Guest Post: More Than 30 Blocks Of Grey & Decay

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

More Than 30 Blocks Of Grey & Decay

It happened again yesterday morning. There was an accident on the Schuykill Expressway so I had the pleasure of navigating through the 30 Blocks of Squalor, again. After having made at least 25 posts about the 30 Blocks of Squalor over the years, I keep thinking I’ve run out of things to say. But it seems to be a never ending treasure trove of insights about our society and the people who live in this country. It was a particularly grey day in Philadelphia with a dreary overcast and intermittent rain. It seemed fitting for this trek through the slowly decaying landscape leading to my workplace in West Philly. I’ve talked previously about the stretch of highway leading to the 30 Blocks of Squalor. It’s called West Chester Pike (Route 3) and it cuts through Delaware County where I grew up. It cuts through Havertown, Haverford, Drexel Hill, and Upper Darby and eventually spits you out at 69th Street, where I’ve previously detailed the flash mob of savages rampaging through the Sears stealing everything in sight (all caught on surveillance cameras to be shown on a future reality TV show). In a shocking turn of events, Sears decided to later close this retail establishment.

The 30 minute excursion along West Chester Pike and then the 30 Blocks of Squalor (Chestnut St from 69th St to 39th St) is like traveling through Dante’s nine circles of hell. Every mile leads you deeper and deeper into the abyss. My observations along this route are of a country in a slow methodical steady decline that has been underway for decades and shows no signs of abating.

The neighborhoods and towns along West Chester Pike were occupied by the rising middle class during the 1950?s, 60?s and 70?s. These towns were where blue collar middle class families built a life and raised their families. The fathers worked in factories, refineries, schools, power plants and thousands of other productive enterprises. Americans made stuff back then. Most wives stayed home and raised the three or four children in the small brick row homes or small detached singles that dotted the landscape. These neighborhoods were entirely white and most were church going. Most of the adults had not graduated college, but they were still able to move up the economic ladder through hard work, saving, and living within their means. Their children were guaranteed an even better life if they studied hard, went to college, and got an office job as an accountant, engineer, marketing executive, or in some other promising profession.

This progression began to transform into regression in the 1980s and the slow steady descent has picked up speed. There is now a grey pallor that seems to engulf this once thriving corridor. The houses that were built in the 1950s and 1960s and kept up by middle class families that took pride in their neighborhoods have been deteriorating for years. The homes are in disrepair. The bricks have grown dingy from years of pollution buildup and lack of power washing. Porches and awnings are sagging. The woodwork hasn’t seen a paint brush since the 1970s. Trash is strewn in the streets. Gardens are no longer tended to. Lawns are overgrown with weeds. The inhabitants of these neighborhoods either don’t care or don’t have the financial wherewithal to maintain their homes. On the current trajectory, these once proud neighborhoods will eventually resemble the 30 Blocks of Squalor.

I believe a country and a community will have a lot of what it values most. Our country has a lot of debt, a lot of vehicles, a lot of bombs, a lot of psychotic criminals running our economic and political systems and a lot of willfully ignorant drones – disguised as citizens. As I drove along West Chester Pike I tried to observe what it is we value today. This route is inundated with automobile repair shops, gas stations and auto dealerships. We cannot live without our cars. I can say without a doubt that I saw not one manufacturing facility along this entire route, but if you want your Japanese car fixed, detailed, or waxed, you’ve hit the jackpot.

We value our cars, purchased with debt or leased, but the roads are crumbling, filled with potholes, traffic lights aren’t timed, and the small towns are too bankrupt to do anything about it. The second most important thing to the zombies that inhabit this wasteland is mass quantities of food. You’ve got donut shops, fast food joints, pizza places, Chinese restaurants, Irish pubs every two blocks, and coffee houses on a mind numbing scale. It is easy to see why we’re the most obese people on earth. There are no farmers markets, produce stands, or even grocery stores. But there are at least six beer distributors. And of course there is one L.A. Fitness Center for the ten people out of ten thousand who want to keep in shape. I expect to see a Space Available sign in front of this place in the not too distant future.

