Michael van der Galien

Crime and the Economy

Posted on December 30 2009 6:00 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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Despite Economic Woe, U.S. Was Safer In ’09
By Steven Malanga

Jackson’s op-ed was an extreme example of a sort of thinking that has predominated for decades, everywhere from criminologist circles to the media commentariat. It’s a view of crime which holds that economic decline is at the root cause of growing social disorder. It’s why as soon as our economy turned down late in 2008, predictions of a national surge in crime emerged. As one newspaper put it last January: “The crumbling economy is likely to spark growth in at least one arena during the new year: the national crime rate.”

But instead, the opposite has happened. Amidst what some would describe as the nation’s worst economic year in decades, violent crime has declined nationwide, part of a long trend, and seems to have fallen sharpest in places that bore the brunt of the recession. In New York City, where the financial sector’s meltdown has rippled through the city, violent crime declined more than 10 percent for 2009. Moreover, those crimes that might be most attributable to economic circumstances, like robbery and grand larceny, fell the most in Gotham. Throughout California, a state hard hit by the housing market’s meltdown, crime has plummeted. In the nation’s second largest city, Los Angeles, everything from murder (down 17 percent) to property crime declined, including a sharp drop in stolen cars (down nearly 20 percent). Nearby San Diego reported a 17 percent crime decline for the year-to-date.

Read the whole thing at Real Clear Markets.

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