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Sturgeon

"Pigs" Have A Hard Job

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Except it has and will - crime and inequality are statistically correlated. Further, your 'advantage' comes at the cost of imprisoning a massive number of your citizens.

Tell me how sticking so many people in jail is categorically different from 'giving up on human rights and human liberty'.

 

I'm not saying that the answer is to stick a bandaid on the gaping hole that is your society by upping social spending as is. I'm saying that there are multiple approaches to dealing with crime, and one is to rework your society to be more equal overall in terms of resource distribution.

 

 

Because it is my human rights that have to be spent to get the guy who robbed a bank (or even sold heroin) out of jail.  Personally, if I have to pay to have someone warehoused under threat of their committing violence on me, then it has to be done under my terms.  And my terms are - commit a violent act for any reason, earn a stay at a welfare center which I choose to call a jail.  I will accept no other terms since they are my rights, I possess them already, and it takes extraordinary acts to remove them.

 

Pablo Fajnzylber, working under a Neo-Marxist assumption set, reverses causality as a matter of course in the article - which is why I teach my students to tread carefully when employing a tool like Neo-Marxism.  Now I am the last person to throw Gary Becker and the Chicago mafia under the bus here, their work is valid and their discovery connecting racial bias with economic disfavor are ground breaking and important.  But their work can, should, and is questionable with regards to crime.  Messier found no connection between economics and crime.  Blau squared found a connection, but also a blizzard of caveats.  All this work pre-exists the article you provide but the author - a world bank employee, choose to only use Becker as a foundation.  About like someone arguing against germ theory but failing to cite John Snow.  

 

Now to personal experience.  I never in five years arrested anyone who stole because they needed money to feed themselves or house their family.  You could argue they did not have a yacht, but neither do I.  And the theory you present cannot be used to predict the chance of someone being a criminal.  

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Jesus everloving titfuck, correlation does not imply causation.

 

You actually ran across the big problem with most Neo-Marxist research.  Fajnzylber claims to have solved his causation issues, but his foundation on Becker is flawed.  Heck, plug in that freak who invented the Southernness index and you will find out that living in a southern city makes you a criminal.  I have a correlation between temperature in a city, rain fall, and crime rate.  However, there is no causation.  The causation is that bad guys rob people in clear weather because they do not like to get rained on or cold.  

 

The main killer for the theory that poverty breeds crimes as a significant causal factor is the US, past 20 years.  Falling crime rate is correlated .6 something (a HUGE correlation) rising unemployment and greater social inequality multiplier.  For a theory to work it has to predict something, then that something has to happen.  The opposite happened.  Thus the theory must be revisited.

 

Interesting correlation that Chicago school Neo-Marxists should look into is that the number of hours you are read to by your parents before age 8, the more successful you will be.  Piaget says this causes improved brain function and better socialization - so you have a testable causal factor.  

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Adding a little more information, the state of Idaho has some of the lowest per capita income in the country, usually ranking somewhere in the lowest ten states and often times dead last. On the other hand, Idaho also has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. So low income doesn't necessarily translate to higher crime.

 

So what? Well, that and $2.99 will buy you a five pound bag of Idaho potatoes at a local grocery store.

 

When it comes to property crime and violent crime in the United States, most instances occur in a handful of select zip codes. We all know where those areas are. Most smart folks know not to go to those select areas and certainly not at night. And none of us can really speak honestly about what goes on in those zip codes for fear of being labeled a particularly unpleasant name.

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Adding a little more information, the state of Idaho has some of the lowest per capita income in the country, usually ranking somewhere in the lowest ten states and often times dead last. On the other hand, Idaho also has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. So low income doesn't necessarily translate to higher crime.

 

So what? Well, that and $2.99 will buy you a five pound bag of Idaho potatoes at a local grocery store.

 

When it comes to property crime and violent crime in the United States, most instances occur in a handful of select zip codes. We all know where those areas are. Most smart folks know not to go to those select areas and certainly not at night. And none of us can really speak honestly about what goes on in those zip codes for fear of being labeled a particularly unpleasant name.

 

 

Actually I will agree and disagree.  One point - those zip codes are not all racially based or class based.  There was one set of yahoos that I had to arrest three brothers for child pornography and child molestation.  I say me, but it was me and 400 others who arrested them because they were sovereign citizens and our nation had no right to keep them from placing their reproductive organs onto the bodies of six-year olds.  To make matters worse, God gave them permission as well.  