Besides the general decay of the commercial properties, you can’t miss the fact that every block has at least one vacant commercial property. There are far more For Sale, Space Available, For Rent, and Leasing signs dotting the barren wasteland than there are wedding rings on fingers in West Philly. The vacant buildings are antiquated relics from the 1960s. It’s as if time stopped at the end of the 1970s and no one has invested a dime in this stretch of highway in 30 years. It’s like “The Land that Time Forgot”.

The only new buildings along this stretch of highway further emphasize what is seemingly important to our society. There are numerous architecturally grand bank branches dominating this highway. There is a beautiful new building housing the Social Security Administration for this area. This is where the obese, depressed and unemployable flock to sign up for the SSDI gravy train. And lastly there are a few medical facilities that are top notch. It seems that banks, government and medicine are doing just fine. But what do they produce?

I think this is a reflection of why this area has deteriorated over time. Industries that made things left this area and left this country. Small businesses were overwhelmed by mega-corporations who cared only about next quarter earnings. They met these earnings targets, set by Wall Street, by shipping the good paying blue collar jobs that supported these communities overseas. The middle class families living here saw their wages stagnate or decline. Wives were forced into the workforce to just keep their households afloat financially. The family unit suffered, with children raised by strangers or left to fend for themselves.

This is where the Wall Street maggots stepped in and sold these middle class families on the illusion of faux wealth built on a pyramid of credit card debt, auto loans, and mortgage debt. Who got wealthy? Not the families living in these fading neighborhoods. The bankers got rich and continue to flaunt their wealth by paying themselves obscene levels of compensation, buying off politicians, gutting our economy and opening fancy new outlets. An economy built upon manufacturing, production, and value added work results in rising wages and a thriving community. An economy built upon debt attracts consumer consumption outlets that add no value and result in declining wages, government dependency and a dying community.

These once thriving communities have rapidly aged. As the jobs and wages dried up, these communities have become dependent on the government to provide. Social Security payments are now a primary income source for many. The government controlled healthcare industry is thriving as Medicare and Medicaid pay for an increasing proportion of the care in these neighborhoods. After decades of pretending that debt could replace wages and savings, these communities are collapsing due to lack of income, decent paying jobs, capital investment, and common sense. West Chester Pike is well on its way to becoming a future 30 Blocks of Squalor.

Once you pass through the 69th Street death camp which resembles a scene from Night of the Living Dead, you spill out onto the 30 Blocks of Squalor.

This is where the circle of hell began. The rotting carcasses that pass for homes on this stretch of squalor were once occupied by the white families that moved to Delaware County along West Chester Pike in the 1950s and 1960s. It is now 90% black and 10% Hispanic. The real unemployment rate exceeds 50%, murder is the number one industry, with drugs a close second.

As you drive down the 30 Blocks of Squalor you meet the ghost of Squalor future for West Chester Pike. The population along this corridor is ignorant, dependent, and represents the dregs of our society. There is virtually no legal commerce along the squalor. The Asians, Koreans, and whites that attempted to open stores have all been shot down in cold blood. The once proud homes are in shambles. Bags of garbage dot the landscape. Most of the people who live here are parasites on society. Personal responsibility, work ethic, education and marriage are unknown concepts in this community. Even though more than 50% of the students in West Philly drop out of high school and the SAT scores of West Philly High students are lower than whale shit, the bankrupt school district spent $70 million to build a new high school/prison to babysit derelicts and future prison inmates. The windows do not have steel bars yet, as the architect was smart to put all windows at least eight feet above street level.

The Chestnut Plaza truly represents what is important to this community. This Squalor Center, as opposed to Power Center, includes a video porn store, cash checking/payday loan outlet, smoke shop, donut shop, Laundromat, and liquor store. No need for a wedding ring store or resume writing service. Evidently this community values gorging themselves on fast food, getting high, getting drunk, jerking off to porno, and then having their sheets washed. They wouldn’t want to invest a few hundred dollars of their welfare payments on a washer and dryer, when they can spend it on the Direct TV NBA package. They utilize their 8th grade level education to get payday loans from the check cashing store at 40% interest.

