioned drug buyers are turning to residential and property crimes to fund their habit.  They're snatching anything left out in gardens;  ringing doorbells and aggressively begging for - or, rather, demanding - money;  stealing parcels that are delivered on doorsteps and left unattended;  and breaking into cars parked on the street, looking for valuables left inside them.  There are also reports of threats of violence to homeowners and others who try to stop them.

The gangs who have, until now, made a living from selling drugs in the "hood" are also hurting, because (as noted yesterday) there aren't as many drugs available to sell.  They're trying to compensate by increasing their prices - but, as noted above, many of their regular clients can't afford even their regular prices any longer.  Other buyers are taking the quarantine seriously, and no longer venturing into the shadier parts of town to buy drugs.  Therefore, the gangs are also turning to other forms of crime to make up the shortfall in their income.  Many of those newly released from prison, most of whom have no other way to make a living, are said to be doing the same.>

Finally, with the closure of schools, large numbers of urban youth are wandering the streets.  They don't have a stable nuclear family to keep them at home, and the one parent they have (if they're lucky) doesn't have enough money to buy them what they want in the way of entertainment.  They also have no pocket-money or other discretionary income.  Result?  They're looking for cash any way they can get it.  Shoplifting in some cities is becoming endemic, with "flash mobs" of kids looking for whatever they can score;  and even closed stores are being broken into.

Much more at the site. Stay aware. Stay safe.

When people ask me about why I prepare, I say: "It is not IF, it is WHEN"
We are seeing a very very mild WHEN right now - things could be a lot worse.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on March 25, 2020 11:23 AM.

Cute tee-shirt was the previous entry in this blog.

Just wow - San Francisco two days ago is the next entry in this blog.

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