September 19, 2011

NO ONE HAS IT HARDER THAN THEIR FATHER DID:

Crime in decline, but why? Low inflation among theories (Miguel Llanos, 9/19/11, msnbc.com)

[V]iolent crime across the U.S. dropped 6 percent, marking the fourth straight annual decline. Property crime was down for the eighth straight year, falling 2.7 percent. [...]

Low inflation. Rosenfeld says he's found a tie between inflation and crime. "Crime rates tend to rise during inflationary periods and fall, or experience a slower increase, when the inflation rate drops," he says, and "inflation ran at historically low levels during the recent economic downturn -- prices actually decreased in 2009 for the first time in over 50 years."

In contrast, inflation and the crime rate were both high during the recession of the 1970s and early 1980s.

"A key mechanism linking inflation to crime is the price of stolen goods," he adds. "Price increases make cheap, stolen goods more attractive and therefore strengthen incentives for those who supply the underground markets with stolen goods. The reverse occurs when inflation is low."

Moreover, "involvement in property crime is a risk factor for violence" -- so that an increase in thefts can translate into more violent crimes, he says.


Posted by at September 19, 2011 3:54 PM
  

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