Our entire society is in a downward social and economic spiral. We are just at different levels of decay (Dante’s circles of hell). At the current pace it won’t be long before I’m writing about the 50 States of Squalor. It is virtually impossible to reverse a decline that has been underway for the last three decades. We sold our souls to Wall Street and chose a debt financed illusion of wealth over productive savings and investment which would have led to real wealth. Our choices are reflected in the continued deterioration and decay along West Chester Pike and the squalor that is West Philly. Grey and decay will carry the day.

The words on the Statue of Liberty should be revised from,  ”Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”, to “we have become your indebted, materialistic, obese, aging masses yearning for the government to protect and sustain us as our once great nation decays.”

As a nation, we have chosen this path. We made the choices and now we will suffer the consequences.

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MacGruber's picture

The dude lives in Philly. I'd be pretty morose about our future too if I lived in that filthy armpit. Philly is like NYC without any of the good parts.

Joe The Plumber's picture

So what does him living in a white or asian neighborhood have anything to do with his thesis of decline?

The Big Ching-aso's picture



WTF. Well it might take some genius analysis but I'm gathering that by the 1st pic alone.......uh, well, uh, well, uh, ya know.

Joe The Plumber's picture

I guess by that same reasoning if you discuss crime or fried chicken and show a picture of a black then you are promoting stereotypes

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Give this man a grape-flavor cigar.

fourchan's picture

every horrible black place was once a thriving white place soooo...

Calmyourself's picture

Rhodesia - Zimbabwe

Breadbasket of Africa - Shithole... 

AnAnonymous's picture

Rhodesia has never been a bread basket.

That country was on international food aid plan.

It tells.

Hugh_Jorgan's picture

Incorrect sir, up until their independence from England, Rhodesia was a successful farming state that they fed the 5 countries that border it.

AnAnonymous's picture

What are you speaking about?

Rhodesia existed after the declaration of independence.

If not, that is southern rodhesia and it encompassed more land than Rhodesia.

As to feeding the five countries around, well, you mean those countries that went through endemic starvation period right from the nineteenth century to the end of the 20th century?

Or you meant that it fed specific populations in those countries?

Lets be enlightened by the miracle of US citizenism.

nmewn's picture

I'm sorry, I missed the part about US citizenism having anything to do with a former British colony...

The trend is your friend's picture

Nature has a funny way of alleviating excess.  mankind's hubris is that we feel we can control everthing.  In time we will be proven wrong.  Those with insight and adaptabilty will survive. 

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Shit.   Did you read the phuckin' article? 

Ok. I think he's maybe hinting at just some of it here...........................I mean I don't know.

"It is now 90% black and 10% Hispanic".................


Joe The Plumber's picture

So u think he is saying it is all the fault of them stinkin minorities, or perhaps he is discussing something larger?

It seems to me this is a government policy issue and people in the lower classes regardless of race will respond to consequences. The problem is that the good and bad consequences are all jumbled up in a big ball of moral hazard. I dont see it as a race issue but a socioeconomic issue. Poor white trash respond the same way to perverse incentives

Joe The Plumber's picture

Maybe I am dense so help me understand

Or maybe you see things that arent there. I am seriously interested in why you think he is making a racist point out of americas decline

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Look.  I don't think he's necessarily making a black and white racist point.  I do think however that he is making a point that defacto does involve races.


JOYFUL's picture

yur both right...

man did what any good journalist used to do....made a few factual observations, put them together with a theme of decline, left it to the reader to determine the degree to which the facts fit the message. Best damn post I've read here in months, an just when I thought we'd hit rock bottom!

Here's what got left out...

all those white middle class neighborhoods were the nesting ground of the Merikan WW2 veteran...who fought, survived, then came home welcomed as heroes, eager to get on with life, and make something of themselves.

