The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Dishonesty costing more than integrity

By Charity Montieth/se news editor

   Honest people may be a dying breed.
   After a recent visit to Starbucks, I was on my way home with my caramel macchiato.
   My 6-year-old daughter turned to me and said, “Mommy, I was scared to tell you, but that man stole the money you dropped.”
   I looked in my wallet and realized this was one expensive cup of coffee. I had dropped a $100 bill. Evidently, the guy behind me pocketed it.
   I wasn’t really surprised, but I wonder what kind of person would do this?
   What if I really needed that money? If it was for rent, a traffic ticket or medicine, I would have been evicted, been jailed or died, but I am naive to think a thief honestly cares about my well being.
   Is America’s integrity declining?
   In a recent online poll by the New York Times, 88 percent of Americans consider themselves to be honest people.
   In a study conducted by USA Today, nearly 52 percent of people given pre-employment tests were ranked as undesirable candidates because they admitted they thought about stealing or would steal if they had good reason.
   Those 88 percent may wonder if there is a good reason to steal.
   According to the same USA Today study, most thieves try to rationalize their dishonesty; for example, the service was bad. Or their family desperately needed the money.
   The study reports most people who steal don’t think they are doing anything wrong—in fact, they believe they “are just normal people living in a dishonest world, where everyone steals.”
   The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates theft costs American companies $60 billion each year.
   How do businesses offset that loss? They raise prices. The chamber reports shoplifting and employee theft cause a 15 percent rise in retail prices each year.
   Not only do we pay higher prices, but thieves force us to lose jobs and even close businesses. Many stores run on skeleton crews to cut costs, so customer service suffers. Half of all failed businesses cite theft as the top factor contributing to their failure.
   I can live with the fact that I won’t get my $100 back.
   But I refuse to accept increased prices coupled with poor customer service and the loss of my favorite retailers, just because someone wants “a hook up.”

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