Immigration, Stealing IP, Stealing Tampons, The Trumpization of Biden

The poor and huddled masses of Central America are now being joined by middle-class migrants crossing the border. Well, not quite “joined”. The new illegal border crossers fly to a Mexican border town such as Algodones, grab a cab to the U.S. border, walk across that border, surrender to a border agent, are released, and then hop pre-booked flights to various American cities where they will spend the years until their applications for asylum are heard, or forever if they choose not to show up for their hearing.

Arts institutions in America, among them the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the Boston Symphony Orchestra are scrambling to find replacements for talented classical artists who cannot obtain visas to enter the U.S. because of a backlog of applications at American embassies and consulates. A British chamber music orchestra that has visited America was forced to cancel its planned tour. Heavy instruments make wading across the border infeasible except for baton-wielding conductors, but they do need musicians to conduct.

The intellectual property stolen by China is valued at between $225 billion and $600 billion per year.. Many of the 1,000 IP theft cases opened by the FBI involve individuals and companies associated with the People’s Republican of China.

The PRC agreed in the trade deal it negotiated with the U.S./Trump in January 2020 to make it easier for foreign companies to file IP-theft complaints with the Chinese government, and increased financial penalties for violations.

Courts in the PRC are granting so-called “anti-suit injunctions” that prevent foreign companies from protecting their IP from theft by Chinese companies. These suits prevent foreign companies from suing Chinese companies anywhere in the world. The Chinese embassy did not respond to WSJ requests for comment.

There was time when shop-lifting was confined to the surreptitious grab of a small item. Or two. No longer. We now have supply chains that run from the shelves of CVS and Walgreen pharmacies, into large plastic bags that are the chosen transport vehicles for the products headed for sale or use. The chains’ operations remain unaffected by multiple arrests of the inventors of this business model.

In New York City, one such young entrepreneur, Isaac Rodriguez, age 22, was arrested for shoplifting 46 times this year alone – there are several priors – but he managed the uninterrupted functioning of his supply chain as he is often back on the streets on the same day he is arrested. So reports the NY Post.

Occasionally, sweeps of a store involuntarily supplying the chain leave its shelves bare, forcing the store to abandon operations in favor of more secure locations, as 22 Walgreens stores have done in San Francisco in recent years. But there are no significant barriers to uninvited entry into new supply sources, which are easily accessible since security personnel are instructed not to interfere with these operations lest the looters become violently cross.

Items favored by the enterprise include toothpaste, tampons, razor blades, protein drinks and body lotions. There is no record that the much-arrested Mr. Rodriguez or others plying his trade are interested in heisting bread, despite Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s insistence that “record unemployment … [and] economic desperation” make people “need to feed their child and they don’t have the money to do so, and feel they either have to shoplift some bread or go hungry.”

It is not known whether the Harvard Business School is planning to make these supply chains a case study.

Meanwhile, the next generation of entrepreneurs-sans-conséquences is taking shape. Many children see the reopening of their schools as opportunities to acquire zero-cost soap dispensers, bathroom mirrors, paper towel holders, fire alarms, ceiling tiles, hand railings, toilets and even a teacher’s desk according to the NYT. And then reveal their exploits on TikTok, which some 100,000 have done in the past month according to the NYT.

The newspaper of record sees the formation of these new supply chains as perhaps due to “what teenagers are feeling about the disruptions and powerlessness of their lives”, the usual predicate to a compassionate response. The principal of one school calls the thefts “inappropriate behavior”, another is billing the parents, “It’s not monetary. It’s the principle of the matter.”

During the 2020 election campaign Biden promised that on Day One he would end Trump’s “inhumane” “Remain in Mexico” policy which returned illegal border-crossers to Mexico to await adjudication of their asylum claim. It forced 69,000 people to “sit in squalor on the other side of the river.”

As President, Biden proudly claims, “They’re coming because they know Biden is a good guy. … I make no apologies for ending programs … that have an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as on human dignity.” March 25, 2021

The Biden administration plans to reinstitute the “Remain in Mexico” policy and is negotiating details with the Mexican government. September 2021.

It isn’t a long, long way from March to September.