May 08, 2023
When I was at school, a girl was caught under a desk at the back of a classroom one day, lining up schoolboy all-comers to hand them out blowjobs at the ridiculously low, low price of only £1.00 a go ($1.25 at current exchange rates). Upon hearing this, I was genuinely shocked—because it was a Business Studies classroom.
Did the inattentive student possess no comprehension whatsoever of the value of Britain’s currency, or the basic laws of supply and demand? She could easily have charged at least ten times that sum: a real F for “Fail.” No matter how many times you try to teach them the same old lessons, some people just don’t understand economics, do they?
I was reminded of this particular financial illiterate when reading on Taki’s recently about Karen Ivery, the black lady whose self-styled “Rosa Parks moment” involved her rolling up at the counter in a branch of Target with her cart laden with $1,000 worth of groceries she was wholly unable to pay for, before demanding them for free as belated reparations for slavery.
After being correctly punched in the face by a white security guard, Ivery argued through broken teeth that she had merely been trying to begin “a larger conversation about how money works…and how it’s been working in our community in a very wrong way.”
Translation: White businesses are now to begin handing out random black people all their goods for free, as “repayment” for something that never even happened to them personally in the first place.
Property Is Theft
Perhaps a lowly individual like the very Ebonic Ms. Ivery can be excused for not properly knowing “how money works” (i.e., you usually have to hand it over in return for goods and services, in a process commonly known as “paying for things”), but various far-left political voices are no better informed either. The art of “shopping with violence” has become the new, 21st-century American hobby of late, particularly in the sport’s three chief BLM-ridden arenas of Chicago, Minneapolis, and Portland.
In 2020, Ariel Atkins, a BLM organizer in Chicago, justified the looting of stores there as follows:
I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats. That makes sure that person has clothes…. That is reparations. Anything they wanted to take, they can take it, because these businesses have insurance…. I feel like these stores…they’re not here for us…. The whole idea of criminality is based on racism anyway, because criminality is punishing people for things that they have needed to do to survive or just the way that society has affected them with white supremacist BS.
A disapproving Atkins concluded the looters’ critics were simply “deciding what is criminal and what isn’t”—evidently, that was her job.
Steal This Book
Maybe Atkins had been reading Vicky Osterweil’s 2020 text In Defense of Looting, which, as was noted at the time, had a stern legal copyright notice at the front, despite its message that stealing things was basically fine, as stores’ insurance would cover all losses, no questions asked. Osterweil is a transgenderist, so deemed riots the “queer birth” of an entire new world order that would dismantle the “cisheteropatriarchal racial capitalist” hellhole of the “so-called United States” on the basis that “Riots are violent, extreme and femme as fuck,” as was the author.
“Looting” itself was “a highly racialized word,” Osterweil explained, derived from the Hindu lút, only entering into English under the British Raj. Property was a white racist invention used to justify the former ownership of black slaves. When they escaped, such human chattels effectively stole themselves, meaning “the first image of the black looter is the enslaved slave freeing herself.” So, today’s black looters were the heirs to Harriet Tubman. Contrary to stereotype, riots provided a mini-utopia of “pleasure and freedom and joy and safety,” not to mention “queer expression.”
Shops were just “modes of oppression that exist,” Osterweil told sycophants from NPR radio, and rioters rightly expressed their contempt by emptying them out and burning them down. Only one “small independent bookstore” in Minneapolis was left unraided by BLM rioters, supposedly because looters recognized its innate community value. More likely, they just couldn’t read.
The main economic benefit of looting over capitalism was that it takes “things that would otherwise be commodified and controlled and shar[es] them for free.” Even better:
It attacks the idea of property, and it attacks the idea that in order for someone to have a roof over their head or have a meal ticket, they have to work for a boss, in order to buy things that people just like them somewhere else in the world had to make under the same conditions…. [Riots] demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.
Eh? If most goods were not “commodified” (i.e., sold for profit), then they wouldn’t be produced in the first place! Who would toil hours in a factory to make things without the prospect of financial reward at the end of it? No capitalism, no things for looters to steal in the first place, Vicky.
Lightfoot and the Lightfingers
Worryingly, several actual politicians seemingly agree with Osterweil. The mob “Teen Takeover” in Chicago in mid-April was played down by Democratic senator Robert Peters as merely “a political act and statement,” a “mass protest against poverty and segregation.” For tweeting so, Peters was “sure” he would receive “the most unhinged” replies from “crime weirdo[s]” online, but surely the true “crime weirdo” here was Peters himself?
