TheRPGSite

Fan Forums => The RPGPundit's Own Forum => Topic started by: jhkim on December 01, 2021, 08:19:59 PM

Title: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: jhkim on December 01, 2021, 08:19:59 PM
Following up on a tangent from the Rittenhouse trial thread, that started here (https://www.therpgsite.com/the-rpgpundit-s-own-forum/so-how-about-that-rittenhouse-trial/msg1196780/#msg1196780).

I think focusing on individual news stories can often miss the forest for the trees, so I'd like to bring up again what people see as happening for crime in society. I cited a number of graphs from the FBI's crime explorer:

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/crime-trend

These are police report stats collected by the FBI, but crimes against citizens are also tracked independently of police by the NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey), which was specifically established as a randomized sample that cross-checks police statistics. That serves to make those more reliable, though it doesn't help with crimes that don't victimize citizens like tax evasion or speeding. (I'd consider those less reliable.)

Wider than crime statistics, it's easy to forget how bad things were in the past. The 1992 Rodney King riots killed 63 people - which is far higher than the estimates for the 2020 George Floyd riots. Going earlier, there were many more race riots in the 1960s and 1970s. In politics, the 1960s also saw more political assassinations than the present. There are plenty of problems at present, but I think it is important to look at trends objectively.

There are some things that have for sure gotten worse. ​U.S. overdose deaths are worse than they have ever been. Suicide rates are below their high in the 1930s, but they're higher than they've been in a long time. Americans are depressed and unhappy - which I think social media, news, and partisanship play a big role in.

https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/republicans/2019/9/long-term-trends-in-deaths-of-despair
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Trond on December 02, 2021, 08:42:03 AM
It’s possible that the Rodney King riots were worse, but I also think that deaths from the George Floyd riots are underreported. It was as if crime and killings in Chicago and elsewhere just happened to skyrocket at the same time.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Pat on December 02, 2021, 09:29:24 AM
That's a very biased way of looking at the data.

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/shr

Set the range from 1985 to 2020, and look at the graph.

The homicide rate was much higher in the 1990s, but there wasn't a sharp spike in 1992, corresponding to the Rodney King riots. It did go up between 1991 and 1992, but that's because the trend was already sharply up. But the steepness of the curve at 1992 was actually flattening out. The homicide rate wasn't rising as fast.

Contrast that to 2020. Homicide numbers have been much lower for two to two and a half decades, but the difference between 2019 and 2020 is staggering. It's a huge upswing, by far the steepest increase across the entire range of years. And it's completely out of nowhere, because the homicide rate was essentially flat prior to 2020. To find a high number than 2020, you have to go back to 1995.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: oggsmash on December 02, 2021, 12:35:31 PM
Following up on a tangent from the Rittenhouse trial thread, that started here (https://www.therpgsite.com/the-rpgpundit-s-own-forum/so-how-about-that-rittenhouse-trial/msg1196780/#msg1196780).

I think focusing on individual news stories can often miss the forest for the trees, so I'd like to bring up again what people see as happening for crime in society. I cited a number of graphs from the FBI's crime explorer:

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/crime-trend

These are police report stats collected by the FBI, but crimes against citizens are also tracked independently of police by the NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey), which was specifically established as a randomized sample that cross-checks police statistics. That serves to make those more reliable, though it doesn't help with crimes that don't victimize citizens like tax evasion or speeding. (I'd consider those less reliable.)

Wider than crime statistics, it's easy to forget how bad things were in the past. The 1992 Rodney King riots killed 63 people - which is far higher than the estimates for the 2020 George Floyd riots. Going earlier, there were many more race riots in the 1960s and 1970s. In politics, the 1960s also saw more political assassinations than the present. There are plenty of problems at present, but I think it is important to look at trends objectively.

