Watch our cities decay. See it spread.

Summary: Rising homicide rates and normalization of theft are two epidemics afflicting some of America’s cities. These things spread, unless we do something to stop them. Since we accept them as normal, we’ll get more of them.

“Paying for things is for dummies!”
— Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey. Bad news for us if this view spreads.

Rotten Apple

What makes Birds of Prey like Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, not light humor like Monty Python’s Life of Brian, is our awareness that it describes (in exaggerated fashion) things happening in America today (see this story). But while we enjoy seeing this decay in films, we do not want to know the reality. When I mention the following information to people, they shrug. I sent this information to a sharp guy, who replied “I don’t believe it.”

For example, some US cities are in the midst of a breakdown of society. The US has 4 cities in the world’s top 50 of homicides per capita. No other developed nation has a city on the list. The worst city in Europe is Marseilles, with a homicide rate of 2.5 per 100k. New Orleans is #50 with a rate of 37 per 100k15x times that of Marseilles. The US city with the 100th worst rate (this includes many small cities) has a rate of 10.7 per 100k – over 4x that of Marseilles.

US Violent Crimes rate by year
BJS numbers per Pew Research.

Another batch of cities is coming apart at the seams (e.g., Seattle and San Francisco). A larger number are almost certain to go broke in the next decade or two from gross mismanagement and corruption. This includes two of the big three: NYC and Chicago. Here are 18 cities with high debt loads and 15 cities with high levels of financial stress.

For more about this, see Many of our cities are collapsing.

By 2018, US violent crime rates had stoped their decline and might have began rising. The numbers in 2019 will be worse. I live in a small city in eastern Iowa, where the rates of violent and non-violent crime are rising fast. In Iowa.

Little of this is rational, as it was in the crack wars of the 1980s. Much of it is madness.

Theft is AOK!

“Like why are we locking kids up for evading fares {turnstile jumpers}. They don’t got it! …Public transit should be free anyway!”
— Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), a member of the “squad”, at Howard U. The crowd burst into cheers. Per Fox News.

Theft is ok! It is an increasingly common belief. In an interview Kim Kardashian West tells girls that shoplifting is also cool and fun!

“We were in Hawaii and there was this Christian Dior store and no one [was working] there. Like, it was [in] the wild… just an empty store. Khloe really wanted the Dior sunglasses, so she took them and we walked out,” Kardashian West tells me, giggling as she remembers the details. “These sunglasses were everything. I still have them to this day and they were so much fun. So cute. That was so funny. We were like ‘this is wild.’ I think the [employee] must have gone to the bathroom or been in the back by herself on a Sunday. I don’t know what the story was, but it was really funny.”

I was interviewing for retail sales managers jobs in Iowa. All mentioned that blatant shoplifting is becoming common. One store manager said that earlier that day three people walked out with bags filled with goods, not paying. He shrugged. It’s a cost of business. There is nothing they can do without physical risk to their employees or legal risk to the store. Eventually the police come to do the paperwork. The group hit a supermarket afterward (even thieves have to eat).

On Youtube you can see how brazen shoplifters have become. Examples here, here, here, and here. The 2018 Retail Theft Survey reports what should be obvious, but isn’t.

“Theft case values soared in 2018 with the average shoplifting case value ($301.97) increasing 11.8%; the average dishonest employee case value ($1,361.37) increasing an amazing 30.1%; and the total average theft case value ($408.77) up 17.0%! …Apprehensions were down 11.8% from 2017. …Therefore, only 7.8% of total retail theft losses resulted in a recovery.”

Loss prevention consultant Chris E. McGoey describes the new world for retailers.

“It has always been happening, but it’s much easier to fence the goods these days. These thieves work diligently to {steal} popular items such as over-the-counter medicines, razors, batteries, tools, cell phones, and designer clothing. It is common for them to work in teams, employ distraction techniques, and use booster-bags to circumvent anti-shoplifting systems. …It has always been happening, but it’s much easier to fence the goods these days. There are so many online sites.”