They did just that.

Then a different generation of boys went to the southeast Asia theatre and fought a different kind of war...when they came home they were shunned, spit upon, and given the finger by the cool Abby Hoffman\Bill Ayres type dudes who'd stayed home and fucked their girlfriends whilst they were busy trying to stay away from bungee sticks.

This has nothing much to do with who lives in what neighborhood, and everything to do with what happened when those boys realized what the dirty lowdown really was all about, and jus gave up on the country that gave up on it did to the next batch sent into the ME to be physically and mentally poisoned on behalf of the same usurping money power planning the next terror event to enlist Merikan boys into as we speak...

Philly, home to John Coltrane, and other great Amerikans, black n white, who left to themselves, would have carried everybody else uptown with them, such was their spirit of hard work and genius.

 get up off yur knees Merikans, and refuse to serve the usurpers any longer. [Rise ft. Ursula Rucker & Roy Ayer]

Cathartes Aura's picture

so, and please correct me if I'm wrong here, what appears to be happening is a dis-illusion-ment with the "amrkn dream" - which was sold to those generations of boys to make killing families in "other nations" easier - and now amrkns have "given up" dreaming and are waking up to a reality of sorts?

and the boys left "back home" to protest the wars (and fuck) - are they the "bad guys" for not wanting to fight for the military machine?  or the "good guys" for pointing out some facts that many here are still trying to connect to reality?  it's kinda messy, I'm just trying to see where the line is being drawn.

I mean, the OP is pretty clear who's on the "bad side" in his post, lots of descriptives, including the new ever popular meme "obese" - who can we blame this mess on tho'?  who's fault is it that amrkns woke up from their dreaming?

"The American Dream - you have to be asleep to believe it"

                            ~ George Carlin

JOYFUL's picture

I read yur comments here, yor pretty tuned in, so it's hard not to believe that either yur spoofing me, or a victim of name-jacking, ala slewiethepirat...

this is 2012...we've had like, 20\30 years to deconstruct the sionist project to convince Merikans that everything their society stood for was 'bad', and to give away everything their forebears worked so hard to provide them the benefit of a bunch of cabbalist moneychangers who now own the former Republic, and everybody who lives inside it...

sneering at the Merikan Dream is just a trained monkey trick that ingenues learned to do as part of their indoctrination by the Frankfurt School designed 'general education' package...moral, ethical, physical decay by design,

well, yáll bought it, now yu own it....

Cathartes Aura's picture

no name-jack here, and I think I'm staying pretty true to my perspectives. . .

I guess I'm asking just what this "Merikan Dream" really is, when was it dreamt up, and by whom? 

lots of differing opinions to those questions, and I'm clear in my own answers - I don't believe it has ever served any other purpose than to keep people asleep, dreamin' on - while the real work is being done - elsewhere, and by others.

I've looked at the history-stories, and remain unimpressed.   I buy nothing.

JOYFUL's picture

Couple of things occurred to me in the course of thinkin about this.

For the sake of staying consistent with yur previous comment, I will simply say that Nam, all the actions subsequent, an prolly Korea before it, were fought by Merikan boys on behalf of 'foreign powers'...there's no use beating round the bush, yes I mean the usurpers of Palestine, the moneychangers who now own most of Europe, what's left of Merika, and the greater part of the rest of the 'developed world.' 

Because I consistently make a distinction between the Sabbatean\Frankists who work the "jewish" angle to their great advantage, and the 'hebraics' themselves doesn't really matter in this case...those Merikan citizens who identified themselves as jews in the 60's an 70's were the main players in a massive seizure of power - from the inheritors of the Europoid\Atlantean mainstream populace who found themselves[briefly] livin free in "the New World" to the racially hegemonistic sionist power which kept their agents outta the line of fire in all these wars, and firmly entrenched in places of power...

where we are today. Which,as this thread most revealingly demonstrates, is a populace easily led into false divisions between themselves, and all the possibilties of healing inherent to the natural order of things rendered void...just as the moneychangers want it.

