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The Baffling Decline in Crime


Kent has noted the piece on SL&P about how the continuation of the 20 year-long reduction in crime just can't be figured out by the "experts."

I strongly suspect they don't have a bit of trouble figuring it out.  The trouble is admitting it.

For years, these "experts" have bemoaned "incarceration nation."  It now turns out that "incarceration nation" is another phrase for "reduced crime nation."  But admitting this would upset the ideological applecart, so they'd sooner attribute it to sunspots.  If this story hangs around another day, that's exactly what I expect.

The debate at SL&P has been enlightening, with quite a number of astute comments.  You can follow it here.  As I chimed in at one point, "By any measure, the two biggest stories about crime over the last quarter century are (1) we have put a lot more people in prison and (2) the crime rate has fallen significantly. The idea that these two things are unrelated is beyond bizarre."


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