Outgoing Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot added that “mayhem” was the wrong word to use about the gun-happy uprising. For Lightfoot, “The mass majority of the young people who came downtown, came downtown because there was great weather and it was an opportunity to enjoy the city.” Shades of Vietnam: “To enjoy the city, we had to burn it.”
And don’t forget, Chicago was the first city in America to actually launch a reparations program for blacks. In 2019, the suburb of Evanston began doling out $10 million of housing grants to resident black folk in reparations per decade, derived from a tax on local cannabis sales—as true an example of robbing Peter to pay Paul as you ever will see.
Lightfoot’s incoming Democrat successor, Brandon Johnson, appears even more keen on people not paying for things—he himself has a past of unpaid utility bills and large credit card defaults. Owing people money, he said, “that makes me a Chicagoan.” What also makes him “a Chicagoan” is endlessly blaming rioting on “a failed racist system,” so giving ill-educated and ill-disciplined kids tacit moral permission to keep on looting.
The true thieves in the Windy City were not the robbers, argued the shameless victim-blamer, but the people being robbed: “What I’m saying is, you can’t condone the looting that corporations do every single day they take tax dollars from Black, Brown, White folks all over the city of Chicago so that they can turn a profit.” Clearly, “profit” is now a dirty word. But how are firms meant to operate without making one? Johnson did not explain.
Asked whether he was worried stores might leave Chicago due to being constantly looted, Johnson, channeling the damaged brains of Atkins and Osterweil, similarly explained that “these companies have insurance.” Again, Johnson makes the elementary economic error of presuming these thefts will therefore not cost the affected stores any cash.
Perhaps, as a habitual nonpayer of bills, Mr Johnson will be unaware that, the more claims you make on your insurance policy, the more your insurance provider subsequently charges you, following the loss of your no-claims bonus. Keep on claiming ad infinitum, and eventually they’ll refuse you coverage altogether. At that point, a store has to begin funding the loss of their endlessly “redistributed” goods themselves, going bust.
No Insurance Against Such Idiocy
For proof, head to Portland, very much the BLM Nuremberg, where an astonishing net 2,692 businesses have fled the city center since 2019. Here, aided by a liberal district attorney who has consistently failed to prosecute rioters and shoplifters, the fentanyl addicts, Marxist brownshirts, homeless schizoids, and other assorted scum now effectively run the city for themselves.
Portland clothing outlet Rains, broken into fifteen times in a two-month period, posted the following notice explaining why they were now closing down:
DUE TO THE CONSTANT AND UNRELENTING CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, COUPLED WITH ESCALATING SAFETY ISSUES FOR OUR EMPLOYEES, WE HAVE DECIDED TO PERMANENTLY CLOSE. OUR CITY IS IN PERIL. SMALL BUSINESSES (AND LARGE) CANNOT SUSTAIN DOING BUSINESS IN OUR CITY’S CURRENT STATE. WE HAVE NO PROTECTION, OR RECOURSE, AGAINST THE CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR THAT GOES UNPUNISHED. DO NOT BE FOOLED INTO THINKING THAT INSURANCE COMPANIES COVER LOSSES. WE HAVE SUSTAINED 15 BREAK-INS. WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED FINANCIAL REIMBURSEMENT SINCE THE 3RD [BREAK-IN]…. PLEASE BE VIGILANT IN VOTING TO MAKE OUR CITY SAFE AGAIN.
Meaning: Please don’t vote for any more candidates like Brandon Johnson who don’t even know how insurance works!
Blacks in the Red
The vast majority of those named and shamed in this article are black. Both Thomas Sowell and Stringer Bell have shown it is perfectly possible for a black person to be a great economic thinker, however; so why aren’t the above?
Perhaps it is because such persons are not remotely interested in actual economic reality, merely in playing stupid, grandstanding, race-pandering political games that can only ever end up harming the very same run-down communities they purport to benefit.
At least the girl handing out absurdly underpriced BJs at my old school spread a little human happiness around whilst she was publicly parading her financial idiocy. Lightfoot, Johnson, Peters, Osterweil, and Atkins should do likewise; have some decency, get down on their own knees, and suck off every last wronged small-business owner in Portland, Minneapolis, and Chicago until they choke to death on their curdled liquidity.
Now, that’s what I call reparations!