Jobs have fled, lawbreaking hasn’t risen—and criminologists are scratching their heads

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    Aug 28, 2011 3:41 PM GMT
    Read more for the whole thing but this is something that's been emerging for a while - poverty doesn't cause crime. The corollary is that to forgive/justify criminals or excuse them for being poor is wrong and does a terrible disservice to the poor.

    http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_3_crime-decline.html

    During the seventies and eighties, scarcely any newspaper story about rising crime failed to mention that it was strongly linked to unemployment and poverty. The argument was straightforward: if less legitimate work was available, more illegal work would take place. Certain scholars agreed. Economist Gary Becker of the University of Chicago, a Nobel laureate, developed a powerful theory that crime was rational—that a person will commit crime if the expected utility exceeds that of using his time and other resources in pursuit of alternative activities, such as leisure or legitimate work. Observation may appear to bear this theory out; after all, neighborhoods with elevated crime rates tend to be those where poverty and unemployment are high as well.

    But the notion that unemployment causes crime runs into some obvious difficulties. For one thing, the 1960s, a period of rising crime, had essentially the same unemployment rate as the late 1990s and early 2000s, a period when crime fell. Further, during the Great Depression, when unemployment hit 25 percent, the crime rate in many cities went down. (True, national crime statistics weren’t very useful back in the 1930s, but studies of local police records and individual citizens by scholars such as Glen Elder have generally found reduced crime, too.) Among the explanations offered for this puzzle is that unemployment and poverty were so common during the Great Depression that families became closer, devoted themselves to mutual support, and kept young people, who might be more inclined to criminal behavior, under constant adult supervision. These days, because many families are weaker and children are more independent, we would not see the same effect, so certain criminologists continue to suggest that a 1 percent increase in the unemployment rate should produce as much as a 2 percent increase in property-crime rates.

    Yet when the recent recession struck, that didn’t happen. As the national unemployment rate doubled from around 5 percent to nearly 10 percent, the property-crime rate, far from spiking, fell significantly. For 2009, the FBI reported an 8 percent drop in the nationwide robbery rate and a 17 percent reduction in the auto-theft rate from the previous year. Big-city reports show the same thing. Between 2008 and 2010, New York City experienced a 4 percent decline in the robbery rate and a 10 percent fall in the burglary rate. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles witnessed similar declines. The FBI’s latest numbers, for 2010, show that the national crime rate fell again.
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    Aug 28, 2011 4:20 PM GMT
    The article talks a lot but says very little

    It argues the reduction is due to crackng down on crime and incarceration in the US and the UK and then notes Canada has declining crime and declining incarceration rates.

    It suggests policing is the real cause of the reduction then allows it might not be

    LOL

    "Scratching their heads" indeed.

    I felt sorry for the guy who got the assignment to write it. (" We need a thousand words although we have absolutely no information or revelations to impart. Just fill column inches. Overwrite it so people don't notice. "

    icon_lol.gif
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    Aug 28, 2011 4:46 PM GMT
    Upper_Canadian saidThe article talks a lot but says very little

    It argues the reduction is due to crackng down on crime and incarceration in the US and the UK and then notes Canada has declining crime and declining incarceration rates.

    It suggests policing is the real cause of the reduction then allows it might not be

    LOL

    "Scratching their heads" indeed.

    I felt sorry for the guy who got the assignment to write it. (" We need a thousand words although we have absolutely no information or revelations to impart. Just fill column inches. Overwrite it so people don't notice. "

    icon_lol.gif


    Yes, but of course, the one underlying message being that the relationship we have been often force fed between that of crime and poverty is a tenuous one at best - would you agree that this is the case?
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:32 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Upper_Canadian saidThe article talks a lot but says very little

    It argues the reduction is due to crackng down on crime and incarceration in the US and the UK and then notes Canada has declining crime and declining incarceration rates.

    It suggests policing is the real cause of the reduction then allows it might not be

    LOL

    "Scratching their heads" indeed.

    I felt sorry for the guy who got the assignment to write it. (" We need a thousand words although we have absolutely no information or revelations to impart. Just fill column inches. Overwrite it so people don't notice. "

    icon_lol.gif


    Yes, but of course, the one underlying message being that the relationship we have been often force fed between that of crime and poverty is a tenuous one at best - would you agree that this is the case?


    Stop commenting on social issues, you are terrible at it. It's poverty stricken areas over long periods of time. Guess where that's not? The suburbs.
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    Aug 29, 2011 6:12 AM GMT
    DoomsDayAlpaca saidStop commenting on social issues, you are terrible at it. It's poverty stricken areas over long periods of time. Guess where that's not? The suburbs.


