Saturday, 9 February 2008

Suggestions For America, the UK, and NZ on Crime

In the light of all the recent ugly spates of shootings going on the United States in the moment, I have compiled a list of suggestions for tackling crime, with special regards to violent crime such as murder and rape, where the US easily tops the developed world. The same suggestions also need to be implemented in Britain, where criminals can get away from almost any non-violent crime (and which tops all other nations minus Australia for total crime), and New Zealand, the country with the highest number of sexual assaults, property crimes and gang membership per capita of any country in the world.

End the "War on Poverty". Cancel any new government housing projects, and gradually destroy the old ones. The huge government housing projects in, for instance, New York during the 1960s led to the formerly wealthy neighbourhood of the Bronx, to the North-east of Manhattan, to become one of America's worst neighbourhoods, which helped New York reach over 2,200 murders a year in 1989 (without being much better for 30 years before). By placing these huge behemoth buildings full of poor people indiscriminately around the city (in which crime skyrocketed as opposed to the neighbourhoods these people used to live in), wealthier people moved out, out to the suburbs* -hence, the "white flight" which destroyed many good inner-city neighbourhoods. These new government projects also destroyed many older neighbourhoods in which poor people used to live in, which would've been very lively -and safe- neighbourhoods before people got lumped in together, and crime boomed.

As in New Zealand, the War on Poverty created an "entitlement culture" in which poor people, rather than working for the great American Dream, demanded it. The American Dream was/is about personal responsibility, and pride and rationality in one's self and actions. The "entitlement culture" of the 1960s onwards demanded the results of the American Dream. Then there is the lack of pride in one's self and achievements which led to this "entitlement culture", which led to the destruction of belief in one's self and actions -which led to crime. Like every other time in history, this period of US history when the sacrifice of others was used to justify the sacrifice of one's self had negative consequences, in this case leading to a surge in crime -which is actually one of the better outcomes throughout history.

The War on Poverty was also the time in American, -arguably world- history when the most money was poured solely for the purpose of defeating poverty -perhaps only rivaled by the New Deal. However, consider the effects on America's economy and its poorest people had that costly trillion dollar investment not happened. Consider instead, the employment of millions of America's poor, instead of having those same people commit crimes like armed robbery to pay for drugs, alcohol, women and gambling -with true values, such as family, work and self-esteem coming last. Consider how much better America's manufacturing industry would have fared, and how smoother the transition to a service-sector economy would have been, if the American government didn't spend that money, and thus Detroit could have survived better. Also, it should be considered that during Clinton's welfare reforms, putting limits on welfare, crime in the US dropped dramatically, and the murder rate was sliced in half.

Note that many African-Americans and African American families were moving up, economically, until this time despite segregation. The end of this trend, as well as events that affected African Americans as a whole, is one of the reasons for race riots and racist attacks and crime during the 1960s and following decades.

Slash regulations on employment, business transactions and business regulations. Many poor people are unskilled workers, who have very little chance of getting what most people in developed countries would call a "decent job". But even a very cheap, dangerous job is better than not being employed at all -and business regulations, such as, most infamously, the minimum wage, destroy employment, by cutting out all workers from the economic ladder who produce less value per hour than the minimum wage demands you be paid. Because of this, studies in the US have stated that 100,000 people are out of work when the minimum wages goes up, even by a few cents. Cutting off the bottom of the economic ladder doesn't magically make them all richer. If so, we should theoretically raise the minimum wage to $1,000,000 dollars.

Regulations on who a business can hire, and safety regulations, also cut off the poorest from entering the workforce. This is because such regulations, like the aforementioned minimum wage, require that a worker has to produce above the total net cost of the regulations, as well as other costs and wages. If a business is forced to have certain regulations in place, an unskilled worker has less chance of entering the workforce, because he can't produce as much as his skilled colleagues, and can't cover the cost of his employment. Obviously, an unskilled worker may need to sacrifice safety for wages, or wages for safety, depending on what he needs and values. But keep in mind that he can still choose his employer, and that creates competition even amongst him and his future employers, because he's now part of the labour market.

Other regulations that prevent unskilled workers entering the workforce are the affirmative action and equal employment laws. Because all businesses, regardless of wealth, have to obey this law, a company may have to forgo the employment of an unskilled man because they're forced, to hire a woman, regardless of her skills, to meet their requirements. And because there's no objective way to determine whether a company hires on the basis of race or productivity under such laws, more productive people will have to forgo employment, because a person of different gender/race is needed, regardless of how productive the two prospective employees may be.

When someone is out of work for a long period of time, even if it is because of genetic qualities that can't be controlled as discussed above, the lack of respect for the self -and others- disappears, and someone with no such respect won't spend the money he does have to properly improve his situation -he only acts on the expediency of the moment, which leads to drug violence, gang violence and impulsive actions, regardless of the consequences.

Get back to the traditional punishment-and-restitution system of imprisonment. Let the prisoners know that what they did was WRONG. The softening of the jail system, in both America and other parts of the world such as Britain and New Zealand, led to a massive surge in all crime types of crime -ranging from theft to terrorism- in the 1960s onward. Beforehand, America's murder rate in 1960 was at half of what it was in 1934, and would be very low today if that trend continued, and the same applies to NZ and Britain. Why did the murder rate soar so dramatically during the 1960s?