The Retail Theft Survey confirms this “Many thieves have found that selling their stolen items through various online auction sites …results in quicker sales and much higher prices than the traditional selling of items on the street or at a local flea market.”

As usual, California leads the way. “Reforms” made shoplifting not just lucrative but safer. Other forms of property crime are also increasing. See the sad details here and here (click through the links for more information). Also see this post about the Left’s “reforms” in California – and their plans to cripple the police (as crime rises).

Other cities and states with Democratic leadership are following its path. Such as Chicago.

“The CBS 2 Morning Insiders have discovered thefts from stores have been on the rise in Chicago for years – up 34% since the start of 2015. …So what’s causing the spike? We asked Tanya Triche Dawood of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. ‘Low risk, high reward for retail theft,’ Dawood said. She says one driver is a decision from Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. In December 2016, she announced her office would only prosecute theft cases as felonies if the thief steals $1,000 worth a merchandise or more, despite a statewide threshold of $300. ‘We feel the policy encouraged, emboldened more people to steal,’ Dawood said.”

The West is a collective entity, a neighborhood in the global village, as seen in this story in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“A study of over 9000 Australian and New Zealand retailers has revealed the cost of theft in-store has now reached a “crisis point” for companies as shoplifters have become more brazen in recent years. …Dr Emmeline Taylor, the report’s lead researcher and Reader in Criminology at the University of London said retailers were being hit from all angles when it came to theft, with criminals going out of their way to find ways around loss-prevention methods.

“‘Shop theft is an age-old crime, and where we used to see the occasional items being taken by customers, we’re now seeing things like organised gangs, and individuals doing refund fraud. …Thieves feel that it’s become easier than ever, they feel they’ve got complete free rein to steal with impunity.'”

Mark Gentle, vice-president of loss prevention company Checkpoint Systems, gives more details to the Australian Financial Review.

“Four to five years ago internal theft was higher than external theft and we used to have big problems with people stealing from their employer – now external theft dominates. …Even if [shoplifters] get caught the penalties are very soft. …We’re now seeing a lot more organised crime, especially in Victoria, where you’ve seen a lot more ‘steaming’, where micro-gangs come into retail outlets [such as mobile phone stores] and do a slash and grab. The other side is organised crime where gangs come into Australia from overseas stealing to order and shipping it out of the country.”

Britain is also affected, for similar reasons as the US. Emmeline Taylor, Reader in Criminology at the University of London, explained the findings of the British Retail Consortium’s Retail Crime Survey.

“Customer theft is on the increase. There are multiple factors that could be contributing to this. …For example, the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 allows anyone stealing goods costing less than £200 to plead guilty by post – or face the magistrates’ court. The impact of ‘austerity’ measures across the criminal justice {reducing the number of police} is undoubtedly impacting on levels of theft and violence across the retail sector. …

“Incidents of violence and verbal abuse experienced by shop workers is increasing in both frequency and severity. The survey findings show that more than 800 retail employees are physically attacked each week, and many more are verbally threatened or abused. It is worth pointing out that this is likely to be a huge underestimate as many incidents go unreported. This is no secret to the industry, particularly those selling fast moving consumer goods such as food and beverages. We know retailers are suffering from heightened levels of in store violence directed at staff as a result of age-related sales – such as for alcohol or solvents – and when challenging shoplifters. Verbal abuse and violence is being directed at employees who are simply doing their job – working on the checkout, stocking shelves, and serving customers.”

“With the number of police officers in England and Wales at the lowest recorded level since the early 1980s it is unsurprising that 80% of respondents describe the police response to retail crime as poor or very poor”.


Many Americans think these signs of decay are just business-as-usual. No big deal. So instead we worry about theoretical or low-probability futures while the bolts pop loudly out of our society. It is not business as usual.