 

All of the guys ended up getting bright eyed in State pen, which I do not agree with and feel IS a problem with incarceration, but all of them were of a common cultural group, church goes, and members of the NRA.

 

However, as you say crime and poverty do not go hand in hand.  Look at Iowa or Nebraska.

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You actually ran across the big problem with most Neo-Marxist research.  Fajnzylber claims to have solved his causation issues, but his foundation on Becker is flawed.  Heck, plug in that freak who invented the Southernness index and you will find out that living in a southern city makes you a criminal.  I have a correlation between temperature in a city, rain fall, and crime rate.  However, there is no causation.  The causation is that bad guys rob people in clear weather because they do not like to get rained on or cold.  

 

The main killer for the theory that poverty breeds crimes as a significant causal factor is the US, past 20 years.  Falling crime rate is correlated .6 something (a HUGE correlation) rising unemployment and greater social inequality multiplier.  For a theory to work it has to predict something, then that something has to happen.  The opposite happened.  Thus the theory must be revisited.

 

Absolutely, absolutely agree with this. Marxism, Neo-Marxism, whatever you want to call the Big Left these days, is a pseudoscientific at best. Like any pseudoscience, you have to examine any of their research with absolutely fastidious objectivity and rationality, and with the keen eye of an auditor.

I'm not saying there's nothing to leftism and that it's all fluff (or, in the more extreme, that if it's an element of leftism it Must Be Wrong, no), but that it's like squeezing a wild lemon for juice. Work hard, be patient, and you might get a drop.

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Neo-Marxism is the academic theory that poverty and inequality breed societal problems, as opposed to Marxism which is a form of government that purports at its center to solve the ills inequality.

 

For example, Neo-Marxism predicts that any societal activity that leads to advancement will be moderated by the socio-economic class of the person involved.  To test this take a thing and see if socio-economics is a factor.  In this way it is a tool.

 

Marxism is a normative tool that say a priori this is how to make the world work.  A political system.

 

Marxism has never worked.  Neo-Marxism is like a screw driver - works nice except everyone wants to use it to turn a nut or hammer a nail.

 

Oh, we call Neo-Marxism the Chicago school in the US to avoid mistakes.  I don't because a lot of people I work with are international.

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Neo-Marxism is the academic theory that poverty and inequality breed societal problems, as opposed to Marxism which is a form of government that purports at its center to solve the ills inequality.

 

For example, Neo-Marxism predicts that any societal activity that leads to advancement will be moderated by the socio-economic class of the person involved.  To test this take a thing and see if socio-economics is a factor.  In this way it is a tool.

 

Marxism is a normative tool that say a priori this is how to make the world work.  A political system.

 

Marxism has never worked.  Neo-Marxism is like a screw driver - works nice except everyone wants to use it to turn a nut or hammer a nail.

 

Oh, we call Neo-Marxism the Chicago school in the US to avoid mistakes.  I don't because a lot of people I work with are international.

 

I know the difference, such as it is. In modern context, they're all appendages of the same apparatus. I'll concede my wording was the literary equivalent of a sledgehammer: Indelicate and imprecise.

This bolded part is exactly what I've been getting at. It's an unfortunate fact that arguing with leftists about crime often results in them throwing examples of all the times the screwdriver has worked on a screw, and ignoring what the other guy is saying about maybe getting a few hammers or a socket wrench.

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There is a similar situation with police shootings in the US.  

 

Police officer shoots African American.  People rush in and declare the shooting is because of racism.

 

Racism is a causal issue that can correlate with murder.  The cops however test clean of racism (they are just as racist as society as a whole). So curing a disease that does not objectively exist will not result in ending police shootings. 

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So the problem boils down to shitty people having kids and these kids grow into shitty people and have more kids who do the same thing. 

 

I don't see a way for a free society to fix shitty people from doing shitty things, and having shitty kids who fuck thinks up for the majority of normal people. 

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Do what you can to up the odds of people in bad situations being able to get out of those situations.

 

 

This is correct.  There are small things we can do.  

 

>Early tracking mandatory pre-K for all children, with special classrooms for children whose parents are incarcerated to teach basic skills on how to be a human being to children who have learned nothing of that sort at home.  Piaget says before age 8 a small correction leads to big change.

