Doug Casey on rising crime, legalized shoplifting, and other disturbing trends in US cities
By News Editors // Apr 23, 2023

International Man: In parts of California and other states, shoplifting under $950 has been de-facto decriminalized.

(Article by Doug Casey republished from

The practical reality is that thieves can now walk into a store and steal whatever they can without fear of police intervening—as long as it’s under $950.

The trend of de-facto legalization of shoplifting is spreading across the country.

What is your take?

Doug Casey: The rise in crime in general and the veritable legalization of shoplifting, in particular, are really just symptoms.

The real problem is that the moral fabric of the US and many other Western countries are torn. There’s not much of a moral compass left. It’s no longer clear to the average American what is right and what is wrong. Right and wrong is now viewed as arbitrary social constructs. Property rights are barely even seen as rights, which is perverse since the very concept of rights is based on property—starting with your own body, which is the most basic form of property.

This degeneration is understandable in a world where black is white and wrong is right. It’s become unclear in many people’s minds what a man is, what a woman is, and what the difference is. If there’s no recognition of something as basic and obvious as that, the meaning of words, and any logic in thought, becomes meaningless. So, of course, they have trouble understanding concepts like right and wrong. But it goes beyond that.

For instance, many people think that reparations are due to black people simply because they’re black, and many blacks were slaves over 160 years ago. Incidentally, I don’t capitalize that word, something which has become a widespread affectation. It only serves to draw attention to race, which is part of the problem.

Let’s pursue the absurd matter of racial reparations for a moment since some miscreants have said all blacks in California are due $5 million. But are reparations due to American blacks, by any stretch of fact or logic? The average income of blacks in the US is many, many times that of blacks who are still in Africa. Should blacks in the US, therefore, pay whites something out of gratitude? The answer, just in case anybody is wondering: Of course not.

When people think they’re due reparations, the next step is for them to think—or rather feel, since there’s no logical thought involved—that they have a moral right to steal to take the reparations they imagine they’re owed. Does that have any relation to the fact that, although blacks are only 13% of the population, they commit 50% of the crime?

Anyway, the nonobservance of shoplifting laws is just one more symptom of a corrupt culture and a collapsing civilization.

International Man: Videos of “smash and grab” robberies—where large groups rush into a large store like Walmart or a very expensive one like Louis Vuitton and grab as much merchandise as they can carry—are circulating online.

In places like Portland, Walmart has decided to permanently close all of its stores because of the rise in theft.

For similar reasons, Target has closed stores in downtown Chicago, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC.

How is rising crime affecting businesses, and what are the implications?

Doug Casey: From a criminal’s point of view, in the kind of societal environment we’re in right now, flash mobs make a lot of sense.

If you call together your posse to raid a store, and a hundred people overwhelm it to steal all they can, there’s nothing the employees can do about it. In fact, there’s likely nothing that the police can do about it, if only because it happens so quickly.

It’s a clever tactic. But this type of thing happens not because they’re poor, black, or there aren’t enough police but because people no longer have a sense of right or wrong. The police are loath to stop them for fear of being called racists.

Increasingly, business itself makes no sense, with the amount of taxes and regulations an entrepreneur has to deal with added to the lack of defense from common criminals.

I expect this trend to continue. If it does, not just ghettos but central business districts will be devoid of retail stores. Many large office buildings will be empty. Others will opt to become self-contained fortresses.

International Man: Many cities which have decided to “defund the police” have seen a surge in violent crime generally and carjackings, armed robbery, and murder.

What do you make of the trend of rising crime?

Doug Casey: Once again, it’s an indicator of the general degradation of civilization itself.

If you’re wondering where the US is going, you can look at Venezuela, where the standard of living has collapsed since being totally taken over by socialist values in the last 20 years. And Argentina, which has been on a shallower glide path for the last 80 years. Latins seem to have learned absolutely nothing, however, since every country in South America, with the exception of Uruguay, is run by a doctrinaire socialist.

Look at South Africa, which is still the most advanced country on the continent. Americans rarely hear about it, but power is only available half the day. The blacks have practically declared open season on whites in parts of the country. That’s the direction we’re going in the US.

All over the West, criminals and welfare recipients are rewarded while producers are punished. China has some huge problems, but this is one area where they’re doing much better than the rest of the world.

Common criminality is not tolerated in China—or anywhere in the Orient. Welfare barely exists. That’s one reason why China has risen relative to the US in recent years. The social and moral underpinnings of China are shockingly better than they are in the “woke” US. In fact, the US seems to be undergoing its own version of the Great Cultural Revolution that nearly destroyed China in the 60’s.

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