Sunday, August 20, 2006

A different take on NY crime drop

This letter appeared in the July 2006 Spectator;

(left click on image to enlarge)


Linda said...

I'm not 100% comfortable with the idea, but it is possible to mount a convincing argument for legalising all drugs, and taxing them heavily as we do tobacco and booze. Making them illegal makes gangs and other criminals rich, creates a huge black market and causes untold suffering and death through murder.

OK, there is a chance that use will increase - but do you really think anyone who wants to either can't or doesn't use them now?

We could use the tax money to educate and treat people - and police time could be spent giving more traffic tickets - oops - I meant discouraging, catching and prosecuting criminals.

Richard said...

It's possible to mount a convincing argument for legalising all drugs, and not taxing them at all, and I'm 100% comfortable with the idea.

andrei said...

I'm not sure what the point you are trying to make Lindsay?

The letter in an English paper seems to be trying to suggest that Rudy Giuliani's famous policy of zero tolerance to crime is not responsible for the well documented drop in NYC's crime figures but cheap heroin reduced the need for criminals to do their thing.

An absurd thesis, since Heroin would also be cheap in Atlanta, Washington DC and other notorious crime centers yet these places did not experience NYC's rapid drop in crime rates.

Richard said...

A good argument, Andrei, if the crime rates in other US cities did not also drop. But do you have the figures to support your case?

The fact remains that drug prohibition is a major cause of crime.

andrei said...

Well Richard; You can trawl through the FBI's crime statistics if you want to and verify it.

But NYC has had a remarkable turn around in Crime rates as detailed in this article.

Here is a key paragraph
"Nationally, the number of criminals behind bars continues to grow. Only a handful of states managed to reduce prison populations over the past few years—and New York is one of only two to report fewer inmates in 2003 than in 1995, according to federal data. While the size and average age of a state’s young male “cohort” plays an important role here, Gotham’s exceptionally large reduction in crime has surely influenced the downward trend. Near the height of the crack epidemic in 1988, New York City’s total crime rate was 73 percent above the national rate. By 2003, it was 28 percent below average. The plunge in city crime also pulled the statewide crime rate below the national average, as Chart 4 shows."

This is well established and a mystery only to those who would deny the efficacy of NYC "broken windows" policy.

James said...

At the end of the day what consenting people choose to put into their bodies is their right and is not criminal.The real crime is the use of force against them by the State in violation of their rights.

barry said...

"What consenting people choose to put into their bodies is their right" -- I can agree.

But what I will not abide is the way drug dealers increase their client base with the use of "free samples" to High School kids and those from the lower social strata, who then basically become their involuntary customers for life. Pushers like that Australian with the Asian name who got himself hanged in Singapore deserve it 100%.

The quandary is that sinister and evil men will always prey on the weaker or less secure among us for their own profitable ends. How can you justify this kind of thing as "consenting" by those with no personal knowledge or experience of drug addiction?

I say keep the law as it is!

The Tomahawk Kid said...

People deal in drugs because there is a large profit to be made!
WHY is there a large profit to be made?
Because they are illegal, and their price is ARTIFICIALLY INFLATED due to the problems and dangers in getting them into the country and hiding them from the LAW.
The REAL price of these drugs is so SMALL that there would be such a tiny amount of profit to be made, it would be a waste of time being a DRUG DEALER - they could make more profit selling ORANGES on the side of the road!
This same argument can be applied to TOBACCO! - have you noticed how many servos and dairies are the target of armed robbers lately - their target being CIGARETTES!
Because they are expensive!
Because of the artificially high price due to the insane amount of TAX put on them by the government.
Innocent workers and business people have their lives put at risk every day because of govt trying to stop other people from harming THEMSELVES!