As a California state assemblywoman, Mary Hayashi is accustomed to taking things from people and companies because she wants to. She apparently just forgot that she had to get the rest of the Legislature to approve of the theft before she did it.
The Castro Valley Democrat came into a San Francisco Neiman Marcus store with two shopping bags, one from Neiman Marcus and one from another store. She picked up $2,500 worth of merchandise and left the store — passing multiple checkout registers along the way. Store security watched and recorded on video — and then confronted her after she left the store. San Francisco police arrested Hayashi and she’s charged with felony grand theft.
A spokeswoman for Hayashi says it’s all just a misunderstanding, of course. She said Hayashi was talking on her cell phone and simply left the store “without really thinking about it.”
Hayashi is part of an institution whose members simply take what they want from others and give those things to pretty much anyone they want. It’s an institution that believes it has the moral right to control people’s lives and take their property without compensation. My experience with politicians who have that kind of power get pretty arrogant about what they can have when they want it. My suspicion is that she thought she was entitled to the “five-finger discount.”
Assuming Hayashi’s action was intentional — and we’ll never know for sure, of course — it’s an indication of what’s wrong with handing power to people over other people’s lives. The premise of the majoritarian system is that people are so bad that we need a government made up of those same bad people to control the bad people. If that makes sense to you, it’s only because you haven’t considered that other alternatives might actually work.