Now, the new proprietors of yur unhappy home are the same ones what stayed outta the line of fire...and where I have to get close to including yu with the ingenues I referred to previously is when it appears that yu don't realize that the Ayres\Dorns and their puppet presidents have stayed tru to their vision as well - they used[and use] the word liquidation in a sense that Merikans need to seriously wake up to realizing is not about getting rid of overinventory of widescreen TVs....these people are[were] the PolPots of the western hemisphere, an yu big hea rted liberal types are gonna be on their list jus after the rest of us...till the streets run red.

just what this "Merikan Dream" really is, when was it dreamt up, and by whom? 

Damned if I know - I left any semblance of it behind 5 years back, in order to pursue something quintessential to the "Merikan Spirit"...I am not even American, but I grew up watching Rawhide, and then the movies Clint put out under his own banner...and I knew, from 5 years old...get a horse, learn to ride it, maintain yur pride of person, though sometime hide it, look after those weaker than yurself, who through no fault of their own have had less luck shine upon them...always travel light, and be ready to hold yur own when the bullies come knockin...

that's the whole I learned it all watchin American television...that weren't no dream, that was a vision! [Gino Vanelli - Brother to Brother]

Cathartes Aura's picture

you've got a lot of storyline in there, and I probably agree to a lot of the labels you apply, but in the end we'll part ways at the amrkn dream stuffs - I don't believe it ever existed as anything more than an actual dream - in that some people were "living the dream" as portrayed, and others "aspired to the dream" perhaps not finding it, etc.

but the dream itself, was just the carrot dangling to get people to aspire - that's the amrkn dream, aspire to have more than others, and stay asleep to what the gov & military is riding roughshod over globally - amrkn exceptionalism means "never having to say you're sorry" because gawd says you're the chosen ones and other peoples are less than you, so invading and killing them, well, god's work & all.

amrkns have had the luxury of being the ones "chosen" by those who pull the strings, "chosen" as live-stock to be treated to greener pastures, better foodstuffs, fattened & penned, grown up as taxed labourers - they believe themselves (not everyone, this is a wide generalisation of the character, not the individuals) to be special, and maybe they were, for a short time, in that they got "special" treatment. higher wages than global counterparts = more taxes farmed from them for the overlords.  ^^

that time is coming to a close.  the abattoir is on the horizon, the nationstate fences are being dismantled, the "farmers" have moved on to their other global livestock.  your last paragraph resonates with me - just maintain your own reality, help those who could use that help, travel light.

but I suspect you'll find people in every culture, worldwide, who know these values, even if they've never watched amrkn TV, nor worn the "white hat" - they are not amrkn values, but human ones.


sgt_doom's picture

No way dood, all those minorities at JP Morgan Chase, who created the credit default swap, the B.I.S.T.R.O., and later those carbon derivatives and q-Forwards, etc., ad infinitum --- definitely responsible for everything.

Damnation, if only all those Indians at Bangalore, who created the entire digital electronics field and computer science field, lived in that 'hood -- things be entirely different, my man!


Waffen's picture

minorities indeed, jews make up only about 2.4% of the population

Kobe Beef's picture

There's big money in slavery. Always has been. It really pays well to be a plantation master in the Racial Patronage Machine.

Floordawg's picture

You've obviously never lived in Oakland, CA or a similar urban area. Why don't you try it out for a year or so, you might gain a better perspective on reality.

machinegear's picture

Oakland? Just try Des Moines. Iowa is 99% white and the ONE PERCENT still organizes itself in destructive ways. Hello "beat whitey night" 2010!

Yes kids, reality says race is a factor from Oakland to PA to IA.

Vlad Tepid's picture

I have a buddy who teaches middle school in Sacramento.  There are a lot of minorities, but there are also alot of Russian immigrants.

One day, a student of his, a Russian girl who'd been in the States for a year and a half, comes into the class all ruffled up.  She'd been jumped in the halls.  She asked him, "Mr. #####, what is 'cracker ass bitch?'"  When he told me this (he was pretty shaken up), I took one look at my little girl and started packing my bags...moved out of the country and I will never go back. 