    It's remarkable that you don't have sufficient self awareness to take your own advice (besides the utter lack of reasoning and judgement - but I'm content to let you advertise your own ignorance to the world instead of trying to shut you up). ;)
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    Aug 29, 2011 12:23 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Upper_Canadian saidThe article talks a lot but says very little

    It argues the reduction is due to crackng down on crime and incarceration in the US and the UK and then notes Canada has declining crime and declining incarceration rates.

    It suggests policing is the real cause of the reduction then allows it might not be

    LOL

    "Scratching their heads" indeed.

    I felt sorry for the guy who got the assignment to write it. (" We need a thousand words although we have absolutely no information or revelations to impart. Just fill column inches. Overwrite it so people don't notice. "

    icon_lol.gif


    Yes, but of course, the one underlying message being that the relationship we have been often force fed between that of crime and poverty is a tenuous one at best - would you agree that this is the case?



    No. The study does not draw that conclusion. you did. I can draw no conclusion from what is presented - it only shows that apparently other factors are involved in the complex equation.


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    Aug 29, 2011 4:22 PM GMT
    Upper_Canadian saidNo. The study does not draw that conclusion. you did. I can draw no conclusion from what is presented - it only shows that apparently other factors are involved in the complex equation.


    That's a conclusion in itself. Again, it suggests that to blame crime on poverty or to excuse it - when there are other factors involved does a terrible disservice to the poor.

    The article itself is pretty comprehensive in looking at what data and studies are out there. e.g. -

    But the notion that unemployment causes crime runs into some obvious difficulties. For one thing, the 1960s, a period of rising crime, had essentially the same unemployment rate as the late 1990s and early 2000s, a period when crime fell. Further, during the Great Depression, when unemployment hit 25 percent, the crime rate in many cities went down. (True, national crime statistics weren’t very useful back in the 1930s, but studies of local police records and individual citizens by scholars such as Glen Elder have generally found reduced crime, too.) Among the explanations offered for this puzzle is that unemployment and poverty were so common during the Great Depression that families became closer, devoted themselves to mutual support, and kept young people, who might be more inclined to criminal behavior, under constant adult supervision. These days, because many families are weaker and children are more independent, we would not see the same effect, so certain criminologists continue to suggest that a 1 percent increase in the unemployment rate should produce as much as a 2 percent increase in property-crime rates.

    Yet when the recent recession struck, that didn’t happen. As the national unemployment rate doubled from around 5 percent to nearly 10 percent, the property-crime rate, far from spiking, fell significantly. For 2009, the FBI reported an 8 percent drop in the nationwide robbery rate and a 17 percent reduction in the auto-theft rate from the previous year. Big-city reports show the same thing. Between 2008 and 2010, New York City experienced a 4 percent decline in the robbery rate and a 10 percent fall in the burglary rate. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles witnessed similar declines. The FBI’s latest numbers, for 2010, show that the national crime rate fell again.
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:32 PM GMT



    From the article, "Yet when the recent recession struck, that didn’t happen. As the national unemployment rate doubled from around 5 percent to nearly 10 percent, the property-crime rate, far from spiking, fell significantly."


    At this same time as the above: 'jobless benefits usually expire after six months, but since the recession took hold in 2007 Congress has voted to extend them for up to 99 weeks.'

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40447966/ns/politics-more_politics/t/millions-may-lose-jobless-benefits-holidays-loom/
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:32 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Upper_Canadian saidNo. The study does not draw that conclusion. you did. I can draw no conclusion from what is presented - it only shows that apparently other factors are involved in the complex equation.


    That's a conclusion in itself. Again, it suggests that to blame crime on poverty or to excuse it - when there are other factors involved does a terrible disservice to the poor.

    The article itself is pretty comprehensive in looking at what data and studies are out there. e.g. -

    But the notion that unemployment causes crime runs into some obvious difficulties. For one thing, the 1960s, a period of rising crime, had essentially the same unemployment rate as the late 1990s and early 2000s, a period when crime fell. Further, during the Great Depression, when unemployment hit 25 percent, the crime rate in many cities went down. (True, national crime statistics weren’t very useful back in the 1930s, but studies of local police records and individual citizens by scholars such as Glen Elder have generally found reduced crime, too.) Among the explanations offered for this puzzle is that unemployment and poverty were so common during the Great Depression that families became closer, devoted themselves to mutual support, and kept young people, who might be more inclined to criminal behavior, under constant adult supervision. These days, because many families are weaker and children are more independent, we would not see the same effect, so certain criminologists continue to suggest that a 1 percent increase in the unemployment rate should produce as much as a 2 percent increase in property-crime rates.

