Re: SOC: Crime rates down again

Abraham Moses Genen (
Tue, 03 Jun 1997 19:41:36 -0400

James Rogers wrote:
> At 03:58 PM 6/2/97 -0700, Max More wrote:
> >For those who think society is in an inevitable decline: The FBI just
> >released their crime figures (no, not crimes *by* the FBI--those they don't
> >reveal!). Violent crime dropped for the fifth year in a row in the USA,
> >this time by 7%. This includes an 11% decline in murders (16.5% decline
> >here in LA).
> >
> >Of course, government agencies want to take the credit, though it's really
> >not clear why this downward trend is happening. The LA Times story
> >speculating that it's because the baby boomers are aging and there are
> >fewer young people (who mostly commit the violent crimes). This may
> >contribute, though I find it doubtful that this alone would result in such
> >a rapid decline in violent crime.
> I would most likely attribute the decrease in violent crime to a strong
> economy and low unemployment. There is always the small hardcore criminal
> element, but the larger majority is people who become involved in criminal
> activity during times of economic or personal hardship. Strong wages and
> plentiful jobs means more people are likely to be working normal jobs.
> -James Rogers

Actually, I believe that the reason the crime rate appears to have gone
down (at least as far as crimes of violence are concerned) is because
many of the violations of law that have been occuring are technically
not yet classified as crimes.
What the FBI does not include as crimes are many of the offenses
normally classified as fraud. Most of these fraudulent acts a handled as
civil offences and therefore not included in USDOJ statistics.
If an analysis were made of civil fraud complaints usually considered to
be consumer fraud complaints that have been filed with the FTC, the SEC,
the Postal Inspector, the 50 state Attorneys General, other Consumer
Protection Agencies and the small claims courts around the country, I
think you would find that the number of incidents of financial loss as
well as the amount of money lost through fraud have increased
Since these incidents tend to involve emotional rather than physical
pain they tend to be de-emphasized by the media. And, since many of the
frauds are committed by allegedly "reputable" members of society with
the ability to obtain political and legal support for their actions, it
is currently unlikely that any substantive action to prevent most
incidents of fraud will be taken by law enforcement officials. The
unfortunate reality of the situation is that most prosecutions of fraud
are to complex for criminal prosecuters to handle and lack media "sex