There are some things that have for sure gotten worse. ​U.S. overdose deaths are worse than they have ever been. Suicide rates are below their high in the 1930s, but they're higher than they've been in a long time. Americans are depressed and unhappy - which I think social media, news, and partisanship play a big role in.

https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/republicans/2019/9/long-term-trends-in-deaths-of-despair

  Well, if you make theft not a crime, crime will go down.  If you make rioting not a crime, crime will go down.  If you call dudes killing one another in the street a friendly shoot out and press no charges, crime will go down.  homicide in certain areas is up, way up.  The simple fact people flee shit holes to areas with less crime so that the shitholes have fewer people to kill is not really a great metric to look at.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: jhkim on December 02, 2021, 02:35:06 PM
It’s possible that the Rodney King riots were worse, but I also think that deaths from the George Floyd riots are underreported. It was as if crime and killings in Chicago and elsewhere just happened to skyrocket at the same time.

I'm going by right-wing sources for the George Floyd riots, like these from Real Clear Investigations and The Federalist, which reported 20+ and 30 deaths, respectively.

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2021/09/09/realclearinvestigations_jan_6-blm_comparison_database_791370.html
https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/19/death-toll-rises-to-an-estimated-30-victims-since-mostly-peaceful-protests-began/


That's a very biased way of looking at the data.

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/shr

Set the range from 1985 to 2020, and look at the graph.

The homicide rate was much higher in the 1990s, but there wasn't a sharp spike in 1992, corresponding to the Rodney King riots. It did go up between 1991 and 1992, but that's because the trend was already sharply up. But the steepness of the curve at 1992 was actually flattening out. The homicide rate wasn't rising as fast.

Contrast that to 2020. Homicide numbers have been much lower for two to two and a half decades, but the difference between 2019 and 2020 is staggering. It's a huge upswing, by far the steepest increase across the entire range of years. And it's completely out of nowhere, because the homicide rate was essentially flat prior to 2020. To find a high number than 2020, you have to go back to 1995.

I agree with everything that you say here, Pat. I think you're reading some causal link or lack thereof between race riots and general crime rates, but I didn't mean to imply a relationship either way.

It seems like you're saying the crime data is believable too, though, so in that we agree. In the other thread, my main argument was with SHARK - who said that the crime statistics were bullshit because he knew from looking at the news that crime was much higher than in the 1990s.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Shasarak on December 02, 2021, 04:05:14 PM
I'm going by right-wing sources for the George Floyd riots, like these from Real Clear Investigations and The Federalist, which reported 20+ and 30 deaths, respectively.

20 to 30 deaths is just a quiet weekend in Chicago.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Reckall on December 02, 2021, 05:03:51 PM
The decline in crime in the last few decades, at least in the US, is tied to Roe vs. Wade. Of course no one will ever touch that.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: oggsmash on December 02, 2021, 05:09:47 PM
The decline in crime in the last few decades, at least in the US, is tied to Roe vs. Wade. Of course no one will ever touch that.

  I dont think there is any reach to say the same people most willing to dispose of their kids are also the most likely to raise criminals.  I just doubt any politicians would use that as a reason to keep abortion legal safe and *rare*.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Pat on December 02, 2021, 05:56:27 PM
It seems like you're saying the crime data is believable too, though, so in that we agree. In the other thread, my main argument was with SHARK - who said that the crime statistics were bullshit because he knew from looking at the news that crime was much higher than in the 1990s.
You should go look at who else was posting in that thread, and what they were saying.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Pat on December 02, 2021, 05:57:40 PM
The decline in crime in the last few decades, at least in the US, is tied to Roe vs. Wade. Of course no one will ever touch that.
According to the Freakonomics crew, yes. But while it's an interesting hypothesis, it's just a hypothesis. Nobody's really sure. Others claim it's due to the rise of broken window policing, which I'm skeptical about.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: jhkim on December 02, 2021, 07:15:56 PM
The decline in crime in the last few decades, at least in the US, is tied to Roe vs. Wade. Of course no one will ever touch that.
According to the Freakonomics crew, yes. But while it's an interesting hypothesis, it's just a hypothesis. Nobody's really sure. Others claim it's due to the rise of broken window policing, which I'm skeptical about.

Another popular hypothesis is the reduction in childhood exposure to lead, cf.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead%E2%80%93crime_hypothesis

And of course, it could well be a mixture of all of these factors. I think abortion and lead both seem believable as at least significant effects. I'm also skeptical about changes in policing, but I don't outright reject it.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Kyle Aaron on December 02, 2021, 10:15:51 PM
I dont think there is any reach to say the same people most willing to dispose of their kids are also the most likely to raise criminals. 
I'd express it more as: the sort of person who is unable to plan safe sex and pregnancy probably is unable to plan the rest of their lives, too. So there'll be more day-to-day drama, more people coming in and out of the household, more jobs got and lost, more money burned through, more schooldays lost, less non-cash government help accessed, and so on.