    Yet when the recent recession struck, that didn’t happen. As the national unemployment rate doubled from around 5 percent to nearly 10 percent, the property-crime rate, far from spiking, fell significantly. For 2009, the FBI reported an 8 percent drop in the nationwide robbery rate and a 17 percent reduction in the auto-theft rate from the previous year. Big-city reports show the same thing. Between 2008 and 2010, New York City experienced a 4 percent decline in the robbery rate and a 10 percent fall in the burglary rate. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles witnessed similar declines. The FBI’s latest numbers, for 2010, show that the national crime rate fell again.


    Dude, you just don't get it. Poverty stricken areas that have suffered from GENERATIONS of poverty with few chances for advancement lead to crime. People feel they have no way out and that things will never change for them. It's not something that happens in a few months or a year.

    You should just stop and do your own research instead of running your mouth on topics you know nothing about.
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:40 PM GMT
    DoomsDayAlpaca saidDude, you just don't get it. Poverty stricken areas that have suffered from GENERATIONS of poverty with few chances for advancement lead to crime. People feel they have no way out and that things will never change for them. It's not something that happens in a few months or a year.

    You should just stop and do your own research instead of running your mouth on topics you know nothing about.


    Lol - yeah you know so much better than these people who are far more qualified and probably more experienced than you are. Talk about the arrogance in your statements. Yep - keep pouting and blaming everyone else - I'm just going to go out on a limb here and guess that it really isn't going to work out for you.
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:42 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    DoomsDayAlpaca saidDude, you just don't get it. Poverty stricken areas that have suffered from GENERATIONS of poverty with few chances for advancement lead to crime. People feel they have no way out and that things will never change for them. It's not something that happens in a few months or a year.

    You should just stop and do your own research instead of running your mouth on topics you know nothing about.


    Lol - yeah you know so much better than these people who are far more qualified and probably more experienced than you are. Talk about the arrogance in your statements. Yep - keep pouting and blaming everyone else - I'm just going to go out on a limb here and guess that it really isn't going to work out for you.


    Apparently I do know better than them since...I'm right and all ::shurg::. And to think, I only took 2 years as a sociology major..
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:44 PM GMT

    There are vast amounts of scholarly articles refuting the one the OP linked to.

    They are not opinion pieces.
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:44 PM GMT
    meninlove said


    From the article, "Yet when the recent recession struck, that didn’t happen. As the national unemployment rate doubled from around 5 percent to nearly 10 percent, the property-crime rate, far from spiking, fell significantly."


    At this same time as the above: 'jobless benefits usually expire after six months, but since the recession took hold in 2007 Congress has voted to extend them for up to 99 weeks.'

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40447966/ns/politics-more_politics/t/millions-may-lose-jobless-benefits-holidays-loom/


    Which does as much to perpetuate the cycle of poverty than stop it. Unemployment benefits don't result in a reduction in poverty. The biggest drop in child poverty for instance, in the history of the US was after President Clinton cut benefits. But again, crime has been on a consistent downward trend for quite some time now - so I'm not sure that this shows anything at all given that even the 99 week period has run out and we are seeing now some of the highest levels of the chronically unemployed that we've seen in decades.
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:45 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    There are vast amounts of scholarly articles refuting the one the OP linked to.

    They are not opinion pieces.


    Don't you know? All conservatives need is ONE opinion piece to rally against years of scientific evidence.
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:45 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    There are vast amounts of scholarly articles refuting the one the OP linked to.

    They are not opinion pieces.


    Feel free to link them. The author of the piece is "James Q. Wilson, formerly a professor at Harvard and at UCLA, lectures at Pepperdine. In 2003, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom." Further, he cites a number of other scholarly articles.
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:47 PM GMT
    DoomsDayAlpaca said
    meninlove said
    There are vast amounts of scholarly articles refuting the one the OP linked to.

    They are not opinion pieces.


    Don't you know? All conservatives need is ONE opinion piece to rally against years of scientific evidence.


    And some liberals don't need any evidence at all to blame others for their failures - what's your point?

    What's not refutable is that crime continues to fall while poverty has risen as a result of this last down turn. It is remarkable how married to the relationship that poverty is a cause of crime.
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:48 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    meninlove said
    There are vast amounts of scholarly articles refuting the one the OP linked to.

    They are not opinion pieces.


    Feel free to link them. The author of the piece is "James Q. Wilson, formerly a professor at Harvard and at UCLA, lectures at Pepperdine. In 2003, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom." Further, he cites a number of other scholarly articles.



    I looked some of them up. Why don't you? Incidentally this has been studied and researched globally over many years. There are scores of research articles.

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    Aug 29, 2011 4:51 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    riddler78 said
    meninlove said
    There are vast amounts of scholarly articles refuting the one the OP linked to.

