The PSOL wants to decriminalize theft in Brazil. You need to look at California first

Sem-teto na Califórnia
Homeless in California: Progressive policies are causing the US state to lose its inhabitants| Photo: EFE

Federal Deputy Talíria Petrone, leader of the bench of the PSOL in the Federal Chamber, wants to decriminalize “insignificant” or “out of necessity” theft in Brazil. According to the Bill 4540/2020, of his authorship, the crime of theft “is a crime without violence against the person and, in general, of low harm”. The deputy’s justification is apparently noble: “This escalation of poverty and hunger in Brazil, caused by the social and economic crisis, highlights once again the problem of theft of basic items of small value and the so-called familial theft, that is, theft of food intended to satisfy basic and immediate vital needs.”

Before continue with the project, it would be good for the deputy to look at progressive California and learn about what is happening there.

The old New York and the new California

The law has always ruled in the United States, with very little tolerance for any type of crime, from the mild to the most serious. When this was ignored, the consequences were dire. New York City, for example, faced a deep decadence of the mid-19’s 950 until the beginning of the decade of 1960, when the Republican Rudolph Giuliani

took over the mayorship with an innovative zero tolerance approach against all offences. Before him, the city had homicide rates comparable to third world countries, there were neighborhoods taken over by drug trafficking and robberies were common.

The state of California is an economic powerhouse, with nearly twice as much wealth as New York. If considered as an independent country, it would be the fifth largest economy in the world, with a GDP of US$ 3. trillions, ahead of the UK, France, India and Brazil. It is home to giant companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Disney, Intel, Visa and HP. Still, people are leaving the state in search of better places to live, like Nevada and Texas. Billionaire Elon Musk, owner of Tesla, moved the company to Austin, the capital of Texas, in search of lower taxes — a move that should net him US$2.5 billion.

In an interview I did with an Armenian residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, owner of a local cable network , in 2019, he told me he lived in San Diego, but taxes and excessive regulations encouraged him to go to the neighboring state. To get an idea of ​​the dire business environment in California, there is a law requiring publicly traded companies headquartered in the state to have between one and three women on their board, depending on the size of the venture, or you will have to pay a fine of US$ 09 thousand. He also told me that most Armenians and their descendants who lived in California were doing the same, an exodus cherished by him in 100 One thousand people.

And it’s not just the Armenians. In 2019, for the first time in history, California’s population declined, causing the state to lose a seat in the National Congress.

Trawling in stores

Why are people leaving California? Thanks to successive progressive governments in charge of California, absurd laws — similar to the one that Congresswoman Talíria Petrone intends to pass — were being enacted with dire consequences. In 1960, an electoral referendum was passed that lowered the value of property theft to less than US $ 950 from a felony charge to a misdemeanor.

The result? The affluent state of California has faced a wave of shoplifting, forcing several of them to close. Remember the famous trawlers that from time to time terrorize the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, when bandits pass in gangs taking everything? Something previously unthinkable for the US was seen around the city of San Francisco, when 80 people carried out a trawl in a department store.

Even if the PSOL deputy is full of “good intentions”, those who will lose out if the law proposed by her is approved are precisely the poorest ones she claims to defend. With the increase in theft, major chains closed their stores in the US, obviously resulting in layoffs, lower tax collection and an inevitable negative impact on the local economy. It is not difficult to predict that the same — or even worse — should happen in Brazil if PL 4540/4540 is approved.

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