This is a good point. I've long since stopped locking doors. The focus has generally been on murder rates, which are the one people key on as a crime indicator. I'd guess that's fine, but murder isn't a terribly common crime as made by career hoods. It's usually a random act of violence in a domestic (or recently domestic) dispute or otherwise friendly arrangement gone astray. Rarely are people killed by people they've never met, Hollywood and media frenzy to the contrary. I'd be much more interested in statistics on rape (again, commonly committed by known, or at least partially known individuals), theft (again), and vandalism. But if the general trend is down on all fronts, as it does seem to be, I'd wish that people would stop worrying about it so much. There's only so much you can do to prevent random acts of violence from disturbing your environs. We'd be much better off worrying about the people we already know based on the statistics. Which is a scarier way to look at it. I guess we're fortunate the media doesn't report it that way.
Another random element. Studies were done on how corporate health plans are beginning to offer bounties for healthy behavior. In some cases a bounty of as little as $7 dollars (7!) can get people motivated to quit smoking or begin an exercise regime or diet. Generally the bounties are higher, particularly for inducing people to quit smoking. I'm glad to see some market effects on this problem. It would seem to me that insurance in health care should work similarly to vehicles or life insurance where there are often considerable underwriting litmus tests to effect lower or higher costs on the consumer. People who make unhealthy choices should get both a negative motivation with a higher rate, and a positive one with a bounty or calculated lower rate. With life insurance it's fairly easy to show someone how much less it would cost if they quit smoking (depends on the company, but it's a huge gap). The same is true if they were to lose weight (though there it can be more of a guessing game, and not nearly as significant) Maybe we're getting into the same situation with health insurance in the near future. Employers are faced with rapidly escalating costs and lost productivity from an increasingly unhealthy workforce. Desperation makes for useful creative solutions sometimes.
California labor market sentences to ponder
55 minutes ago