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by Peter Moskos

October 12, 2008

The economy and crime

Does a tough economy mean more crime? Not necessarily. Good policing is more important, sez me. Here's the story in the New York Times.


jeff said...

I think that the economy will cause crime to go up. Just today a thug removed a purse from a young ladies pocketbook. When confronted he stated "I'm sorry times are tough". He took the money and placed the purse on the shelf and fled the store. So, you tell that the economy will not cause the crime to go up.

dave h said...

The fact that crime flourishes in impoverished areas is uncontroversial at this point. But, crime also causes poverty. That's something hard-line Marxists leave out of the crime equation. While there certainly are cases of people stealing bread for the kids or burning their cars to avoid payments (just saw that on the news), areas that are especially crime-ridden are so because of both economics and culture. That is, the neighborhood has become accustomed (or even sympathetic) to organized criminal activity, so very few residents bother to fight it anymore.