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Author Topic: Any Californians here?  (Read 2115 times)

GriswaldTerrastone

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Any Californians here?
« on: August 19, 2021, 03:44:57 PM »
I've heard from people like "Nerdrotic" that in California- parts of it, anyway- that shoplifting has been decriminalized, human feces are in the streets with syringes, and roughly 50% of the small businesses- and a few large ones- are gone.

Is it really that bad now? If you live in California is this true?
I'm 55. My profile won't record this. It's only right younger members know how old I am.

Ghostmaker

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2021, 08:15:58 AM »
I've heard from people like "Nerdrotic" that in California- parts of it, anyway- that shoplifting has been decriminalized, human feces are in the streets with syringes, and roughly 50% of the small businesses- and a few large ones- are gone.

Is it really that bad now? If you live in California is this true?
While I do not live in California, I will take a stab at this. The answer is (unsurprisingly) 'it's complicated'.

California is more than just LA, SF, and the coastline. As a state, it's stuck in deep blue mode. Going by counties, though, the further you get from LA or SF, it starts to shift purple and even red. This is the reason why elections in Cali are set up with that weird 'only top two advance' -- ideally, to push a situation where the top two contenders are both Democrats.

But wait, the plot thickens!

There was a major push with outside money (coughSoroscoughBloomberg) to elect district attorneys with a strongly left political bent. This is why you have people like George Gascon and Chesa Boudin in those slots. They are absolutely dedicated progressives, as shown in their policy decisions.

The problem, though, is that those decisions are absolutely terrible. California passed a law (Proposition 47) that treats theft under $950 as a misdemeanor.  While it's not decriminalized, misdemeanors are barely worth the time to issue the ticket, so chances are the cops won't even show. This has resulted in stores becoming 'hardened' against theft (merchandise in locked cases), restricting hours, or simply closing up.

Laws against other acts (such as public indecency, trespassing, defecation/urination on the street, etc) have also been either reduced or decriminalized entirely. The unwillingness to enforce property law against homeless squatters doesn't help either.

oggsmash

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2021, 09:38:39 AM »
  I think calling boudin a progressive is perfuming and polishing a turd.  He is outright communist.

jhkim

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2021, 01:08:39 PM »
I've heard from people like "Nerdrotic" that in California- parts of it, anyway- that shoplifting has been decriminalized, human feces are in the streets with syringes, and roughly 50% of the small businesses- and a few large ones- are gone.

Is it really that bad now? If you live in California is this true?

Hi, GriswaldTerrastone. I've lived in California since 1998 - in my current town of Redwood City since 2000.

(1) As Ghostmaker said, shoplifting is generally a misdemeanor like assault or trespassing. As far as I know, it's true in nearly all states that shoplifting under X amount is a misdemeanor. (2) I'm sure that somewhere in the state there is human feces on the street, but I don't see it. I think I saw some once when I went past a vacant lot seven years ago. (3) I don't have up-to-date data, but I'm pretty sure that is completely wrong. In Sep 2020, the stats I saw were:


Source: https://www.yelpeconomicaverage.com/business-closures-update-sep-2020

So that's 19 closed out of 1000 or 1.9%, which is significantly higher than the 11 closed out of 1000 in Texas, say, but that's a lot different than 50%. That was last year. There has been recovery in the spring of 2021, though we are now facing trouble again. Yelp had an summer 2021 update that included some general other stats like increased consumer interest but didn't update the closure numbers. I've seen a few retail closures in my area, but it seems roughly like the 2% from the report.

In general, I like California but it's certainly a mixed bag. It has great natural beauty and a creative culture, but the housing prices are ridiculous. It's roughly average in the nation for crime stats, mediocre at best in K-12 education though the UC system is quite good.

Ghostmaker

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2021, 01:34:37 PM »
I've heard from people like "Nerdrotic" that in California- parts of it, anyway- that shoplifting has been decriminalized, human feces are in the streets with syringes, and roughly 50% of the small businesses- and a few large ones- are gone.

Is it really that bad now? If you live in California is this true?

Hi, GriswaldTerrastone. I've lived in California since 1998 - in my current town of Redwood City since 2000.

