Friday, October 07, 2005

Freakonomics - crime Freakonomics - crime

Probably the most controversial thing in the book "Freakonomics" is the theory that one of the big reasons that crime dropped in the 1990s was Roe v. Wade, which ended up providing low cost abortions to the masses. The idea is that one of the big indicators for crime is being an unwanted child, and, these were precisely the bulk of the children not born as a result of this landmark decision.

The authors apparently did quite a bit of research here, looking at, for example, crime rates in those states that legalized abortion earlier than RvW, and finding that their crime rates did indeed start dropping before that of the other states.

Bill Bennett weighed in a week or so ago on this subject, to his peril, suggesting (tongue in cheek) that if we wanted to reduce crime (further), the answer was to abort all (or even a lot more) Black babies. As I have repeatedly pointed out though, he was not speaking from an anti-Black point of view, but from a stridently anti-Abortion point of view.

But the authors point out a better defense - which is that if accept their theory, and then compute the number of people these additional criminals would have killed if the aborted potential criminals had been born, it is dwarfed by the number of kids aborted.

I should add that they looked at a number of other potential causes for the reduction in crime, and found several others of merit: the increase in the number of police; the increase in sentencing and the number of criminals in prison; and, to a small extent, the graying of the population. On the other hand, they found essentially no impact from: innovative police techniques and gun laws (either way). The peaking of the "Crack Epidemic", by and of itself, was also not important, since crack usage hasn't really dropped that much - BUT there may have been a slight reduction in violent crime due to the crash of crack prices making turf wars less lucrative.

As an interesting note to the above, the author of the Tipping Point book I commented upon a couple of weeks ago wrote a blurb for Freakonomics. In Tipping Point though, the innovative policing techniques were portrayed as one of the primary causes of this reduction of the crime rate - which point was explicitly rejected in Freakonomics.


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Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

Another abortion information Resource... . A discussion forum for all that deals with such hot-button issues as abortion information .

2:37 AM  

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