Doing reading what various things are being written about the failure of governing bodies in the United States to agree on how they want to carry on in failure, I ran into this gem on an apparent copper theft renaissance. Apparently people are running out of pipe to steal from all of those foreclosed and abandoned homes lying around and have graduated to stealing the dangerous stuff people are actually using. In short the methheads have grown into more capable and more dangerous methheads.1
Let's ignore the mistake the Slate article suggests in proposing some solution through invasive regulation. Consider that these people are taking copper. Why are they taking copper? It's probably because having done it before they have found it financially rewarding, and in the case of the higher risk more adventurous thefts the fact that they have become good at it probably plays a part. People will steal anything they can, but they have a strong preference for committing theft in situations where they can most reliably get a return on their time and effort invested into thieving. This is why the foreclosed and abandoned houses lose their wiring before the electrical substation. The electrical substation has little need for extraordinary security until the low hanging fruit of foreclosed homes have been harvested. This generally will hold for things from copper to cattle to bitcoin.
Now theft is unacceptable, because you find it unacceptable. Theft is not acceptable because mkay. If you can't arse yourself to begin working that into a coherent worldview, methheads are probably coming for your bitcoin, and they probably aren't waiting until all of the copper is harvested.
- Kind of the premise in Breaking Bad [↩]