In the OCEAN personality traits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits) they call it "Conscientiousness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscientiousness)" - that's more the attitudinal trait than the learned skill, but the two tend to go together. In the US military I believe terms are used like "squared away" and most people know it as "having your shit together."

People who are conscientious are more likely to use contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancies, less likely to have multiple short relationships, and so on. They won't need or choose to have (depending how you look at it) abortions as often as unconscientious people.

As much as conservatives like decrying how society is changed, it may be that we have more conscientious people now than we used to, across the Western world. Which would translate to less crime - over time. Obviously there are other things affecting it, and there will be year-to-year variations, etc.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Ghostmaker on December 03, 2021, 08:05:47 AM
One argument made is that crime directly correlates to poverty levels.  And let's be honest: 'poverty line' in the U.S. still lives a hell of a lot better than other places in the modern world.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: jhkim on December 03, 2021, 12:37:49 PM
One argument made is that crime directly correlates to poverty levels.  And let's be honest: 'poverty line' in the U.S. still lives a hell of a lot better than other places in the modern world.

I'd agree in the bigger picture that crime is at least partly related to poverty - but within the U.S., the poverty rate has been roughly flat since 1990 while the crime rate dropped dramatically from 1990 to the mid-2000s. So that change doesn't seem to be related to poverty.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Ghostmaker on December 03, 2021, 01:20:05 PM
One argument made is that crime directly correlates to poverty levels.  And let's be honest: 'poverty line' in the U.S. still lives a hell of a lot better than other places in the modern world.

I'd agree in the bigger picture that crime is at least partly related to poverty - but within the U.S., the poverty rate has been roughly flat since 1990 while the crime rate dropped dramatically from 1990 to the mid-2000s. So that change doesn't seem to be related to poverty.
Well, there is also the gradual erosion of shitty Jim Crow-era gun control laws. That's also been going on for a while. Not sure if there's a causal effect though, I'll admit.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: tenbones on December 06, 2021, 09:58:50 AM
The decline in crime in the last few decades, at least in the US, is tied to Roe vs. Wade. Of course no one will ever touch that.

Oh yes... that little piece of data is quite a "fun" rabbit-hole to go down.

As someone that worked as an EMT in the Rodney King riots... I can attest to the size and scope of the carnage. It made Kenosha look pretty tame by actual comparison. Of course if you live a non-megasprawl city, the scope of "crime" is probably lost on you by only looking at numbers.

When I was an EMT my first assignment was Inglewood CA, right in the hood. It made me realize how little my fellow citizens were blissfully unaware of how much violence was going on under their noses on a nightly basis. It wizened me to relative ignorance of people generally, very quickly. It was also a difficult thing to discuss with outs, while having to experience it nightly, and the toll it takes on a person. It's very isolating.

Anecdotal? Sure. But the reality is this: the same people doing the same shit for the same dumb fucking reasons, still continues. It might move to different locales, it might be insisted that the reasons are different (they're not), but it will continue because the people doing this stuff have no concept of morality, or ethics, or have any standards beyond self-gratification (generally speaking).

Leaving CA in the mid-90's for Texas was like leaving an home world for a place that I could scarcely believe was real. Then I realized *I* was the alien. I can't imagine what it's like to be from CA right now and come here... it must be mindblowing.

Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Kyle Aaron on December 06, 2021, 11:54:40 PM
It wizened me to relative ignorance of people generally, very quickly. It was also a difficult thing to discuss with outs, while having to experience it nightly, and the toll it takes on a person. It's very isolating.
The other side of that:

In A Writer's Guide to Violence, he mentions some career advice given to young cops, something like, "2% of people are scum, but if you spend 90% of your time with 2% of the people who are scum and those who have to work with them, you think 90% of people are scum. Have friends and hobbies outside the job."