We are in, I suspect, an early stage of the collapse of all values predicted by Nietzsche. A society runs only when people have some core shared values. Ours have been washing away for 50 years. Now the erosion reaches “theft is bad.” Lose that and a society rides a slippery slope to a bad end.

The distingration of some cities shows a different kind of social unraveling from a different kind of stress.

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see Chapter One of a story about our future: Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about crimeabout prison, about our criminal justice system, and especially these…

  1. More about the collapse of the American Criminal Justice System.
  2. Final thoughts about America’s Criminal Justice System.
  3. The Disgrace of Our Criminal {in}Justice System, and hints of reform in the air.
  4. Important – America’s unspeakable problem: African-American’s crime rates.
  5. Harsh truths about mass incarceration in America.
  6. Ways to reform our criminal injustice system.
  7. San Diego tries a bold experiment to fight crime.
  8. Many of our cities are collapsing.

Books about this vital subject

Prison Break: Why Conservatives Turned Against Mass Incarceration by David Dagan and Steven Teles (2016). Dagan is a journalist with a PhD in political science. Teles is an Assc. Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins.

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. (2017). He is a Professor of Law at Yale. See my review.

Locked In by John F. Pfaff (2017) – “The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform.” He is a Professor of Law at Fordham. See my review of this important book. Also, see the review by Joseph M. Bessette in the Claremont Review of Books.

The Collapse of American Criminal Justice by William J. Stuntz (2011). He was a Professor of Law at Harvard. See some excerpts here.

Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform
Available at Amazon.
The Collapse of American Criminal Justice
Available at Amazon.


35 thoughts on “Watch our cities decay. See it spread.”

  1. There is a collective loss of belief, isn’t there? The nomenklatura lost faith in the legitimacy of the culture and institutions they are administering and the consequences of their constant trashing of it are becoming increasingly clear at lower levels of society.

    The puzzling thing is why this has happened, and why now? Is part of it perhaps that people at the upper levels of society, like the liberal aristocracy in France in 1780, have come to believe that words have no consequences?

    So they do not believe what they say in the normal sense where the clue to what someone believes is how he acts. Its rather that they speak and write in ways contradictory to their way of living under the unconscious assumption that they can do so with impunity and without it having any wider effects.

    A senior administrator at a UK college was recently confronted by a student demand to divest from fossil fuel holdings. He replied that this was unfortunately not possible, but that he would be happy to turn off the gas fired heating if they wished.

    A profound silence ensued.

    If enough prominent members of society, in politics and education and the media, say often enough that property is theft, the result is liable to be a rise in real theft, and a reluctance to enforce the law of property.

  2. “We are in, I suspect, an early stage of the collapse of all values predicted by Nietzsche. A society runs only when people have some core shared values. Ours have been washing away for 50 years. Now the erosion reaches “theft is bad.” Lose that and a society rides a slippery slope to a bad end.”

    I know its hard to see cause and effect in something as intangible as society. But I feel that the financial crash and the lack of repercussions for those at fault has really contributed to a pervasive sense that there are no consequences for those at the top, why should the bottom care.

    Look at Wolf of Wall Street, from the top to the bottom we laud criminality. A cold blooded murderer was the hero of House of Cards, In Home Land we rooted for a Terrorist, in Dexter a psychopathy is the hero. In Birds of Prey a violent criminal is held up as a feminist role model.

    In some fundamental sense we have lost confidence in the justice and fairness of our society. Art is a reflection of our yearnings. I see those media products like the acting out of a small child, they act out because they wish to be corrected, not because they love violence crime and cheating, but because they wish to be delivered from it.

    Eventually we will create something which will provide correction to the chaos, and if we cannot restore faith in the system, that thing will be deeply unpleasant.

    1. Gerard,

      “In some fundamental sense we have lost confidence in the justice and fairness of our society.”

      Perhaps. But I doubt that the US has less justice and fairness than in the past. Neither have been strong points in our history.

