Monday, October 03, 2005

A Retort to "Cut Crime Down in America by Aborting Black Babies

This is what the supposedly saintly Bill Bennett
had to say the other day about the crime rate.
Obviously, the controversial and clearly racist
remarks of Mr. Bennett show exactly the kind of base
and bigoted notions embraced by many people in the US.

From an entirely data driven point of view, there is
no obvious correlation between crime rates and the
race of the perpetrator of the crimes. When real
economists control for variables such as income level
and family circumstances, access to education and so
forth, race per se disappears as a compelling factor
in determining the propensity of a person to commit a
Mr. Bennett was commenting on a passage in a recent
book " FREAKANOMICS" that suggested an empirical link
between the declining US crime rates in the 1990s and
the landmark Supreme Court abortion legalization
ruling of 1973. But that passage in the book only
finds a causal connection between the two trends,
greater access to abortion and decling crime rates,
and does not per se suggest that the race of the
aborted fetus had anything to do with it. The authors
of the book reacted to this recent uproar on their
blog, and demolished much
of the fuzzy thinking that links race and crime as
disproportionately connected to the exclusion of other
factors. While many crimes are committed by black
people, the determining characteristic is not
neccesarily their race but rather their socio-economic
conditions while growing up.
Obviously, there is the other risk of swinging far
to the other side and impugning all lower income
people as prone to criminality, which is as immoral as
suggesting that blacks own the franchise on crime as
suggested by Mr. Bennett.



  1. Anonymous11:40 AM

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