Has Shoplifting Become ‘Woke’ America’s Favorite New Profession?

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Has Shoplifting Become ‘Woke’ America’s Favorite New Profession?
Has Shoplifting Become ‘Woke’ America’s Favorite New Profession?

There was a time in American history that people would spend time working in a lawful profession, spend time with their families and helping the community. Few, outside of criminals, saw stealing as a possible or normal livelihood.

All that has changed today as many have adopted shoplifting as a lucrative “profession.” Stealing has been facilitated by liberal officials and lax laws that take away its stigma and penalties. The National Retail Federation reports that store losses increased from $453,940 per $1 billion in sales in 2015 to $719,458 in 2020, and it is only getting worse.

The appalling statistics on the increase in theft reflect the work of organized gangs who methodically steal and resell stolen goods. Thieves are not content with fencing stolen goods for pennies on the dollar. Now stolen merchandise is sometimes returned for store credit in the form of gift cards from the stores from which it was stolen. These cards can then be offered on eBay and Amazon or sold for cash.

However, the most distressing part of the new trend is the changing government attitude toward theft. Liberal district attorneys and politicians advocate going easy on theft by turning the thieves into victims of social injustice. They say material, unlike people, can be replaced, and insurance can cover these losses. Of course, the increased insurance premiums are passed on to the consumer.

California has reduced class-three felony offenses for thievery to a petty-theft misdemeanor for anything under $950. Thus, a $1,000 theft is a class-three felony with a penalty of up to ten years in prison, while a petty-theft misdemeanor could incur six months in a county jail. Of course, this incentivizes criminals only to steal smaller amounts more often.

Eternal and Natural Law: The Foundation of Morals and Law

Liberals who favor reducing or even eliminating the consequences of stealing have much more in mind than misguided compassion. They demonstrate profound socialist and communist tendencies that lead to the destruction of Christian civilization.

Stealing cannot be reduced to economic terms or its hardship on a free market society. Property is foundational to Christian civilization. It is one of the three pillars of society, tradition, family and private property. Indeed, private property is addressed in two of the Ten Commandments,

Pope Leo XIII made a clear, admirable and masterly exposition in his encyclical titled Rerum Novarum in May of 1891.1 He states that private property, like the family, is an institution of natural law. This right is derived from nature, not from man; therefore, it is not of social construct. This has been consistent Church teaching, and every pope has defended these principles.

Pope Leo XIII attacks the Marxist ideology directly on the topic of private property in Rerum Novarum by refuting the class struggle thesis that “…the conduct of trade is concentrated in the hands of comparatively few; so that a small number of wealthy men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.”

He exposed the falsity of this premise by stating that “to remedy these wrongs, the socialists, working on the poor man’s envy of the rich, are striving to do away with private property, and contend that individual possessions should become the common property of all, to be administered by the State or by municipal bodies.”

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It is necessary to understand the essence and origin of private property to see the evil behind its destruction. Private property is an institution based on the moral principle: “Do not steal.” This conviction is linked to human nature and cannot be taken away by any government.

The moral principle that one must not steal can be demonstrated by showing the correlation between the needs of a living being and the means to satisfy them. Every living creature has the natural means to live, accomplish its purpose and perpetuate itself.

Man has this correlation to a higher degree since he is endowed with rational intelligence and free will. He uses them to satisfy his personal needs by employing all available resources, including private property. He has not only the right but the responsibility to do so.

Thus, the right to private property is not a privilege that opposes the common good but a right that cannot be eliminated.

As mentioned, private property is enshrined in the Ten Commandments, which are rooted in the natural order revealed by God. No one has the right to modify or suppress God’s law and the natural order it defends.

Thus, the Ten Commandments form a whole. All authorities must support the Decalogue in its entirety. Any suppression or omission destroys its integrity and, therefore, God’s design in the created order of society.

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Thus, the changes to the laws on stealing deface not only property but the moral infrastructure of Christian civilization. These laws suggest there is no good or evil. They favor the erroneous idea that all property should be held in common and that wealth is evil. They support the Marxist dialectic of class struggle.

When private property is questioned, the upright notion of justice is also threatened. Indeed, there can be no idea of justice if there is no notion of “mine” and “thine?”

Even if immoral laws favoring theft are enacted, a virtuous people can resist the temptation to steal. However, when people no longer have moral principles or virtue, these laws will facilitate the moral corruption of those who see that vice is not punished.

For this reason, an alarming number of ‘woke’ Americans prefer to steal for a living rather than pursue an honorable profession. This theft is at the expense of hard-working, upright people and is destroying the good order of our country.

Photo Credit:  © trongnguyen – stock.adobe.com


  1. https://www.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum.html

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