      “Look at Wolf of Wall Street, from the top to the bottom we laud criminality. A cold blooded murderer was the hero of House of Cards, In Home Land we rooted for a Terrorist, in Dexter a psychopathy is the hero. In Birds of Prey a violent criminal is held up as a feminist role model.”

      That is something I have wondered about. We did not have films and TV shows like those in the past because of censorship. There were various systems at work, come together in the 1930 Motion Picture Code. Among other things, it required that (from Wikipedia)”

      All criminal action had to be punished, and neither the crime nor the criminal could elicit sympathy from the audience, or the audience must at least be aware that such behavior is wrong, usually through “compensating moral value”. Authority figures had to be treated with respect, and the clergy could not be portrayed as comic characters or villains. Under some circumstances, politicians, police officers, and judges could be villains, as long as it was clear that those individuals portrayed as villains were the exceptions to the rule.

      It died in the 1960s, but took a few generations to disappear from Hollywood’s operations. Now a purely amoral arts environment exists. This is probably a contributor to our decay, but I doubt it is the largest factor.

      “Art is a reflection of our yearnings.”

      I agree. That nails it.

      1. Angels with dirty Faces is a classic of that period, and shows how censorship can make the storyteller more creative, rather than less. My own view is that art like society thrives more with structure than without, with no limits there are no boundaries to push.

        I agree, we are a much more humane society in a lot of ways, progress is undeniable. We are also much more atomized, and far more aware of the inequities in society. We are alone much of the time, with only the hyper real of the media landscape as a comparison.

      2. Gerard,

        “censorship can make the storyteller more creative, rather than less. ”

        I totally agree. The Production Codes’ limits on sex and violence forced Hollywood to focus more on plot and characters. Otherwise they prefer to be in the fast food biz, relying on the film equivalents of salt, sugar, and grease. And here we are today.

        So many films of the past look like Shakespear compared to today’s major films. “Night of the iguana”, “King Solomon’s Mines”, and so forth – films of a kind Hollywood has no interest in today.

      3. “Otherwise they prefer to be in the fast food biz, relying on the film equivalents of salt, sugar, and grease. And here we are today.”

        Meanwhile, the local cinema has to resort to gimmicks to get people to come. First it was “stadium seating”, then came the barcalounger chairs, where you can now lay on your back while watching the movie. The latest trend is where the cinema has a kitchen and you can press a button to summon a waiter, order from a menu and eat a meal while watching the movie. Yet even with all these gimmicks, unless a blockbuster superhero/car chase/space opera is playing, the cinemas are empty. When the super hero genre dies, and it appears to be on the downswing, I don’t know how the local multiplex will survive.

      4. Frank,

        Market segmentation is a good idea. Having only one kind of seating at a theater is like Ford selling only Model T’s. Some people want to pay more in exchange for more service.

        But that’s a palliative for the real problem: the number of tickets sold has been dropping since 2004. Hollywood has forgotten how to make films for the broader public. Now they do genres – mostly superhero and horror flicks – plus a massive number of doctrinaire productions featuring heroic minority, women, and minority women triumphing over our evil society. The first two are paying the bills, but as you note – that might be a bubble.

        The bigger threat is the inevitable development of film studios in other nations. Korean drama’s audience in the US is tiny but growing fast. My wife and son watch them. Not my cup of tea, but they’re 10x better than US TV in most respects.

      5. One thing I have noticed, as the local multiplexes shuffle through the fads, there is less seating after each remodel/iteration.

        I did appreciate stadium seating, as it did provide an unobstructed view of the screen. The barcaloungers I don’t care for, it seems that no matter how much or little I recline the seat, it’s uncomfortable, and I don’t want lay on my back. As for the restaurant service, it just appeared locally. From what I saw, a lot of people were ordering meals, beer and wine, so maybe that’s the way: fewer ticket sales, but more revenue per seat.