How do you fight this kind of decay, Mr & Mrs. Standmyground?  Shoot ALL of them?  I don't NEED to defend my quality of life at pistolpoint - my forefathers already did that.  It makes me puke as a former Californian.  The list of cities goes on and on:  Oakland, San Jose, Stockton, Fresno, Sacramento, Bakersfield, Modesto, Hayward.  Shitholes all by now...

Iwanttoknow's picture

JTP,I apologize.I made a harsh and inaccurate judegement about you.

johnQpublic's picture

on phone with real estate agent:

     "yes, i'm looking to buy a home in a wealthy upscale all black neighborhood"



common theme here is....

ahh, yes, how to quantify the problem absent rascist sounding dialogue


had the pleasure of an oil change for my vehicle this morning in that vicinity ,during which time i had an interesting conversation with an 80 year old black man. 49 year permit holder. told me of the 4 times he has had to use his 1911 there(in west philly where he lives). has had to defend himself 4 times. shot three people and 3 dogs(pitbulls). had scars to lend credibility to his story. he is voting ron paul. and you know what, he brought up race a fair number of times. he did not appear to be a fan of darker skin folk dependant on ol' uncle sugar. he saw the very existence of welfare as THE precursor to the problem.

Cathartes Aura's picture

so, hmm, let me think for a sec. . . so this "80 year old black man" is saying the amrkn state sponsored program called "welfare" has played a huge part in shaping the communities who use it? 

this "welfare" program - would be interesting to hear investigative reporter Gary Webb's opinion on this, shame he was suicided.

Kobe Beef's picture

“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

--Lyndon Baines Johnson

Voila. The Racial Patronage Machine.

Randall Cabot's picture

The author must work in the University of Pennsylvania area, that's where his trip ended thankfully because if he kept driving a few more blocks and made one left turn he could have driven through North Philly, which is actually worse than West Philly, and 80 more blocks of squalor.

He is right about West Philly and the suburbs of Delaware County which are nearest Philadelphia and the decline of factories and jobs there but he is wrong to imply that this is something relatively new-middle class people have been moving further away from the cities since the end of WWII: first they moved from the older city areas to the newer city areas, then they moved to the closest suburbs and then they moved  even further out and now even into the next counties! Check out Chester County, it borders Delaware County to the west, that much further out from West Philly-its population has increased fivefold since 1980s, a half million now, and drive along Route 202 and you will see where many of them are employed. Same thing in Montgomery County to the north of West Philly-ever hear of King of Prussia?

The point is Philadelphis is a cesspit and that cesspit is seeping into the nearest and oldest suburbs and Mr Quinn does have the bad fortune to ocassionally have to get off the Expressway and drive through it to get to work, and more people than ever are getting swallowed up in it because of the general decline of our culture and economy, but the trend is really nothing new.

TrumpXVI's picture


I haven't taken that drive in many years; too depressing.

The author's drive ends up right about at the U of Penn School of Veterinary Medicine.  

I live in Chester County and commute into center city Philly every work day.  And I'm familiar w/the Penn campus, more or less.

Chester County is a very affluent county and it's bond issues are still very well rated.  It's a completely different world from the rot in the neighborhoods of inner city Philly.

But I had an interesting conversation w/my friendly banker the other week.  Retail consumer loan volume in this southern Chester County branch has tanked from like, 2.5 million per month down to a fraction of that. Southern Chester County is still all nice and shiny, but who knows for how much longer?

beardeus's picture

America as it was originally founded wasn't a failed experiment at all. In fact it was a once in a 6,000 year glorious event and should be cherished more than our blood.



Hippocratic Oaf's picture

The inhabitants of these neighborhoods either don’t care or don’t have the financial wherewithal to maintain their homes


Um.....I'd say don't care?!?!?! Why would they. The 'system' has 'em trained.

