Sunday, December 1, 2013

Despoliation of the poor

Pope Francis' supposed anti-capitalism has been exaggerated but what is he going on about with this poor stuff? Perhaps, in part, it's something like this.

Hawaii's five-term state rep Tom Brower (D) finds carts that the homeless either find or take from stores and removes their belongings and breaks the carts with a sledge hammer. If it's convenient enough, he'll return a store's cart but most of the time he's just breaking stuff. These carts retail between $150-$200 and according to the video, he's destroyed about 30 of them, for a property destruction spree of $4500-$6000. I do not expect a prosecution any time soon.

This isn't compassion, love, or solidarity. Then again, it's not capitalism either. The store owners are the only capitalist players in this story. Apparently they have tolerated "shrinkage" in their cart stock and don't even file police reports when their carts go missing.

Rep. Brower is a funny sort of 21st century Javert but he retains all the charm of the original.