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> At the same time, they are unwilling or unable to create an environment that is safe for the folks in the communities working or shopping there.

Have you seen some of the very glassed-in sorts of "safe" stores that exist in high crime areas? Tons of bulletproof glass, nothing directly accessible without asking the cashier. It doesn't scale to any kind of a store where sales are made by people walking around and seeing items and being inspired to buy them. It only works for gas stations and restaurants, for the most part, and even then it's a hassle for the staff.

> whether it's economically infeasible to make the stores safe

Never mind economics, it might just be logistically impossible unless you invest heavily in security personnel, who really won't do very much in the event of any kind of more serious criminal action.

Food deserts, etc. form in high crime areas because the crime drives them away. The current anti-police attitude is going to make this worse in the short term; I would like to hear what people are actually suggesting as an alternative to enable these stores to stay without continually suffering so much shrink as to make it hard to make payroll.

> "Shrink" is of course accounted for in the economics, but not worker and customer safety, which is externalized as violence and loss in the communities.

What does that last bit actually mean? How do stolen items "externalize as violence"? It sounds like GPT-3 regurgitated a sociology textbook.




>I would like to hear what people are actually suggesting as an alternative to enable these stores to stay without continually suffering so much shrink as to make it hard to make payroll.

Start by getting everyone into stable housing that they won't be thrown out of at gunpoint for suffering economic hardship, addiction, or mental illness of any variety. Get the same people enough food to feed everyone in their household no questions asked. Build up transportation so people don't need to walk three miles, take four buses, two trains, and a subway over three hours to get to their four hour long minimum wage shift. Provide all necessary health and dental for all citizens at $0 cost at the order of a doctor by nationalizing the healthcare industry as is and excising the profit motives.

Pursue white collar criminals with funding and ferocity equal to the damages.

Create new laws that treat financial criminals the same way the justice system has treated black people: Mandatory minimums, ankle monitors for years, random probation officer visits at 3am, and urinalysis, barred from all positions of authority, security clearance, and working with the vulnerable, and importantly, three strike laws leading to life without parole in supermax.

I'm not talking about the guy committing mail fraud with stolen $100 checks. But rather the people stealing millions and billions. They don't deserve to live outside a prison. These criminals create vicious cycles in the communities the victimize which compound the damages, stunting growth, and ruining countless lives.

Retask the bulk of the atf and dea with being the ops arm of the irs financial crimes unit.

By focusing the small details like victimized staff at dollar stores we're ignoring the bigger picture and doing a disservice to the people trapped in these situation through little or no fault of their own.


I think you misread my last sentence. Stolen goods are internalized costs since they register directly as a write down of value. An employee getting murdered in the store does not seem to be appropriately internalized as a cost though, since they aren’t appropriately funding store safety and security. Instead, the communities are bearing those costs by losing their people and living among higher violence. There is an assumption baked into this (noted in the article) that robbery isn’t fungible. Instead, the suggestion is that stores heavy in cash and low in security foster robbery, which sounds logical to me.


The article touched on the discrepancy between internalized and externalized costs: The stores invested in securing their buildings’ air conditioners, but not in security systems that would improve the physical safety of their customers or employees.


Externalities are costs of doing business that you the business don't directly pay. Their point seems pretty straight forward to me. What part of it is confusing?


Could you maybe just restate it? How are stolen items costs that businesses "don't directly pay"?


OP said:

> "Shrink" is of course accounted for in the economics, but not worker and customer safety, which is externalized as violence and loss in the communities.

So they're saying that the business does pay the cost of stolen items ("shrink") but not the cost of the violence, which is borne by its victims.


The stolen items are costs. The violence to staff and customers are externalities.




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