 

>More money to special education and an end to mainstreaming / a return to tracked education.  This repairs the dumbed down K-12 system.  Scholarship students at very good private high schools break all sorts of statistical models.

 

Those two things alone could drop future crime rates by 25% and represent the absolute best investment in terms of ROI.

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Jesus everloving titfuck, correlation does not imply causation.

Sociology, motherfucker. Correlation is about all you get.

 

Also: sure, get at me for providing a study when our other hypothesis has nothing except cherry-picked examples and anecdotes. This will surely get us closer to the truth.

 

 

Adding a little more information, the state of Idaho has some of the lowest per capita income in the country, usually ranking somewhere in the lowest ten states and often times dead last. On the other hand, Idaho also has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. So low income doesn't necessarily translate to higher crime.

 

So what? Well, that and $2.99 will buy you a five pound bag of Idaho potatoes at a local grocery store.

 

When it comes to property crime and violent crime in the United States, most instances occur in a handful of select zip codes. We all know where those areas are. Most smart folks know not to go to those select areas and certainly not at night. And none of us can really speak honestly about what goes on in those zip codes for fear of being labeled a particularly unpleasant name.

Inequality, not poverty.

 

 

That's bullshit, though. Criminals don't think "I'm gonna get back at the Koch brothers" before they commit crimes. The most unequal parts of the US don't correlate with the most crime-ridden ones.

I know it's progressive dogma that equality is the bestest thing and will solve all our problems, but inequality is at best only one minor source of crime. Twenty years ago, it was the progressive party line that poverty and desperation caused crime, but that's a harder pill to swallow now that we have criminal welfare families making 50K a year. In fact, crime happens for a wide variety of causes and reasons, and the best way to allow crime to happen is to recommend some panacea cure like "equality" to fix it.

Did you look at the follow-up post? Many causes, many possible remedies. 

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Neo-Marxism is the academic theory that poverty and inequality breed societal problems, as opposed to Marxism which is a form of government that purports at its center to solve the ills inequality.

 

For example, Neo-Marxism predicts that any societal activity that leads to advancement will be moderated by the socio-economic class of the person involved.  To test this take a thing and see if socio-economics is a factor.  In this way it is a tool.

 

Marxism is a normative tool that say a priori this is how to make the world work.  A political system.

 

Marxism has never worked.  Neo-Marxism is like a screw driver - works nice except everyone wants to use it to turn a nut or hammer a nail.

 

Oh, we call Neo-Marxism the Chicago school in the US to avoid mistakes.  I don't because a lot of people I work with are international.

Just how many Chicago schools are there? Because the last time I looked, the Chicago school of economics is about as far from Marxist thought as you can get.

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Sociology, motherfucker. Correlation is about all you get.

 

Also: sure, get at me for providing a study when our other hypothesis has nothing except cherry-picked examples and anecdotes. This will surely get us closer to the truth.

 

 

Did you look at the follow-up post? Many causes, many possible remedies. 

 

Bolded is fine, so why'd you say this?

 

Steve,

 

Let me offer you an alternative theory that has some traction now.  Crime rates rise with economic inequality.  The more unequal a population is, the more crime you have.  European and Asian countries have a long history of social security and wealth redistribution, keeping inequality in those countries low.  Or they have limited free market capitalism after starting with limited inequality.

 

The US has mostly avoided implementing socialist or communist policies, and most of its actions of that sort are more than 50 years in the past, and involved smallish economic populations (unions, the elderly and so on).  

 

Would you advice the US, if it could reduce crime by reducing inequality, to undertake radical socialism, if that was the only option?

 

Toxn

From my perspective, it looks like you said something wrong, backtracked, and then protested when we called you on it. The other explanation I have is that you don't actually believe the above quoted theory, and were just repeating it for our edification.

That explanation is not entirely parsimonious, either, since that's a very common theory of crime, which we'd both reasonably be expected to know, and it sounds like you're using it as a response, not just bringing it up for discussion.

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The recitation of Virdea's formulation was meant as a simple response, yes.

Where I lose my sense of humour slightly is in being given glib, fact-free hypotheses (how the fuck do you even quantify cultural diversity?) while simultaneously being called out on what is clearly a simplified interpretation of my points.

