Unemployment up, crime down

It's a paradox for liberals.  How can this be? James Q. Wilson, the eminent sociologist and criminologist, examines the recent decline in crime, which contradicts liberal orthodoxy that unemployment creates desperation, that creates crime, in City Journal, the excellent publication of the Manhattan Institute.  Wilson weighs several possible explanations for the recent declines, and find many of them are related to positive cultural changes -- a startling conclusion for many conservatives who bemoan the decline of cultural values. At the deepest level, many of these shifts, taken together, suggest that crime in the United States is falling-even through the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression-because of a big improvement in the culture. The cultural argument may strike some as vague, but writers have relied on it in the past to explain both the Great Depression's fall in crime and the sixties' crime explosion. In the first period, on this view, people took...(Read Full Post)