I think that's probably good advice for paramedics and the like, too. It would be good advice for soldiers, but they don't really have a choice who they spend time with.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Reckall on December 07, 2021, 06:56:23 AM
I think that's probably good advice for paramedics and the like, too.

For how true this is just watch "Bringing out the Dead" by Martin Scorsese or read the book it was based on.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: tenbones on December 07, 2021, 10:31:07 AM
I think that's probably good advice for paramedics and the like, too.

For how true this is just watch "Bringing out the Dead" by Martin Scorsese or read the book it was based on.

I've avoided re-watching that movie for decades. Seriously, it reminds me of those years and the stress I was in, it's "satire" that is horribly close to the truth. While Cage's performance is "over the top", it's not far from the mark.

There was a lot of self-medicating, self-loathing, and existential angst during that time and questionable, always questionable, choices made back then.

As an aside - if you can believe it - Cage and Sizemore had it *MUCH* better than I did. They had a really nice rig, and base of operations. I worked for an ambulance company that was based IN A MORTUARY (McCormick Ambulance was owned by McCormick Mortuary) and it was so ghetto that most here could not believe the working conditions. Granted this was in the late 80's, I'm sure standards have changed since then.

Metropolitan First Responder Services are ****light years**** different than the sub-urbs or smaller towns. This goes back to that 2% Kyle is talking about... when that 2% is tens of thousands of people crammed into the same shitty neighborhoods you service... yeah, it gets ugly real fast, every single night.

Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Ghostmaker on December 07, 2021, 11:56:11 AM
I think that's probably good advice for paramedics and the like, too.

For how true this is just watch "Bringing out the Dead" by Martin Scorsese or read the book it was based on.

I've avoided re-watching that movie for decades. Seriously, it reminds me of those years and the stress I was in, it's "satire" that is horribly close to the truth. While Cage's performance is "over the top", it's not far from the mark.

There was a lot of self-medicating, self-loathing, and existential angst during that time and questionable, always questionable, choices made back then.

As an aside - if you can believe it - Cage and Sizemore had it *MUCH* better than I did. They had a really nice rig, and base of operations. I worked for an ambulance company that was based IN A MORTUARY (McCormick Ambulance was owned by McCormick Mortuary) and it was so ghetto that most here could not believe the working conditions. Granted this was in the late 80's, I'm sure standards have changed since then.

Metropolitan First Responder Services are ****light years**** different than the sub-urbs or smaller towns. This goes back to that 2% Kyle is talking about... when that 2% is tens of thousands of people crammed into the same shitty neighborhoods you service... yeah, it gets ugly real fast, every single night.
Are you familiar with Kelly Grayson? He blogged extensively about his work as an EMT and would later compile stories into a book ('En Route: A Paramedic's Stories of Life, Death, and Everything In Between'). And that stuff was on the more cheerful, optimistic side.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Kyle Aaron on December 07, 2021, 06:16:40 PM
This goes back to that 2% Kyle is talking about... when that 2% is tens of thousands of people crammed into the same shitty neighborhoods you service... yeah, it gets ugly real fast, every single night.
As a gaming aside, over the years I've seen a lot of people scorn or ignore Classic Traveller's Social stat, and not many games have it. Those in the middle class like to pretend we're a classless society, but whatever Trading Places told us, if you take one of those 2%, clean them up and stick them in a suit at a reception at the White House, they will stand out - and pretty quickly be thrown out. On the other hand, put a Megan Markle or Elon Musk in that ghetto and they'd be dead by dawn, and would have suffered very, very horribly on the way there.

We may or may not want to include it in our games or fiction, but in reality socioeconomic class does matter.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: jhkim on December 07, 2021, 06:25:37 PM
For how true this is just watch "Bringing out the Dead" by Martin Scorsese or read the book it was based on.

I've avoided re-watching that movie for decades. Seriously, it reminds me of those years and the stress I was in, it's "satire" that is horribly close to the truth. While Cage's performance is "over the top", it's not far from the mark.

There was a lot of self-medicating, self-loathing, and existential angst during that time and questionable, always questionable, choices made back then.

