Poverty Of Values Causes Crime
November 10, 1995
But new evidence suggests that crime exacerbates poverty, rather than the other way around. Crime may be driven by a poverty of values, high levels of illegitimacy and fatherlessness, and social pathologies which grew even as America prospered and the welfare state expanded.
- It is estimated the war on poverty has cost more than $5.4 trillion in 30 years.
- Resources poured into the fight have grown more than fivefold in less than 30 years.
- The federal government aims 77 major means-tested programs at the poor, and hundreds more exist at the state and local level.
Yet over the same 30-year period, the national crime rate has doubled.
- Crime began to rise in the mid-1960s, and peaked in 1974 with 10.2 homicides per 100,000 -- compared to 4.7 in 1961.
- In 1993, the homicide rate was 10 per 100,000.
- Crimes against property have grown 259 percent over the past 30 years, but violent crimes have increased 560 percent.
- The poor are two to three times more likely to be victims of violent crime than those above the poverty line.
Source: Matthew Robinson, "The Real 'Root Causes' of Crime," Investor's Business Daily, November 10, 1995.
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