      6. Frank,

        “fewer ticket sales, but more revenue per seat.”

        Product segementation is a key to success in business. Esp for theaters. They keep all the profits from popcorn, but only a sliver of the revenue from first-release films. Economics rules.

      7. scipioafricanus114

        One oft-overlooked driver of the shift in American cinema is immigration. Young Latinos buy an inordinate share of movie tickets, for some reason ( Just like with external foreign audiences, explosions and CGI translate better than character-driven drama and the preferences of the fast-growing young hispanic male segment are for the dumbest, most cliched, Michael Bay-style popcorn schlock Hollywood can crank out.

  3. Thirteen signs of suburban blight, from Mr Lafond of Baltimore:

    What’s most interesting to me fro this article is this snippet:
    “Authority figures will blame violence on poverty, when almost all violent crimes, have been, throughout history and today, committed against an individual with less material wealth or income redistribution leverage than the attacker—with motorists attacking pedestrians, gun owners attacking the unarmed, receivers of tax money attacking tax payers, etc.”

    That’s… a perspective I had not thought of. Tax payers, I.E law-abiding, honest citizens, the kind of people supposedly everyone should aspire to be, are the ones getting ripped off and thrown under the bus here, on purpose.

    Why the hell is California doing this to itself? Why are we letting it spread…

    1. The Muse,

      “when almost all violent crimes, have been, throughout history and today, committed against an individual with less material wealth or income redistribution leverage than the attacker’

      Sounds bonkers to me. Several steps beyond “made up.”

  4. How timely. I live in San Francisco- ground zero for urban decay! Within 5 years we’ve gone from a city with massive problems but overall a pleasant place with some lingering middle class families to what now feels like a zombiepocalypse; almost literally, you should see some of the people around here. The hierarchy is: the uber-rich, a professional class of self-righteous leftists, the poor/ government handout class, and no-one in between. I’m in the small business-owner class (eg- pay lots of tax yet low income LOL) but we are endangered and have no voice- the smart ones have moved on.

    It has been horrific yet fascinating to watch my community/ civilization collapse in real time. It started small and snowballed fast. A few years ago I was a victim of a smash and grab (car break-in). Violently breaking out a window and stealing property barely qualify as a crime here it turns out. Then one day you see used needles or poop on the sidewalk and think, “bummer, but at least this isn’t my neighborhood”. Fast forward a few years, I have a mentally ill person living in an RV right outside my window, a large homeless camp a few blocks away, and see poop and needles on a daily basis. I’ve even seen dirty needles on buses and commuter trains.

    I also own a store and pay some of the highest retail rent on the planet yet regularly have to plea with homeless sleeping in my doorway to move along just so I can open up shop. Note: if a small business owner takes any measures to barricade entryways or in any way prevent doorway sleeping, the Maoists will be outside with signs calling you a nazi or whatever then complain that there are too many retail vacancies. It’s not uncommon for people to openly urinate on the sidewalk out front in broad daylight.

    It all culminated yesterday- I discovered that the night before, someone had gotten into my yard and stole my wife’s bicycle. Later I was outside the local grocer and a woman handed me a flyer- she’s running for judge. Nowhere does it say anything about her competency or using her position to affirm the rule of law. Instead she multiple times mentions how she is checking boxes for her gender and minority status. Then she emphasizes she’s committed to “equal justice for all” which bothers me because that’s already in the Constitution.

    I just don’t fit in anymore.

    1. Brent,

      I well understand what you’re saying. I moved to the East Bay (part of the SF Bay Region) in 1987 and fled to Iowa in 2018. I saw the crash you describe. Classic “S” curve. Slowly at first, then accellerating. Now beginning to enter the steep part of the downward curve. (That first part of the “S” feels steep, but it looks flat compared to the crash part of the curve.)

      See this: Why thousands of us are fleeing San Francisco.