I've got to run off to a lecture and then study for an exam, but I will try to come in at some point and present a substantive argument.

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(how the fuck do you even quantify cultural diversity?) 

 

Same way we quantify anything.  You create an operational definition and test that definition for internal and external validity then run with it.  

 

However you throw around terms like "fact free hypothesis" and accuse posters of working without facts, but I basically rattled off an entire section of the FBI handbook to you - that was not good enough facts so I dropped the attempt and moved to social science theory.

 

 

If you were my student and said "how do you quantify diversity" like it was impossible I would have you off doing a supplemental paper.  I am not even fond of Fearon because it over estimates diversity in European nations and underestimates those in South American and Africa, but if you turned in a paper with Fearon then I would understand your model.

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The recitation of Virdea's formulation was meant as a simple response, yes.

Where I lose my sense of humour slightly is in being given glib, fact-free hypotheses (how the fuck do you even quantify cultural diversity?) while simultaneously being called out on what is clearly a simplified interpretation of my points.

I've got to run off to a lecture and then study for an exam, but I will try to come in at some point and present a substantive argument.

 

As Virdea mentions, how do you quantify anything in the social sciences?

Hell, how do you quantify wealth inequality? If 99.99% of the population in an area with 10,000 residents have a savings of 1000 units, but .01% of the population of the same has 10^9 units in savings, is that more or less unequal than if 99.90 % of the population in an area with the same number have a savings of 1000 units, but .10% of the population has 10^8 units in savings? What if the guy with 10^9 units is moved a fair distance away from the other residents? More, or less unequal?

Even with an easily quantifiable problem like that, "inequality" becomes hard to define. Not that you can't define it, but it's no easier a problem than cultural diversity.

 

And I haven't even gotten to "what are you supposed to do when you're the governor of an area with low inequality, but higher crime?"

I think you can do better, and I think you probably have something worth saying that I'd like to hear, but if you meant that argument as a serious one, it was not your best.

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This is correct.  There are small things we can do.  

 

>Early tracking mandatory pre-K for all children, with special classrooms for children whose parents are incarcerated to teach basic skills on how to be a human being to children who have learned nothing of that sort at home.  Piaget says before age 8 a small correction leads to big change.

 

>More money to special education and an end to mainstreaming / a return to tracked education.  This repairs the dumbed down K-12 system.  Scholarship students at very good private high schools break all sorts of statistical models.

 

Those two things alone could drop future crime rates by 25% and represent the absolute best investment in terms of ROI.

 

Another thing that would be a big help according to multiple teachers I know is getting the worst troublemakers out of the main classes so they don't compromise the other kids' education. I think your first point would definitely help mitigate that though.

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The murder of the officers in Hattiesburg are examples of difficulties faced by officers.  Both of the Banks brothers, currently accused, are pretty much poster children for violent crime.  Both sell cocaine as their primary means of support.  Both have multiple felony arrests, and each have been convicted of a felony crime.  Both are known to carry firearms, and have been arrested multiple times with guns in their possession.  

 

These men are not special in any means.  Looking over the records for Southern MS you can see that Hattiesburg has like 400 released felons with high chances to recommit crimes.  It takes years for criminal record to build up to the point where they can be taken from the street for a lengthy time - unless they do something spectacularly bad.

 

To make matters worse, the Banks brother's have an accomplice.  Joanie Calloway looks like a citizen.  I had a link for her Facebook, but it is now down.  She has no record I can find, she is gainfully occupied as a school student.  If I pulled her over nothing would scream thug at me.  And since the other two were arrested without colors or ink, I bet if she was in the driver's seat and I pulled them over I would have thought citizen for all three - you cannot think thug unless you run their records.  

 

In most European nations people with the record of the Banks brothers cannot be pulled over without the support of a tactical team.  Two officers who might have pegged these guys as citizens were out matched.

 

Some officers get paranoid, treat everyone like a thug.  If these two had done that - they would be alive, but might accumulate complaints.  

 

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Since I have a bit of time and I said I would get back to this:

 

One of the issues with law enforcement boils down to its purpose. What is the underlying reason for locking people up?

