Crime is up!, we're doomed! or not
It is funny what experts do with numbers. In this case, it seems pretty obvious that population increases in a criminally susceptible population (from lack of employment, education, etc) would cause a rise in violent crime. And of course it did. That there's some additional crime may or may not be statistically relevant (it doesn't appear to be).
The real issue is the hockey stick graph method. I hate how people present trends as coming out of nowhere or totally disproportionate to their actual natures. There was a very slight uptick in murders by/of black youths. But on the NYT, it looks like the return of our vaunted super criminals from the early 90s. Naturally it doesn't even come close to that. Which makes me wonder why Fox is calling for a major push of dollars for criminal enforcement or whatnot. (Maybe he got burned by Wall St and needs money?).
And naturally, thinking often as an economist as I often do now, it doesn't appear to be a good idea to keep pushing the war on drugs either. But given my recent (online) arguments in this arena, it appears to be an entrenched emotional problem. People who have known addicts or had them in their own families tend to be overly protective and do not want to allow a legal market. I realize there's some pain involved. That doesn't change the objective facts. It is quite clear that what we have been doing isn't the way to cure that pain for others.
Also. I need more egg nog. That stuff IS addictive.
Sacking Plastic Bags
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