(1) As Ghostmaker said, shoplifting is generally a misdemeanor like assault or trespassing. As far as I know, it's true in nearly all states that shoplifting under X amount is a misdemeanor. (2) I'm sure that somewhere in the state there is human feces on the street, but I don't see it. I think I saw some once when I went past a vacant lot seven years ago. (3) I don't have up-to-date data, but I'm pretty sure that is completely wrong. In Sep 2020, the stats I saw were:


Source: https://www.yelpeconomicaverage.com/business-closures-update-sep-2020

So that's 19 closed out of 1000 or 1.9%, which is significantly higher than the 11 closed out of 1000 in Texas, say, but that's a lot different than 50%. That was last year. There has been recovery in the spring of 2021, though we are now facing trouble again. Yelp had an summer 2021 update that included some general other stats like increased consumer interest but didn't update the closure numbers. I've seen a few retail closures in my area, but it seems roughly like the 2% from the report.

In general, I like California but it's certainly a mixed bag. It has great natural beauty and a creative culture, but the housing prices are ridiculous. It's roughly average in the nation for crime stats, mediocre at best in K-12 education though the UC system is quite good.
I dunno about fifty percent, but having almost 40,000 business closures (both temporary and permanent) with over half of those being in LA and SF doesn't scream 'healthy economic environment' to me.

We're not dealing with just some poxy teenager shoplifting candy bars either. You had people walking into stores, shoveling merch into a bag, and walking out. And then the items got resold online -- pure profit for the thieves. https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-becerra-announces-arrests-and-charges-major-bay-area-theft-ring was ONE such ring.


Mistwell

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2021, 02:10:16 PM »
I've heard from people like "Nerdrotic" that in California- parts of it, anyway- that shoplifting has been decriminalized, human feces are in the streets with syringes, and roughly 50% of the small businesses- and a few large ones- are gone.

Is it really that bad now? If you live in California is this true?

I am in California.

1) Shoplifting is one I can speak to with some educated opinions as my first job was working security for a department store where we placed shoplifters under citizen arrest and then called the police to get them, and had to testify against them sometimes at trial. Yes, there are meaningful changes to the laws here concerning shoplifting. It is not entirely decriminalized however there are monetary limits on whether a shoplifting charge is a misdemeanor ("petty theft) or felony ("grand theft") and California has hiked the felony monetary limit up to make it much more difficult for a shoplifting charge to be a felony charge. It used to be a lower sum could get to a felony but now it's up to $950. However there remain civil penalties for shoplifting of any kind, and there are some grand theft charges still in place for special types of shoplifting like stealing a firearm, or shoplifting during a state of emergency like a riot or earthquake or such.

2) Homelessness: Yes, it's much worse than it was before. No, the streets are not in general littered with feces and syringes, but the places where this was always happened (like Skid Row) have expanded and there is certainly more of it and covering more square footage than before. Still, I can go for a walk with my kid safely and not encounter any feces or syringes in my neighborhood. But it's definitely a meaningfully larger problem than it was before. A lot of this is related to housing prices, but not all of it. Some of it also relates to more lax criminal laws and enforcement (if you release prisoners more, they often end up homeless) and poor mental health laws and investment (if you close mental health facilities and get rid of the ability to force someone into mental health treatment, you have more people with mental health problems on the streets.)

3) I run a small business here. It is harder to continue to operate, but it's frankly absurd to claim 50% of small businesses have gone away here. California is the land of the corner mini-mall. You cannot throw a rock without hitting a small business of some kind here. 99.8% of California businesses (3.8 million) are small businesses. 95.9% of California exporters are small businesses. 49.2% of California employees (6.8 million people) are employed by small businesses. Net job growth was strongest among businesses with less than 20 employees.  The California Government has been pretty decent for small businesses who are on the ball and know how to apply and has been providing grants and other relief during the pandemic to help small businesses survive.

jhkim

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2021, 02:23:43 PM »
I dunno about fifty percent, but having almost 40,000 business closures (both temporary and permanent) with over half of those being in LA and SF doesn't scream 'healthy economic environment' to me.

