New York looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy does not come as a shock in a society not without entitled losers with no concept of property rights. Business owners on Coney Island were ravaged by a murder of looters, who were easily seen running away with anything from diapers to TVs throughout the day on Halloween. They weren’t even wearing masks. The Daily News reported that Joann’s Discount Wine and Liquors on Mermaid Avenude was invaded at 11:30 on Tuesday morning. “It’s about time we start taking this shÂ—back,” said one young thief, as if he had owned the merchandise in some previous life.
It is understandable to everyone that this is kind of looting is wrong because the justification is so stupid: “Look, they’ve been looting our wallets for too long,” said a man caught stealing a television. But the justification for stealing $750 billion in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was rather sophisticated and benign: it was necessary to save the world from collapse.
The American people were almost unanimously against the bank bailouts but Congress passed it anyway. Looting. Economist Michael Rozeff noted, “Since the involuntary taking of one’s property is what looting is, this program evidently involves massive looting.” If the bailouts were truly necessary to save the world, one could make a practical case for them, but they were not. Rozeff explains, “Anyone can produce credit, and that credit often can be used as a medium of exchange. Had we liberty, Wal-Mart and other retailers would jump into this in an instant if given the chance. So might many local and regional banks that have sounder balance sheets than the giants that are the beneficiaries of government.” But this is not what happened. Instead, the federal government requisitioned $750 billion that could have purchased goods such as big screen TVs and baby wipes and justified it without getting the consent of the American people. “We are told in 2009 that we the people must pay to repair ailing and failing banks because the economy depends on the credit they provide. This is the gun held to our heads by government propagandists,” wrote Rozeff.
A 20-year-old woman who witnessed some of the New York looting wondered how such looting could take place, “I couldn’t understand how someone could steal a big TV in broad daylight, but no one cared.” This is exactly what happens with every federal government bailout.