As it becomes clearer that the economy is struggling both nationally and globally I believe it would be only a matter of time before crime increases. The BBC reports an increase in crime in our Southern Neighbor Mexico this may allow us to draw the inference the tidal surge will effect our nation. see ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7597138.stm )
While I don’t necessarily see white shoe Investment Bankers morphing from white collar robbers to bank robbers , but given their dubious dealings it does not seem like a metaphysical task. However CNN today reports that Homelessness is up shapely in Massachusetts. See ( http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/10/06/economy.homeless.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories)
In an article from Amatuer Economists quoting most of the Heritage foundations findings ( http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed111500a.cfm )” Is their a correlation between crime and the economy “http://www.amateureconomists.com/blogs/2008/09/10/is-there-a-correlation-between-crime-and-the-economy/ ) overall the author states the answer is no. Nevertheless, it appears that the nation as a whole and urban environments with the later experiencing an increase in crime. may behave differently.
However, can we compare the mindset of the great depression and the character of Americans than to our present day mindset, which is in my opinion more selfish, more reliant on government assistance than on self reliance. Ron Howard’s film
Cinderella Man ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinderella_Man ), portrayed the shame a family felt being on public assistance. Today, no such ” make it on my own” mentality exists. I’m not suggesting that an unemployed person out of work because of circumstances beyond his control should feel shame, but the ethos of picking ones self up by the boots is a diminishing character trait.
The author does note that in the 80’s crack epidemic many young men in the urban communities made an economic decision to sell drugs as real wages fell. As a young cop in 1986 I can personally attest to the extreme gun riddled violence associated with drug dealers protecting their territory, bad stuff. NPR suggest the video ” Crackheads Gone Wild has an important message. ( http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5650844 )
What factors today have changed that may suggest an increase in crime. For one in New York Wall Street provides three jobs for every one on the traditional trading floor. see ( http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzdata1001,0,1623188.story ) Wall Street provides up to 20% of the entire State of New York’s tax revenues, and 11% of New York City’s. see ( http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=asz_KzGSCc6o&refer=us ) As such then will New York be able to maintain its financial assistance to non profit, social, and affordable housing groups. And assuming that this assistance is enabling many just to ” get by” , what will happen when the money dries up, which is inevitable.
If the present Mexican crime increase is an indicator, the financial crisis may also cause crime to increase. Today the variables of ( permanent wall street job losses and ancillary job loss which are frequently lower and often border line ” non living wages” increase immigrant workers, decrease in public funds for social programs, inflation, recession- depression indicators, strongly suggest crime will rise. As the City of New York has already announced budget cut back’s police agency’s will struggle to maintain decreases in crime. Wall Street has caused more than financial victims they have put in motion a cascade of events and one of those will be an increase in crime.