One of the main reasons, as well as the ones already stated, is that the jail system, instead of the traditional and effective system of punishment-and-restitution that characterized jail systems in all three countries and made Britain revered as a very safe place, was replaced by a system where crime was never quite your fault, and prisoners had the luxury of not needing to know what is was that they did wrong -which is a deep philosophical issue. Restitution was replaced by rehabilitation, -except how can you be "rehabilitated" if you don't know what you did wrong. Rehabilitation, without restitution, is useless, and it is one reason why 80% of American jailbirds are repeat offenders. The process of correction begins with knowing what one did wrong, and setting out to rectify it. But as recent events have shown, it's impossible to have the latter without the former. To be thrown in jail for murder, without a proper moral understanding of what murder is and why it's wrong, is to be unable for the moral consequences of committing murder, no matter how many times it's committed. Not to mention, it's very easy to get past rehab by simply lying your way through, and concealing your trues thoughts and feelings of it. This philosophy on criminals, which spurred from the relativism of the time, Removed any need to know why murder is wrong, and thus got people thoroughly annoyed when they were thrown in jail for reasons they don't know. Thus, prison riots.

Observe the hopelessness and worthlessness of those committing crimes. To commit a crime is fundamentally an act of self-hate; it is the clearest expression of the belief of worthlessness of one's self, and the lowing of one's self to the level of an animal, that he must destroy the values of other people, which are also his means of living rationally -to harness values- and that no one should be above his level. To commit a crime is to declare that one's self is lower than an animal, and that his values that he finds in other people, plus their own values, are worthless, and that no one else, all being equal, is above him. Of course, the scope of this expression ranges from the smallest theft to the largest murder.

Observe the irrational mentality of a serial killer. He is a man without hope and self-esteem, a man who puts self-doubt, neglect and abuse above any value. A man with such a low esteem of himself, and can't find values in oneself, also can't find values in another man; he is alien to the concept of rationality and self-esteem He sets out on a process of self-destruction, mixing together the worst elements of society to form a concoction fully expressive with his view of humanity. First, he may turn to drugs, than to guns and destructive concepts (such as with the Columbine High Murderers), and then to murder. With this mentality, he has no idea why murder is considered wrong, but he is displaying it.

This is in contrast to a productive man, and his pursuit of values. A productive man may not be as rich as the man above, poverty doesn't necessarily equate crime; but instead, the productive man is able to pursue his rational values, which moves him up in the world, and his self-esteem -and as thus, the way he treats others- increases. This isn't a possible concept to the man who seeks out on self-destruction, unless the remnants of rationality that he locked up can see the world he created for himself, and set out to change it.

(One place where the destructive mentality sets in is at school, as I've discussed, but that's a whole different story.)

Promote gun ownership amongst law-abiding people. American gun-haters yearn for a place where they can escape to, free of guns. Luckily for them, such a place exists in America; it's called Washington, DC. Similarly, they should hate any place where everyone has a gun; such a place exists, it's called Switzerland.

A gun by itself, can't murder people; it needs to fall into the hands of the irrational to do that. But observe that, as any murder case shows, irrational men don't abide by the law - if guns are banned, they'll happily buy a gun off the black market, or smuggle one in. If a gun is what he wants as his murder weapon, a gun's what he gets. Only rational men abide by the law, which serves to disarm innocent civilians in a murder. He could carry a less lethal weapon around with him, such as a knife, but throwing a knife at a man 10 metres away will likely do nothing.

In Edwardian London, the crime rate was only a tiny fraction of what it is today; similarly, it was common that, if a crime was committed, for a policeman to use a civilian's gun to stop a criminal. A murder was really, really big news, and the fact that everyone owned a gun was a good thing, and so it was. A similar case exists in Switzerland, and there, they get their guns free of charge from the military!

Contrast Edwardian London, or Switzerland, to Washington, DC. Soon after the city's gun ban went into effect, the murder rate skyrocketed, and to watch crime as it took place on the street was common. Even though Washington has come a long way in combating crime, the murder rate is still spiked. The result was that murderers still got their guns, and civilians had to get them from out-of-state or the black market, possibly resulting in jail time. Many similar laws are in place in America's most dangerous cities, which keep crime high in the ghetto, no matter how far other neighbourhoods have come.

As a final point on guns in America, observe that less than 1/4 of Americans actually own a gun.

Finally, DON'T become Europe. Somehow, pointing to the more peaceful (even though this is only half the truth) societies in Europe seems to justify the Left's position on crime. In fact, Europe, even with less violent crime than the US, actually has more property crime and fraud, in which Germany is King. Also, go into, for instance, a poor Parisian suburb -most of whom are just as bad as their counterparts in US cities. Although I don't have proof to say so, a lot of the difference in crime can probably be put down to differences in what is a homicide, and differing views on violent crime.

Even if the differences can largely be explained by difference in reporting, there's still the fact that Europe had to endure division, two world wars, and near complete destruction at the hands of the Nazis in the 20th Century. America never had to endure such destruction, and there were few lessons to be learnt in the World Wars, compared to what Europe endured. Perhaps having this lesson shoved down their throats in the World Wars is the reason why European societies seem to be peacefully, compared to the US.

But if all else fails, Europe was just as, if not more, peaceful during its years of laissez faire before the events of the 20th Century came along.

Those are the six issues America (and the UK and NZ) have to tackle if they want to cut crime permanently, and as it happens. To combat crime, the "entitlement culture" and culture of hopelessness in the ghettos need to be replaced by the self-esteem and rational thinking of the original immigrants, from the statist regimes of Europe. Gun ownership should be promoted among law-abiding citizens, and imprisonment should be based on the old system of punishment and restitution. To build self-esteem, productivity is needed amongst the poorest people of society, and to do that, regulations on business, employment and trade need to be scrapped. Only with these reforms, can the US, the UK and NZ go back to the level of safety before the 1960s, when most of the reforms and legislation that raised crime levels were introduced.

1 comment:

personallydisinterested said...

Excellent writing and argumentation.