  1. If it's simply to separate the lost causes from the folk who can be saved, then the best approach would be to try and keep people out of prison unless its absolutely certain that they can't be fixed. Because prison will generally make you more of a criminal rather than less of one by simple proximity to other criminals.
  2. If, on the other hand, it's to try and take people out of whatever environment is making people fucked up, then the best approach is to make prisons as healthy and restorative as possible. Note that this is really expensive.
  3. Finally, if the reason is simply to punish; to take people who did wrong and hurt them, then your prison should be designed to do so in a way that the folk who come in never interact with society again. Note that this should be done for as little as possible, as you effectively write off any citizen who enters the system.

 

Standing on the outside of your society (and ignoring the very glaring issues with mine in terms of prisons), it seems like your system is trying to do things without a clear concept of the result which it wishes to achieve.

 

The system of prosecution, as described by you, seems to be geared towards 1 (almost impossible to send someone to jail without multiple prior offenses). However, your approach to arrest seems to subvert this by pulling in people repeatedly for minor offenses (especially drug-related stuff). According to cost estimates, your jail system costs as much as 2 ($30 000 per inmate per year). But according to every other metric it seems to be designed around an operating philosophy closer to 3 (copious use of solitary confinement, outsourcing of prisons to private firms). Finally, it is simply a sad fact that this wonky, badly thought out mess manages to take in and hold 1 in 14 of your citizens (716 per 100 000 overall incarceration rate). That's a lot of people to throw into the maw of a pointless system.

 

Basically: what the fuck?

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Other democratic representative governments seem to have managed.

 

Then again, most of them don't have 350 million citizens and the United States' peculiar political system.

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Other democratic representative governments seem to have managed.

 

Then again, most of them don't have 350 million citizens and the United States' peculiar political system.

 

 

Again, you are missing the point, there are other factors.

 

1) Only about 25% of the prison population can be reduced by easing up on drug enforcement.  This is significant and should be done, but except for people in the press, no one with any knowledge of the situation believes there will be any more benefit.  Note I demonstrated this number from three directions.

 

2)  The US has a higher crime rate than most European democracy because our social diversity is WAY higher.  Social diversity is associated with higher crime rate - this is a truth that cannot be shaken, and the US cannot reduce social diversity the way Europe has done in the past.  It has to await slow integration of populations.  Note that crime in European nations is rising and in some areas already surpasses the US in some nations.  This rise is often associated with diverse populations.  Please note I am not advocating racist crap - rises in crime in the US were associated with Irish, Italian, Swedish, and other immigrations and always fall when those populations integrate even if they retain clear identities.  This is because the integration is a two way road.

 

3) The current system we have is locked into place by the Bill of Rights.  It is based on freedoms that cannot be removed in any easy way.

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Again, you are missing the point, there are other factors.

 

1) Only about 25% of the prison population can be reduced by easing up on drug enforcement.  This is significant and should be done, but except for people in the press, no one with any knowledge of the situation believes there will be any more benefit.  Note I demonstrated this number from three directions.

 

2)  The US has a higher crime rate than most European democracy because our social diversity is WAY higher.  Social diversity is associated with higher crime rate - this is a truth that cannot be shaken, and the US cannot reduce social diversity the way Europe has done in the past.  It has to await slow integration of populations.  Note that crime in European nations is rising and in some areas already surpasses the US in some nations.  This rise is often associated with diverse populations.  Please note I am not advocating racist crap - rises in crime in the US were associated with Irish, Italian, Swedish, and other immigrations and always fall when those populations integrate even if they retain clear identities.  This is because the integration is a two way road.

 

3) The current system we have is locked into place by the Bill of Rights.  It is based on freedoms that cannot be removed in any easy way.

 

This is why I'm finding it hard to talk about this subject.

 

In the first paragraph, you're blowing off a 25% reduction in the prison population like its second prize or something. 25% = 575000 Americans who don't have to stay in a man-made purgatory for what everyone involved thinks is no good reason. 25% means $18 billion in wasted tax dollars being put to some (surely better use). This would be the sort of thing to march in the street about in other countries. And this psychic shrug being taken care of, you spend a while talking about your pet theory (more on that below) before mentioning inalienable rights. 

 

One paragraph to shrug off what should be the biggest rights issue in your country, another to simply state that all those rights are what's stopping the system from change.

 

Am I the only one who thinks this is crazy? Like, even without going into how all your rights haven't done dick in terms of stopping your government from constructing the largest surveillance apparatus in the world?

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