Joe The Plumber's picture

If u dont own it and there are no consequences for failure to maintain then the rational person puts his efforts elsewhere

Why be a chump?

BlueCollaredOne's picture

I love the $65,000, 13 mpg Lincoln Navigator with 8,000$ chrome 20's parked illegally outside the check cashing place. 

Pretty much sums up why a lot of "them" are in the financial shape they are in.  I'll continue banking with a credit union that doesn't charge me fee's, and being happy with my civic. 

1C3-N1N3's picture

My first instinct was that the Nav's owner bought said vehicle with the proceeds from cashing altered checks.

The Alarmist's picture

Yo, you dissin me, fool? That's my check-cashing store, and that's my parking space!

machinegear's picture

(We might get the other side of the story for the Lincoln if we translate your post.)

Yo ah love da $65,000, 13 mpg Lincoln Navigator wif 8,000$ chrome 20's parked illegally outside da check cashing place. fine ass much sums up why uh lot o' "dem" is in da financial shape dey is in. ah'll continue banking wif uh credit union dat don' charge me fee's, an' being happy wif muh motha fuckin civic an don't make me pull mah gat!

jus_lite_reading's picture

And now Obummer wants YOU to pay more for electricity!!

HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!


Hugh_Jorgan's picture

He said it on the campaign trail but, surprise! the media failed to cover it:

FlyoverCountrySchmuck's picture


How dare they trim the number of available retail outlets to rob in this neighborhood! Don't they know that wealth redistribution is a CIVIL RIGHT of politically-correct people's that vote Democrat?

duo's picture

A month ago I was returning some stuff at Home Depot (with a receipt) and a hispanic woman in front of me with a Wal-mart bag returned $275 worth of disparate items. Plumbing, electrical, a few router bits, some tape, all stuff easily pocketable.  She took her $275 gift card and left.  I told the clerk that all that stuff was stolen and she said "I know, but we can't accuse them of that or I'll lose my job".  She said that they give out $1000 a day on average this way.  One time she took back $1900 worth of power tools (big pockets I guess) no questions asked.  She even has watched people walk out the entrance with stuff but was told by corporate to do nothing. 

It is welfare.  I'm sure HD gets a tax break for returning stolen items no questions asked.

I should have followed her out the store and bought that gift card for $100, no questions asked. 

BlueCollaredOne's picture

You are entirely correct. 

The going rate on a jobsite for a HD giftcard is right around 40%.  All HD does is just raise the prices to make up for shrink, so this is just another way how the average joe is getting fucked. 

On a somewhat related story, back in high school I worked at best buy.  We had a code that when given over the loudspeaker would mean that everyone was to come up to the front because a shoplifter was about to try to escape.  The guy broke through the line, so a few of us chased him down.  We caught and held him down until the cops arrived only to be told by the cop's that we could be charged for assualt, and to "get the fuck back to work"  We also all had to attend a meeting with some HR corporate pencilneck to discuss how what we did is wrong. 

I blame the lawyers.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

A few years back at one of our local stores an employee and security guard noticed a shoplifter leaving the store. They followed him out and confronted him in the parking lot. He shot the security guard in the chest. My neighbor who's a nurse heard the shot and ran to the guard on the ground and tried to give him aid. Other people ran to help and was wressling with the asshole to get the gun away from him. My neighbor looked up and saw him bring the gun to the employee's head and pull the trigger. Luckily the gun jammed and he was subdued by the crowd. The security guard died in my neighbors arms. The sad thing was he had just returned from Iraq and had a 5 month old baby. The other employee had a mental break down and the store was going to fire him for abandoning his job. My neighbor had to testify for him as a nurse that when someone hold a gun to your temple and doesn't go off, it's going to take a while to get over it. At least our community really rallied around all involved. If not, the tweaker shit bag my have gotten off. He killed someone for $30.

After going through the horror of this, I guess it would have been better to the the guy go. There's just no justice in this country anymore, the thugs are in charge now, banksters on the top and the druggies on the lower end.