Callous disregard of property rights creates long-term instability that scares away business investment and reduces economic opportunity.
On August 23, the police shooting of an African American man named Jacob Blake sparked national unrest yet again, in a pattern that has become all too common. Blake survived the shooting, and the incident was murky—not a clear-cut injustice. Yet rioting and looting broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin, nonetheless.
Now, as the dust settles and locals begin to sort through the rubble, the scale of the destruction that rocked the city after Blake’s shooting is becoming clear.
At least 56 businesses were damaged or destroyed by looting or arson, according to the Wall Street Journal. Current assessments report more than $50 million in damage.
“The destruction has left shop owners in one of Kenosha’s oldest business districts grappling with why their businesses became casualties of the destruction that has followed protests against racism and police brutality, and whether they will have the money to rebuild and stay in the neighborhood,” the Journal reports. “While Kenosha’s population is 79.5% white and 11.5% Black, according to census data, locals say the Uptown neighborhood is one of the city’s most diverse areas, with a majority of minority-owned businesses.”