The recent riots in London have been an appalling spectacle. The last thing a nation in the grips of an economic downtrn needs is to have to spend extra wealth on policing and repairing damage. And the human cost is all the more nauseating. Reeves, a family furniture business some 150 years old, was torched. An old woman was yanked from her car and it was set afire. Shops have been looted of luxury goods and booze. To what end?
Were Edward C. Banfield alive today, he likely would say, “Mainly for fun and profit.” Such was the title of a chapter in his book The Unheavenly City, which I have used atop my op-ed: “Rioting Mainly for Fun and Profit,” American Enterprise Institute blog, August 8, 2011.
Cities always have been unruly, but I feel terribly for London. The yobs are traching it, and the decent citizens will get stuck footing the bill.