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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/1/10

Shoplifting is NOT a moral cause, but plain theft

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Message Mary MacElveen
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Enough time has past since I passed on a post from a Democratic list I belong to the police, politicians, the media and yes the FBI since it deals with shoplifting. Those who responded so far were thankful to me for this information. At this time, I question my membership to this list since they are passing on illegal messages to those who read it who can then pass it onto others. I have also made a hard copy to pass on to the managers of the grocery store I work for since it gives tips on how to effectively shoplift. After all, forewarned is forearmed.

As an employee of this grocery store, my allegiance is to them and not some notion that stealing merchandise from my store or others is of far greater value.

In this piece, I will NOT publish those tips, since I feel it morally wrong and YES, illegal.

The poster titled it, "Shoplift for good" Shoplifting is never good since it is stealing an item that does not belong to you.

One link embedded in this post is titled: Charitable Shoplifting Front, as you will see, he/she lists themselves as being 104 years old, so how honest if one can call it that is this movement? Oh yes, and let us not forget single. A single person age 104 advocating shoplifting? Give me a break! This poster provided other links which I will not share since shoplifting is against the law.

Within this post, it poses a question: "Why shoplift?" and their answer is, "Shoplifting from large corporations is easiest means of organically redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor. Shoplifting is both an easy way of punishing corporations that deliberately destroy the environment, exploit and abuse laborers, and destroy communities and local culture, and an effective way of acquiring resources to give to the impoverished victims of capitalist oppression."

That answer may seem admirable to the net-roots community, but in real life, it is hogwash since many of your working poor work for large corporations. I personally know many of them. As for abusing laborers, I stand before you as a cashier stating the company I work for does none of that and I would turn in a shoplifter pronto. As far as destroying the community I live in, the company I work for has not done so. In fact, it has launched campaigns to help the poor within our community through food-drives during the holiday season and has sent monetary donations to Haiti.

Another question this post asks: "But doesn't shoplifting just hurt workers?" Their answer is, "No. Workers are almost always paid by the hour that they work, not by the number of their products that are sold. By the time a product reaches a store, the workers who created it have, in all likelihood, has already been paid. The vast majority of workers are already being paid the minimum wage anyway, so there's no way that the corporation could legally transfer the cost of stolen merchandise to workers. The only people who really stand to lose much money are the multibillionaire corporate elites." Again, with the net-roots speak.

At some point, if the loss is greater due to shoplifting, management will have to make cuts somewhere and those cuts will be in labor costs. I have been in retail both clothing and now food for three-decades. The first thing to be cut is employee hours.

Okay, I will supply some tips this poster posted: "Items shoplifted must be taken from corporate chains ONLY. NEVER shoplift from independently owned businesses." Does this person truly believe a thief will abide by this rule? Nonsense! Both large and small business suffer at the hands of shoplifters. The independently owned deli I frequent is consistently on the lookout for thieves.

One tip they provide is, "Don't be violent. There's no absolutely no need to be." That is if you are speaking with a rational person and has this person ever come upon a gun-wielding robber at a convenience store late at night? Many late night cashiers at these establishments have met their deaths as gun wielding robbers have stolen what does not belong to them.

The message I read in reading this post was that it is okay to steal what does not belong to them. What really got to me was that two responders to this post agreed with it.

Lastly, to the poster of this pro-shoplifting message, your name is now in the hands of the Suffolk County Police Department, various politicians, the media and yes, the FBI since those who may read this post reside across state lines. My duty as a law abiding citizen was to turn you over to the authorities. Also, I never want to hear you cite any criminality coming from the Republican Party as you advocate criminality through this one particular posting.

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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog I have been published by, and I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
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