No, obviously it's not healthy, but the whole world is having a hard time. GriswaldTerrastone had some specific questions, and specifically asked about people living in California - so I tried to answer them. In general, California has some huge economic successes but also some huge economic struggles.


We're not dealing with just some poxy teenager shoplifting candy bars either. You had people walking into stores, shoveling merch into a bag, and walking out. And then the items got resold online -- pure profit for the thieves. https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-becerra-announces-arrests-and-charges-major-bay-area-theft-ring was ONE such ring.

We have both poxy teenagers shoplifting and mass shoplifting rings. The same is true in other states. Here's some examples from different states including CA:

https://tampa.cbslocal.com/2020/12/20/7-arrested-in-florida-retail-theft-ring-costing-retailers-nearly-85k-3/

https://www.texomashomepage.com/news/local-news/man-sentenced-for-role-in-walmart-theft-ring/

https://www.ocregister.com/2021/04/01/authorities-break-up-southern-california-grocery-theft-ring-2-men-arrested/

oggsmash

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2021, 02:40:57 PM »
    Hey, as long as we do not hit those 90's crime levels of homicide we are all good to go, amirite?

Shasarak

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2021, 08:50:51 PM »
I am not from California but there is a chance for redemption:

There will be poor always,
pathetically struggling,
look at the good things you've got! -  Jesus

Trond

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2021, 08:56:04 PM »
I live in the greater LA area. We have a growing homelessness problem for sure, but the feces on the street thing is mostly in parts of San Francisco and maybe worst parts of LA (I saw one person pooping on the street in Santa Monica). In some areas they are running into such issues more and more and there is real anger against Gavin Newsom. But I wouldn't exaggerate it either; many parts of California are still gorgeous, particularly the natural parks if you ask me (the cities are a bit over-hyped), at least the part of the wilderness that isn't burning. Thankfully, many species here have fire adaptations (giant sequoias for instance). Just a little biologist note there.

oggsmash

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2021, 09:08:43 PM »
I live in the greater LA area. We have a growing homelessness problem for sure, but the feces on the street thing is mostly in parts of San Francisco and maybe worst parts of LA (I saw one person pooping on the street in Santa Monica). In some areas they are running into such issues more and more and there is real anger against Gavin Newsom. But I wouldn't exaggerate it either; many parts of California are still gorgeous, particularly the natural parks if you ask me (the cities are a bit over-hyped), at least the part of the wilderness that isn't burning. Thankfully, many species here have fire adaptations (giant sequoias for instance). Just a little biologist note there.

  When I visited, I only really got to look around Lake Tahoe (which I guess is Cali and Nevada) and it is beautiful there, no question. 

Mistwell

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2021, 09:50:36 PM »
I am not from California but there is a chance for redemption:


I am a big supporter of the recall (got some signatures for it) and the recall of DA Gascon (got some signatures for it and hope to get many more).

It's pretty funny seeing all these supposed pro-democracy pro-voter people trying to argue you shouldn't vote in the second question of the recall and calling recalls a huge waste of time.

Ghostmaker

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2021, 10:36:58 PM »
"Larry Elder is the black face of white supremacy."

Translation: don't let that free man lure more slaves off the plantation.

Yeah, I went there.

Trond

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2021, 09:36:34 AM »
"Larry Elder is the black face of white supremacy."

Translation: don't let that free man lure more slaves off the plantation.

Yeah, I went there.

The LA Times article you quote almost went there on its own:

“Like a lot of Black people, though, I've learned that it's often best just to ignore people like Elder. People who are — as my dad used to say — skin folk, but not necessarily kin folk.”

Ghostmaker

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Re: Any Californians here?
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2021, 08:31:17 AM »
"Larry Elder is the black face of white supremacy."

Translation: don't let that free man lure more slaves off the plantation.

Yeah, I went there.

The LA Times article you quote almost went there on its own:

“Like a lot of Black people, though, I've learned that it's often best just to ignore people like Elder. People who are — as my dad used to say — skin folk, but not necessarily kin folk.”
'How dare you yearn to breathe free, bigot!'

Jesus. These people have no self-reflection at all.