NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Just finished reading Freakonomics

Hard to explain these numbers until you read Freakonomics
The number of murders fell last year for the first time since 1999, part of a nationwide decline in all types of violent crime, according to FBI data released June 6th, 2005.

Cities with more than 1 million people had the greatest decrease in violent crime, 5.4 percent, while cities under 10,000 saw the greatest decrease in murder, 12.2 percent.
Award-winning economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner join forces in Freakonomics to strip a few layers from the surface of society to see what is happening underneath our cultural facade. They looked in detail at the hidden side of issues and the incentives which drive modern life. They examined the data society collects, and found conventional wisdom is often wrong. Employing the best economic analytical tools as they followed some freakish curiosities -- hence the title Freakonomics. They evaluate intriguing questions such as "What do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common?" "How is the Ku Klux Klan like a Group of Real Estate Agents?" "Where Have all the Criminals Gone?" and "What Makes a Perfect Parent?"

The one I found most intriguing was the relationship between the legalization of abortion and the swift drop in the above crime rate. Using the theory that unwanted children, born into poor single parent homes, unprepared to be parents, produces a higher precentage of criminal thugs. With abortion legalized in the 1970s, there are now fewer unwanted children, thus fewer thugs and less crime.

What do you think, did legal abortion lower the current crime rate? If you disagree, can you please share your data source?

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