Starbucks has announced that it is closing many stores over crime concerns, often in cities led by progressive prosecutors. This development could be fodder for a joke about progressive hipsters whose voting inclinations wind up costing them their venti frappucinos. But these closures risk leaving citizens in the most troubled areas with ever-dwindling opportunities to buy basic necessities for their families.
Starbucks was an early and loud adopter of every progressive whim. The coffee chain demanded implicit-bias training for all employees. After police in Philadelphia removed two black men—who refused to buy anything—from a store at an employee’s request, Starbucks apologized and opened its stores to anyone and everyone.
But the rising tide of crime in progressive cities has proved too much even for the coffee behemoth. Citing safety issues, Starbucks is closing stores in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland, and its hometown of Seattle. Each of these cities has a radical prosecutor dedicated to non-prosecution of even serious crimes, such as George Gascon in L.A. and Larry Krasner in Philly. The next time you can’t get a good cup of coffee in one of these cities, consider whom you voted for in the district attorney’s race.
In the modern history of cities, the usual barometers of urban neighborhood well-being are not coffee shops but drugstores, which serve as general depots for everything from toiletries to food to school supplies. As it happens, drugstore chains are closing in the same progressive cities where the same progressive prosecutors refuse to protect them from rampant shoplifting and looting. Walgreens has shuttered more than ten stores in San Francisco, where Chesa Boudin administered his distinctive brand of non-prosecution until he was recalled. RiteAid is closing more than 50 stores, and CVS is closing hundreds of outlets across the United States (though some of these closures are a response to deteriorating economic conditions).
Big business is also pulling out of cities neglected by woke prosecutors. Aerospace giant Boeing has moved its headquarters out of Chicago, where Kim Foxx, the city’s chief prosecutor, has presided over rising violence and disorder. Hedge fund Citadel relocated from Chicago to Miami, citing rampant crime in the Windy City.
The well-to-do will follow their jobs to cities in Texas and Florida—where prosecutors still prosecute, where coffee shops are open early and late, and where new drugstores are built every day. The people who will suffer the most are those left living in the troubled neighborhoods of formerly great cities, where prosecutors and other public officials refuse to meet their obligations to protect all citizens. The legacy of progressive prosecutors in the United States is becoming clearer. It may be time for George Soros, who just explained to the Wall Street Journal why he keeps funding such officials, to wake up and smell the coffee.
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