    They are not opinion pieces.


    Feel free to link them. The author of the piece is "James Q. Wilson, formerly a professor at Harvard and at UCLA, lectures at Pepperdine. In 2003, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom." Further, he cites a number of other scholarly articles.



    I looked some of them up. Why don't you? Incidentally this has been studied and researched globally over many years. There are scores of research articles.



    I have - but the overwhelming trend now is that crime continues to fall despite the rise in unemployment, chronic unemployment and rise in poverty - which is remarkable and new to criminologists. Try looking up something recent.
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:54 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    DoomsDayAlpaca said
    meninlove said
    There are vast amounts of scholarly articles refuting the one the OP linked to.

    They are not opinion pieces.


    Don't you know? All conservatives need is ONE opinion piece to rally against years of scientific evidence.


    And some liberals don't need any evidence at all to blame others for their failures - what's your point?

    What's not refutable is that crime continues to fall while poverty has risen as a result of this last down turn. It is remarkable how married to the relationship that poverty is a cause of crime.


    Just stop, pick up a book and get educated PLEASE.

    And how am I blaming anyone for my failures? Exactly what failures have I even publicized?
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    Aug 29, 2011 4:57 PM GMT
    DoomsDayAlpaca said
    riddler78 said
    DoomsDayAlpaca said
    meninlove said
    There are vast amounts of scholarly articles refuting the one the OP linked to.

    They are not opinion pieces.


    Don't you know? All conservatives need is ONE opinion piece to rally against years of scientific evidence.


    And some liberals don't need any evidence at all to blame others for their failures - what's your point?

    What's not refutable is that crime continues to fall while poverty has risen as a result of this last down turn. It is remarkable how married to the relationship that poverty is a cause of crime.


    Just stop, pick up a book and get educated PLEASE.

    And how am I blaming anyone for my failures? Exactly what failures have I even publicized?


    One might say the same of you - what with the constant deflection of responsibility. Even here - you are so married to the idea that poverty is an excuse or cause of crime. You do a terrible disservice to the large majority of the poor who make no such allowances.
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    Aug 29, 2011 5:27 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    DoomsDayAlpaca said
    riddler78 said
    DoomsDayAlpaca said
    meninlove said
    There are vast amounts of scholarly articles refuting the one the OP linked to.

    They are not opinion pieces.


    Don't you know? All conservatives need is ONE opinion piece to rally against years of scientific evidence.


    And some liberals don't need any evidence at all to blame others for their failures - what's your point?

    What's not refutable is that crime continues to fall while poverty has risen as a result of this last down turn. It is remarkable how married to the relationship that poverty is a cause of crime.


    Just stop, pick up a book and get educated PLEASE.

    And how am I blaming anyone for my failures? Exactly what failures have I even publicized?


    One might say the same of you - what with the constant deflection of responsibility. Even here - you are so married to the idea that poverty is an excuse or cause of crime. You do a terrible disservice to the large majority of the poor who make no such allowances.


    How have I ever deflected responsibility? Please explain.
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    Aug 29, 2011 5:34 PM GMT
    "You do a terrible disservice to the large majority of the poor who make no such allowances."


    This is patently ridiculous, which is why I haven't bothered to post refuting links to articles.

    Poverty drives people to desperation, desperation drives them to crime. Many of the articles speak about the importance of unemployment insurance and welfare etc as it mitigates the descent into desperation.

    Poverty is not wonderful, no matter what spin you put on it to justify your position about entitlements and how the poor are always there yada yada yada.

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    Aug 29, 2011 5:38 PM GMT
    I didnt read most of these posts but I wanted to ask people if they have ever seen the movie freakenomics.

    One of the things they talked about was how Roe V Wade had a direct effect on the crime rates.

    Studies show that criminals turn out when they are unloved or a part of a dysfunctional household. I dont think people turn to crime out of desperation but out of messed up in the headness.

    Check out the movie, its awesome!
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    Aug 29, 2011 5:45 PM GMT
    Simurgh saidI didnt read most of these posts but I wanted to ask people if they have ever seen the movie freakenomics.

    One of the things they talked about was how Roe V Wade had a direct effect on the crime rates.

    Studies show that criminals turn out when they are unloved or a part of a dysfunctional household. I dont think people turn to crime out of desperation but out of messed up in the headness.

    Check out the movie, its awesome!


    It's not one or the other, poverty leads to a stressful and oftentimes chaotic home life, oftentimes parents work more hours than they spend with their kids. Thats what messes a kid up. You throw in disenfranchisement and a lack of opportunity for upward mobility and the only way out seems to be through someone else.