Poverty Is Not The Cause of Criminal Behavior

As the events in Ferguson, Missouri continue to unfold, a common excuse being offered for the riots and looting is poverty and income inequality. An article written by retired NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar outlines what he calls the reasons for a coming race war that stems from class warfare and systemic racism. The article was so full of liberal talking points and delusional distortions that I had to take a break after each paragraph. He, like others, claims that the rich are somehow holding back poor blacks in order to maintain control of their riches. He also claims the rich are hurting the poor by lobbying to cut food stamps, refusing to extend unemployment benefits and refusing to give relief to the burden of student debt.

Everything that he mentioned is something that would require government intervention. In other words, the government could fix poverty if the do-nothing politicians would just all agree. Liberals have all reached a consensus that Ferguson’s rioting and looting are the results of poverty. Blaming criminal behavior on poverty is not a new hypothesis. Sociologists and criminologists have done studies  on the topic dating back to the 1960s. According to the Heritage Foundation, the real cause of crime is the breakdown of the family:

◾Over the past thirty years, the rise in violent crime parallels the rise in families abandoned by fathers.

◾High-crime neighborhoods are characterized by high concentrations of families abandoned by fathers.

◾State-by-state analysis by Heritage scholars indicates that a 10 percent increase in the percentage of children living in single-parent homes leads typically to a 17 percent increase in juvenile crime.

◾The rate of violent teenage crime corresponds with the number of families abandoned by fathers.

◾The father's authority and involvement in raising his children are also a great buffer against a life of crime.

Anyone raised during the mid-1970s and before can agree with the Heritage Foundation’s conclusion.  No politician or government program can replace fathers in the home. In fact, laziness and idleness contribute more to crime than anything else does.  How does the individual in Ferguson have the time to show up at a moment’s notice to protest and riot? No gainfully employed individual has the time to protest (even if he or she wanted to) and continue at it for hours.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, like all Liberals, would rather tiptoe around the real cause of crime and poverty by blaming outside forces. My friends and family were poor growing up, but we did not murder anyone or steal. If we had, our parents would have brought fire to our behinds.  Poverty is just an excuse for criminal behavior.

What is considered poverty today? As one writer here at American Thinker has already pointed out, a good number of the protesters in Ferguson could stand to miss a few meals. According to the Heritage Foundation, there is a big difference between poverty in America in the 1970s and today:

◾80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

◾92 percent of poor households have a microwave.

◾Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.

◾Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.

◾Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.

◾Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers.

◾More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.

◾43 percent have Internet access.

◾One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.

◾One-fourth have a digital video recorder system, such as a TiVo.

Instead of asking what causes crime, the better question is what is the root cause of poverty? The Bible states in Proverbs 10:4 “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth”.  There, I said it. I know it is not politically correct to call poor people lazy or to just state the facts. However, since Liberals want to use the events in Ferguson to focus on crime and poverty, I thought I would offer my analysis. Politicians and pundits have tried to invent new causes for crime and poverty. However, Ecclesiastes 1:9 states “The thing that has been—it is what will be again, and that which has been done is that which will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun.” In other words, laziness has always been and always will be the root cause of poverty.  Idle hands and fatherless homes are the root causes of crime.

Patricia L. Dickson blogs at Christian Commentary (http://patriciascornerblog.com), or contact the author at dicksonpat@sky.com. Follow me on twitter@Patrici5767099.

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