Where American Went Wrong

Portfolio Armor's Photo
by Portfolio Armor
Sunday, Jul 23, 2023 - 19:45
Fired Lowe's worker and the thieves she tried to stop.
Fired Lowe's worker and the thieves she tried to stop.

America Is On The Wrong Track

Two thirds of Americans polled say their country is on the wrong track. 

In a nutshell, this New York Post story shows why they're right. 

The tweet above contains one inaccuracy, the "alleged" thieves weren't all male--one was a woman, and it's the woman thief who gave the elderly Lowe's employee a black eye. Via the NY Post

A Georgia Lowe’s employee attempted to stop shoplifters making off with $2,100 amount of merchandise, leaving her unemployed and with a black eye.

Donna Hansbrough, 68, saw three people loading up a shopping cart at a store in Rincon, about 30 minutes north of Savannah, and then leave without stopping to pay, police said.

The veteran employee then grabbed onto the cart allegedly being pushed by Takyah Berry — who slugged the older woman in the face three times, according to authorities.

Berry, who was with her uncle, Joseph Berry and another man police identified as Jarmar Lawton, then made off with the goods, the Rincon Police Department said in a news release.

Hansbrough was then canned from her job of 13 years for violating company policy by interfering with the crooks, according to a report.

“They say that if you see somebody stealing something out the door, not to pursue, not to go out. I lost it,” Hansbrough told the Effingham Herald.

“I grabbed the cart. I don’t actually remember going out but I did. And I grabbed the cart that had the stolen items in [it].”

The former store employee said she became overwhelmed by instinct, but never thought her employer would let her go.

“I didn’t expect to get terminated,’ she told the Herald.

“Maybe a reprimand or a suspension.

“I just got tired of seeing things get out the door. I just, I lost it. I basically lost all the training. Everything they tell you to do, I just…I just lost it.”

Hansbrough is currently looking for a new job.

A Number Of American Ills In One Story

Think about how many American ills are encapsulated in that brief news item: 

  • Juvenile shoplifters would be bad enough, but here we have two generations of thieves working together, a woman and her uncle. 
  • That the thieves had no compunction against openly stealing thousands of dollars of merchandise illustrates how undeterred our criminal class is today. 
  • That a 68 year old woman needs to work in a hardware store exemplifies Americans' economic insecurity. 
  • That the hardware store wasn't a local one with roots in the community, but an outpost of a $136 billion market cap company comprising a duopoly in its industry. 
  • That the company fired its employee for trying to prevent thieves from stealing from it. 

Donna Hansbrough was born in an America where there was a social contract: workers were loyal to their employers and that loyalty was reciprocated. Thieves didn't shamelessly rob stores in broad daylight thinking they could get away with it. 

That social contract has been shredded. 

The Dogs Bark And The Caravan Moves On

As individuals, we can't do much about corporations that treat their loyal workers like crap, but as investors, we can try to make money betting on companies doing well now and betting against ones that aren't. We had gains ranging from 54% to 136% on the trades we entered last week (three out of four of which were bearish): 

  1. Call spread on Morgan Stanley (MS -0.77%↓). Entered at a net debit of $0.72 on July 17th. Exited at a net credit of $1.35 on July 18thProfit: 88%.

  2. Put spread on Netflix (NFLX -3.09%↓). Entered at a net debit of $2.45 on July 19th. Exited at a net credit of $4.50 on July 20thProfit: 84%

  3. Put spread on Tesla (TSLA -2.79%↓). Entered at a net debit of $1.20 on July 18th. Exited at a net credit of $1.85 on July 20thProfit: 54%.

  4. Put spread on Discover Financial Services (DFS 3.15%↑). Entered at a net debit of $0.38 on July 18th. Exited at a net credit of $0.90 on July 20thProfit: 136%.

If you want a heads up when we enter our next trade, feel free to subscribe to our trading Substack/occasional email list below. 


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