Crime and Poverty

When contemplating,

“does poverty cause crime?”

Why does no one consider the inverse?

“does crime cause poverty?”

Say it with me, correlation is not causation.

It’s a tough issue, like I was saying in the “Black on white crime!” thread. Of course, crime CAN cause prosperity (for the criminal). In general, though, if we consider a crime ravaged neighborhood, that crime certainly will lead to the impoverishment of the neighborhood. I think there certainly is causality in this correlation, and it goes both ways in a vicious circle. Kids who grow up in crime ridden areas have little faith in the idea that the educational system will allow them to rise above their surroundings. Perhaps, as things stand now, they’re right–the schools in those areas tend to be poor.

How do you break the links? If crime causes poverty and poverty causes crime, how can you step in and stop the cycle? Unfortunately, I don’t know, but I think it must begin with the schools. Problem with that is, the schools are often so violence ridden, it is difficult to hire quality teachers. To be honest, I’m kind of drawing a blank as to what do about that point, but I wanted to bring it up because I think it is the center of the issue.

You might begin by holding parents responsible for their children.

“It is lucky for rulers that men do not think.” — Adolf Hitler

Libertarian, I’m sure that almost all of those parents out there do care about their children and attempt to raise them so they don’t become hardened criminals. And I am certain that a good number of them succeed. I also know that some children choose not to follow their parents’ teachings. They choose some other role model to learn from, or maybe they just consider their parents worthless idealists. At that point, the parents have done all they could to raise their children, and they probably DON’T know their child is taking the wrong path (it’s certainly easy enough to hide from your parents). The fact that their child gets arrested and put in prison is likely punishment enough for those parents. In fact, it’s more than enough. They did all they could in the raising of their children and you know they won’t blame the child. Instead they’ll think “What did I do wrong?” and spend every day of the prison term torturing themselves.

Parents are, far more often than not, more than willing to take the responsibility for their child’s actions themselves. They don’t need you or the government adding to the burden of a child lost to society at no fault of the parents.

Surg … When we screwed up, when I was a kid,(40s & 50s), we got the shit kicked out of us! We had respect! The law doesn’t allow, anymore, for disipline in the home, nor in the educational system! Hence, no appreciation of, nor respect of authority. “I can do anything I want, they can’t do anything to me, I’m just a kid, … and besides, if they do, I’ll just tell a story and have all of 'em put in jail!”
I think 'early responsibiliy is what is needed, not parents paying for their kids crimes.
"The children have the power, that’s not good!!


Isn’t this simplistic? I was just reading a story on Yahoo news about a 14 year old found guilty in adult court of murder; his mother had turned him in to the police several times, hoping harsh discipline early on might set him straight. She begged courts and counselors not to go easy on him, but they did. Now he’s in prison for manslaughter. But We can toss anecdotes back and forth all day.

As for breaking the cycle of crime and poverty, there are cities where the police have successfully co-opted community leaders and dropped the crime rate by half (I’m thinking of Boston, but I know there are others, where the police agree to quit harassing poor and minority kids and teens, if the community leaders will refuse to shelter those who commit crimes). Effective policing is the answer. Not more cops, or more draconian laws: Boston proves that it’s possible for the police to proactively attack crime without shooting immigrants and laughing at the skyrocketing number of complaints of police brutality.

Never attribute to an -ism anything more easily explained by common, human stupidity.

Well, without an iota of statistical evidence to back me up, I put forth the following:

In the past, poverty and greed would probably have been the two major motivating factors for any crime.

It seems that today, however, there is a lot more senseless crimes than in years past.

Or maybe it’s just the media…

Yer pal,

Hansel, I would like to read the article that you talked about with the 14 year old. I would be interested in seeing more specifics. I will post again on this thread when I have more time.


Gasoline: As an accompaniement to cereal it made a refreshing change. Glen Baxter

I don’t think that crime is nessicarily the cause of poverty or visa versa, but they are both the effects of apathy. Ive met people like that who cant quite make the effort to make a decent living and dont really care enough not to do stupid things. One way to fix apathy is strict discipine, but good schools and community programs can help, along with good families. Still, most kids are influenced most by their peers, and if their peers are still apathetic they will become apathetic too and influence other people, etc. Basically it is because it is, and that makes it really hard to do anything about it.

Ignoring for the time being whether or not it is a vicious cycle, I can envision a scenario that would start such a downfall.

To avoid any racial overtones, lets assume (at the onset) all the participants are of the same race/income bracket.

Ok insert the middle class suburban disk into your 3-d viewmaster. There, at the house two streets from the stop sign, the resident decides to “crime himself to prosperity” by operating a meth lab.

The neighbors begin to notice all sort of nefarious charactors hanging about at odd hours. Stickups at the corner grocery increase tenfold. Police are called but are delayed in preforming a search while collecting evidence to show probable cause.

Some of the residents figure it is part of a trend and decide to get while the gettins good and put their houses up for sale. A few days later an explosion results from careless handleing of chemicals and levels the little house two streets down from the stop sign. More hoses go up for sale, property values plummet.

Fast foward five years, the corner grocery closes shop because of robery losses and is replaced by a liquor store. Several abandoned houses are frequently being used as shooting galleries. Everone who could afford to move has and those who couldn’t reminice when this was a nice quiet place to raise kids.

I apologize for the short and sweet response that will follow this feeble attempt at sucking up. Serious issues plague us at every turn; I for one do not see any of this issue as just one-sided idealistic references. All actions are subject to affect & effect other laterally related issues. We as a people have a basic animalistic approach to getting what we want without fear of retribution when our resources are diminished. The unintelligent will resort to the use of brawn to empower oneself. How many pocket protectors you see Stallone wielding? My point simply is this; if you cannot educate and influence academically, you leave no other tools than what we have received through our own cannibalistic evolution. The strong will prey on the weak.

I will resort to a more intuitive response on the next . . . just had to get my feet wet first.

Much Love & Respect . . .


By the way, is anyone interested in why our laws (which as I understood them, were just guidelines) are so restrictive in nature? I submit this (knowing full well this is straying off the subject a bit) is our leap away from individuality and directly into the melting pot of conformity. Well, isn’t that what the “new millennium” (I can’t believe I actually said that) is all about? Please enlighten me EvilGhandi . . .

Ambivulent bivationary falvebarms!


Only response I can come up with is that laws are restrictive by nature. I fail to see the point in passing a law permitting something (barring constitional law) when saying nothing would suffice. In contrast, making law that restricts behavior seems to be a more expedient method of keeping Stallone from purchasing a six pack with his M-60.

As to whether laws are meant to erase our individuality so we will all conform with the new “millenium government”, I believe this is explored in alt.conspiricies to some length.