Thursday, August 02, 2012
Income Inequality And Violent Crime
But it now looks like there is a third, and equally terrible, consequence of the vast and growing inequality of wealth and income -- a rise in violent crime. A scientific paper, printed in the prestigious publication Social Science and Medicine, and written by Ichiro Kawachi and Bruce P. Kennedy (both of the Harvard School of Public Health) and Richard G. Wilkinson (University of Sussex) shows that several violent crimes have a definite relationship with economic inequality. That means that as the economic inequality grows larger, there is a rise in the incidence of these crimes.
The researchers used crime data from many police organizations (including the FBI) to compare crime rates in states that have a large income inequality to states that have a lesser income inequalty. They found that violent crimes (like robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide) do correlate to the income equality in the states. The only violent crime that did not have a correlation is rape. The only non-violent crime with a fairly strong correlation is burglary. Here are the correlation numbers (note that homicide has the strongest correlation):
Remember this when you go to the polls in November. The Republican policy of trickle-down economics is the prime cause of the vast income and wealth inequality in this country. And that inequality is not only causing serious damage to our economy and our political system, but it is also a prime cause of the high rates of violent crime.