Step 9: Did I Steal that Cart?
But if you'd rather do it the Cheney American way, you can game the Law. Find them as lost, mislaid, or abandoned property. Look that up to see which best applies. Or you can honestly intend to someday return the cart to the store, or you can believe that the store owes you this much value.
Under our laws, theft is only the
2: taking of the property of another
3: with the intent
4: of permanently depriving them of it.
So there you have it, act without those elements and you've got four solid defenses against a charge of theft.
I really wish Dick Cheney and our other Great Men had made a massive hobby out of stealing shopping carts instead of what they actually did.
I'd like the young philosophers to get upset about the "big game" of moral guilt. Our collective participation in state sponsored kidnapping, torture, aggressive war, genocidal land and resource theft, a series of undeclared wars, imperialist trade policy, overthrowing democratic regimes and installing police-state dictatorships, etc. etc.
There are reasons why we 5% of the world's population get to consume 30% of the world's stuff. It's by playing hard and not playing fair for a very long time.