      Other cities on the West coast are following SF’s path. Esp Seattle, LA, and Portland. Failure to Learn is a weakness that more than offsets the greatest strengths.

  5. But after reading the piece again, and now the comments, I still come back to the same puzzlement.

    Its clear that at the root of this there is a loss of belief, of confidence in the legitimacy of the society.

    But why has this happened? Where has it come from? It was surely quite different in the third quarter of the last century. What changed?

    1. Henrik,

      As I’ve told you many times: “Why” is often the most difficult of questions to answer. Often we don’t know. Often it does not matter, except to historians and social scientists.

      When the firemen show up at your burning house, they begin rescue and fire-fighting operations before determining the cause.

      1. Yes, I already knew that, I didn’t need telling that its a very difficult question to answer. Where we differ is in whether its useful or necessary to answer in this case. I see why you compare the situation to a house on fire, that does capture the urgency and the extremity of the cultural situation.

        But I don’t see how there’s a hope of finding remedies which will change it without having a clear idea of what exactly they are addressing. The usual comparison is symptoms and causes. Something changed between 1955 and 1995, and one of the results was citizen passivity and this pervasive sense of loss of legitimacy. I don’t see how we change this result unless we know and address the underlying cause.

        Analogies often don’t help much, but if the patient presents with frequent urination, we need to know if its benign prostate enlargement or prostate cancer before we prescribe treatment. I am reading recently about misdiagnosis cases which mostly resulted from failure to see multiple symptoms were related, so someone gets sent to physio for back pain when the pain is actually due to a tumour. I think its like that.

        You are right that finding the cause is very difficult in social and political affairs but I still think that is the essential task. Only then will you know what will work and what to change.

  6. A fish rots from the head, all we see and hear is rich and powerful cheating, I develop property as a side business, I had a plumbing inspection the 90 mm (4 inch) pipe was sticking into the 600 x 600 mm (2 foot) box drain by 120 mm, the plumbing rules say 60 – 90 mm, the inspector sends a report $160 costs to Council it could cause a vortex ( in what their coffee), but I pay the costs of inspection and cut the pipe off to 70mm.

    All good they send we a Council approved form and I can sell the one property at a good profit, for a Trainer who does an extra job.

    Then talking to my carpenter he has done a lot of work on a 30 house development, all the houses were sold pre-fabrication to Mum and Dad investors or first home owners, the last four houses were built in a land slip area (highly illegal and very dangerous – in a real storm they could slid down the hill and kill someone). Developer is big end of town and his barrister contacts Council, they are afraid to order demolition of even the required soil stabilisation as developer contract says that is buyers cost and first time owners would not get mortgage and Mum and Dad investor would in the main lose their pension pot.

    So build four death traps nothing happens, have 2 inch extra pipe in a box drain and get a $160 Council costs of inspection, get 49% as a native student in your exams at University and you re-sit a course (my son), can’t write or speak English as a full fee paying International Student and you get an institutional pass, despite the fact I marked the exam paper and it got 7% (and I am on the generous side marking).

    I am too old and honest to change, but can I see why low educated, little hope of a good job types, just think what’s the point of working.

    1. Just a Guy,

      Building on unstable slopes has been a profitable business in the San Francisco Bay Area for generations. It usually works fine. It is often a total loss when it does not. The expensive litigation seldom recovers anything from the developers’ shell game.

      But business has been like that going back to the adobe cities in Mesopotamia, as is that kind of small-scale corruption. That was equally true in America during its great growth spurt in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s just life on Earth. Heaven does not have such corruption, but you must die to get there.

      Don’t confuse it the with more socially destructive trends at work today – breaking the family system, washing away the legitimacy of the law, etc.

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  9. Red Pill Christianity

    If we look even beyond homicide, suicide, and overdose (alcohol and drugs) rates, we can just see some societal change sthat are clearly visible in front of us.

