Crime Falls Further

May 24 2011 @ 1:19pm

The NYT reports that, despite the recession, crime is down. Tyler Cowen is reminded "of a fallacy committed by (some) intellectuals":

Occasionally you will read it insinuated that if inequality continues, or continues to rise, “the public will take matters into its own hands,” or something like that.  Apart from being potentially factually false, such an outcome is neither endorsed nor condemned by the intellectual.  The writer is hinting that the losers from such a rebellion would deserve what is coming to them, without having to say so.

There is a real conundrum here. Why have crime rates collapsed so drastically and stayed low even during an historically awful period of unemployment? I don't know the answer to that and I'm sure criminologists will be pondering it for decades. What I do know is that America's social order has not collapsed, even under intense pressure. As crime remains low, marriage is experiencing a comeback. Perhaps the creation of one of the largest inmate populations in world history has more knock-on effects than anyone anticipated. Just thinking out loud.