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It's Not a Swindle, it's Root Causes! Please!


"Root causes," like "smart on crime," is one of those phrases you want to be on the lookout for.  Not to put too fine a point on it, what it means is that someone, usually affiliated with the press and/or the academy, is about to put out a "report" or a "study" full of odd-sounding, multisyllabic words and phrases.  The point of beginning that way is to make you doubt your common sense.  Starting from there, the chances are better that you can be sold a real lallapalooza.  Some of the sorts of things that the Left tries to palm off in this fashion are, for example, the notion  that when fewer criminals are in prison, we will have less crime.  (A New York Times editorial actually said this). 

That this is counterintuitive, not to mention counter-factual, is  --  you will be told  --  most certainly not a sign that Those In the Know have intellectualized themselves into the shape of a pretzel.  It's the opposite:  a sign that you, the skeptic, are probably one of Those People With Big Hair, a/k/a the Unwashed Masses.  Your grandpa might even be in the Rotary, heaven forbid.

But then, reality strikes.  A story will come along  --  an inconvenient truth, one might say  --  to remind you that what you had thought all along was driving the criminal train (to wit, greed) actually is driving it.  Thus I bring you today's gem from the Washington Post.  If anyone can find the defendant in this story who was overborne by the need to escape poverty, or poor schooling, or lack of opportunity, or childhood abuse, or the brain syndrome du jour, etc., please let me know in the comments section.  To my less sophisticated mindset, it looks less like the downtrodden than like a bunch of greedy, dishonest businessmen in bed with a bunch of even greedier and more dishonest local politicians.  A person lacking Ivy League Sophistication might be tempted to say that an episode like this is caused by......uh.............well......................dishonesty and greed!

Oh no!  Can't be that!  Please, somebody, get me some "root causes."  Fast!


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