    I am hardly an old man at 37. I feel like when I talk to Millennials, that I just came here in a Delorian from the 1950s or something when I talk about cute and feminine thin girls in my old high school or not seeing half the shelves at a local Walmart be hind glass and lock and key. Or walking your relatives to the door of the airplane without being groped by some fatso-weirdo from the TSA first (heck, you cannot even go anywhere near the door of a plane without a ticket today). The Millennials think I am kidding when I say that used to be our country pre mid-2000s.

    Does anyone else here remember returning stuff when you lost a receipt without showing ID? Or “offending” the young gal at the register at your local Publix/Safeway/grocery store by counting cash change she just gave you? (since you could trust her).

    Does anyone remember not having to ask someone to open a locked cabinet to get a can of baby formula or diapers?

    Or not seeing stuff chained at the local Lowe’s or Home Depot? Do you all still remember potted trees, riding lawn mowers, gas grills, and etc just sitting there outside store parking lot at night and no one stole it?

    I feel like these “small signs” are much more telling of our societal rot than even the murder rate. As mass immigration continues into America, only slowed down a bit by Trump, so will continue to see rise in crime, murder rate, and decline of our society.

    Mass immigration from hellhole countries and societal decline go hand in hand. Make no mistake about it.

    1. Red Pill,

      I share all those impressions, but stronger since I’m a boomer. Remember the sad truth: you cannot boil a frog no matter how slowly done, but can boil a society into something new if done slowly.

      Perhaps at some point Americans will wake up and act. Unfortunately, I fear we have passed the point where any simple and painless solutions remain. The millennial and gen Z men I talk to agree almost unanimously on this point.

    2. FWIW, where I live stuff like diapers and baby formula isn’t locked behind glass at the local WalMart, but where I live we are 95+% “wipipo”, though even here crime is on the rise.

      1. Red Pill Christianity

        Larry, yes, I hear that from Boomers too, even ones who lived in the crime-infested hell we call California today. California, some forget, was an amazing place 20+ years ago. I went to Cali as a kid, I was stunned that people lived in such a beautiful and wealthy place. Today, I honestly pit the people there. I was in Fresno-Bakersfield-Visalia area for work project… I felt bad for the people there. California is a preview if we ever get a mass amnesty and chain-migration of millions of new welfare-recipients that will follow.

        I grew up in Central Florida and I remember before the place became a Brazilified, Haitian-Puerto-Rican battlefield like what we have seen in Miami for decades. Central FL was considered “south” still, despite all the NYers coming down. Now we are simply overwhelmed by mass immigration, internally and from other countries.

        Today, Florida is a “cleaner, safer California-lite in terms of population” since it has a conservative State government and strong self-defense laws.

        The Brazilians, for all the problems they cause with dishonesty and small-time scams (like defrauding returns and such) are a “shining light” among the other central and South American immigrant groups. I kid you not. Most Brazilians in Orlando area are middle class and they are illegal and work illegally and bilk the welfare system, but that is nothing compared to other immigrant groups openly committing violent crimes, theft, groping women going to their apartments, etc. The Brazilians are there mainly for safety reasons, while most other groups seem to be there for criminal purpose and large-scale welfare scams.

        If you wanna get a “feel” for an apartment complex in Florida, you gotta go on a Sunday and walk around. If you see a bunch of young males all sitting by stairway at the apt building, you know they have a “flop house” nearby or that the neighborhood is basically a foreign one. That will be 20+ men living in a 2-bedroom apartment. Very common in Florida with sky-high rent rates and guys who need to send all their tax-free cash back home.

        Anyway, it has (sadly) been the large scale dishonesty of mostly immigrants that caused this “shock”: and lack of trust.

        When I visit relatives in the beautiful part of south Denver area or most of Idaho with 95%+ American populations, I still see cute girls at the grocery store register, unlocked stuff at Walmart, friendly people around town, and unlocked gas grills and riding lawnmowers outside at Lowe’s or Home Depot. It is a relief to see some of our country still exists. :)

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