California Train Robberies Are Not ‘Third-World’

Television cameras report live from railway tracks littered with the remains of items stolen from passing freight trains, in Los Angeles, Calif., January 14, 2022.
(Gene Blevins/Reuters)

California governor Gavin Newsom visited downtown Los Angeles on January 20 to see the cleanup of the Union Pacific line where the much-publicized train robberies have occurred. After picking up some trash himself, he spoke to reporters.

“I see what you see. I see what you’ve been covering,” Newsom told the reporters gathered. “I’m asking myself, ‘What the hell is going on?’ We look like a third-world country.”

While the “third-world country” line plays well and makes headlines, it’s not quite right. Third-world countries that don’t want to be third-world countries anymore understand better than anyone that the rule of law is

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