"I don't know if poverty causes crime" - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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"I don't know if poverty causes crime"

The above is a brilliant quote from Ann Coulter on Real Time. She then went on to admit that she was turning on Bush, primarily over the Harriet Meiers nomination. C'mon -- how out of of touch can one person be to think that poverty isn't a factor in crime? Wow.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 09:46 AM
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RE: "I don't know if poverty causes crime"

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The above is a brilliant quote from Ann Coulter on Real Time. She then went on to admit that she was turning on Bush, primarily over the Harriet Meiers nomination. C'mon -- how out of of touch can one person be to think that poverty isn't a factor in crime? Wow.
Assuming your quote from Coulter is verbatim, there's a big difference between something that is a factor and whether it is a "cause".

That's like NHTSA's alcohol/accident stats. Let's assume you had a glass of wine with dinner and are stopped at a red light on the way home from the restaurant. Along comes a sober driver, but they're yakking on their cell phone and not paying attention and slam right into you. Guess what? That goes in the books as an alcohol-related accident, even though the alcohol was completely irrelevant. (I'd argue that alcohol wasn't even a *factor*, but the point of this digression is to draw those types of distinctions.)

Don't get me wrong, Coulter's a goof. But no reason further misconstruing her own misconstructions or reaching a conclusion she didn't offer. From what little I know of her I'd bet she'd agree that poverty is a factor in crime, but it's not the cause.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 09:56 AM
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RE: "I don't know if poverty causes crime"

Quote:
gregs210 - 10/13/2005 10:46 AM

Quote:
The above is a brilliant quote from Ann Coulter on Real Time. She then went on to admit that she was turning on Bush, primarily over the Harriet Meiers nomination. C'mon -- how out of of touch can one person be to think that poverty isn't a factor in crime? Wow.
Assuming your quote from Coulter is verbatim, there's a big difference between something that is a factor and whether it is a "cause".

That's like NHTSA's alcohol/accident stats. Let's assume you had a glass of wine with dinner and are stopped at a red light on the way home from the restaurant. Along comes a sober driver, but they're yakking on their cell phone and not paying attention and slam right into you. Guess what? That goes in the books as an alcohol-related accident, even though the alcohol was completely irrelevant. (I'd argue that alcohol wasn't even a *factor*, but the point of this digression is to draw those types of distinctions.)

Don't get me wrong, Coulter's a goof. But no reason further misconstruing her own misconstructions or reaching a conclusion she didn't offer. From what little I know of her I'd bet she'd agree that poverty is a factor in crime, but it's not the cause.
Watch a couple episodes of COPS and I think your case study would conclude quite rapidly....unless of course a matching set of pink flamingos in front of a trailer home and a complete collection of Flintstone jelly jars constitutes wealth in your opinion.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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RE: "I don't know if poverty causes crime"

I would argue that from a sociological perspective, it is such an enormous factor, that the distinction of "cause" from "factor" is little more than semantics.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 10:23 AM
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RE: "I don't know if poverty causes crime"

My parents generation was so poor they went without shoes (not joking). There was also very little crime. Why was that? Poverty=crime is too simple.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 10:24 AM
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RE: "I don't know if poverty causes crime"

This argument is ridiculous.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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RE: "I don't know if poverty causes crime"

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jjl - 10/13/2005 9:23 AM

My parents generation was so poor they went without shoes (not joking). There was also very little crime. Why was that? Poverty=crime is too simple.
Sounds like there was no one to steal from.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 10:35 AM
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RE: "I don't know if poverty causes crime"

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kvining - 10/13/2005 5:24 PM

This argument is ridiculous.
What, that poverty causes crime? If this were true, we could take the gdp of every nation in the world and predict their crime rates i.e. explain a reasonable percentage of the variance. We could also take a time series of GDP growth and show a strong cross-correlation with crime rates. I don't think either of these is likely, but I could be wrong. Is it true that the poorest have stayed as poor as ever? On the other hand, I do remember reading about *relative* poverty being a factor i.e. having less than your neighbours.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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RE: "I don't know if poverty causes crime"

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kvining - 10/13/2005 9:24 AM

This argument is ridiculous.
That retort was either criminal or simply poor, I'm trying to decide.

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 10-13-2005, 10:40 AM
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RE: "I don't know if poverty causes crime"

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GermanStar - 10/13/2005 5:32 PM

Quote:
jjl - 10/13/2005 9:23 AM

My parents generation was so poor they went without shoes (not joking). There was also very little crime. Why was that? Poverty=crime is too simple.
Sounds like there was no one to steal from.
No, if you look at British cities even now you will find the homes of the comparatively very rich dating from Victorian and Edwardian periods. These are generally in the west of the city, in the direction of our prevailing winds, hidden from the pollution of the great unwashed and their satanic mills.
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