As an aside - if you can believe it - Cage and Sizemore had it *MUCH* better than I did. They had a really nice rig, and base of operations. I worked for an ambulance company that was based IN A MORTUARY (McCormick Ambulance was owned by McCormick Mortuary) and it was so ghetto that most here could not believe the working conditions. Granted this was in the late 80's, I'm sure standards have changed since then.

I've added the movie to my watchlist. Sadly, self-medication and bad choices continue. My girlfriend's new job is in an addiction center, and they're constantly dealing with people relapsing, in abusive relationships, and/or other problems. I don't know how it's changed for EMTs, but substance abuse has generally gotten worse.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Shasarak on December 07, 2021, 06:43:59 PM
I see that the US is finally going to charge parents for their childrens crimes so while there could be an initial spiking of the crime rate it should come down when parents start to realise that they have to take responsibility for other peoples actions.

I am not sure why it has taken so long for this obvious step to be taken.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: HappyDaze on December 08, 2021, 12:18:35 AM
I see that the US is finally going to charge parents for their childrens crimes so while there could be an initial spiking of the crime rate it should come down when parents start to realise that they have to take responsibility for other peoples actions.

I am not sure why it has taken so long for this obvious step to be taken.
Seems very weird to charge parents for a child's crimes when the child is being tried as an adult.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: 3catcircus on December 10, 2021, 09:48:44 AM
I see that the US is finally going to charge parents for their childrens crimes so while there could be an initial spiking of the crime rate it should come down when parents start to realise that they have to take responsibility for other peoples actions.

I am not sure why it has taken so long for this obvious step to be taken.
Seems very weird to charge parents for a child's crimes when the child is being tried as an adult.

I think that they're trying to send the message that the parents did nothing to prevent the crime.  Kinda like charging the getaway driver with murder when the stickup man shoots and kills the clerk at the Kwik-E-Mart...
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Ghostmaker on December 10, 2021, 10:24:26 AM
I see that the US is finally going to charge parents for their childrens crimes so while there could be an initial spiking of the crime rate it should come down when parents start to realise that they have to take responsibility for other peoples actions.

I am not sure why it has taken so long for this obvious step to be taken.
Seems very weird to charge parents for a child's crimes when the child is being tried as an adult.

I think that they're trying to send the message that the parents did nothing to prevent the crime.  Kinda like charging the getaway driver with murder when the stickup man shoots and kills the clerk at the Kwik-E-Mart...
That case is fucking weird anyways. The parents allegedly bought the kid the handgun, and when he was caught drawing weird shit and searching for ammo online on the school's network, his mom told him 'don't get caught next time'.

So it's not nearly as cut and dried as 'parents charged for child's misbehavior'.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: HappyDaze on December 10, 2021, 01:17:29 PM
I see that the US is finally going to charge parents for their childrens crimes so while there could be an initial spiking of the crime rate it should come down when parents start to realise that they have to take responsibility for other peoples actions.

I am not sure why it has taken so long for this obvious step to be taken.
Seems very weird to charge parents for a child's crimes when the child is being tried as an adult.

I think that they're trying to send the message that the parents did nothing to prevent the crime.  Kinda like charging the getaway driver with murder when the stickup man shoots and kills the clerk at the Kwik-E-Mart...
I haven't ooked closely at it, but are they actually charging them as accessories to the crime with all of the requirements of that charge?
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: oggsmash on December 10, 2021, 01:22:55 PM
  Anyone here ever watch that show "The Wire"  It was great from what I remember, but much like robocop and detroit, it actually got WORSE than depicted in the show.  Anyway, one thing the police brass and politicians always are talking about is "massaging the stats" and making it look as if crime has not increased, or in some areas decreased.  I think that was probably a reflection of harsh reality instead of creative writing.  I would also say, things like a homicide stat to compare to the 90's or the 70's are not as meaningful, since if there is one thing doctors in cities can do these days, it is treat trauma and gunshots.  I think lots of dudes who would have been dead in 1994 get shot and recover these days. 

   When many US cities have higher homicide rates than Rio, I think anyone attempting to paint a picture of "Crime is not that bad, here is the data" is intentionally missing the serious problem areas.  I would also say, decriminalizing a shit load of crimes also does wonders to lower crime rates.   How many televised flash mob robberies to people need to see to understand something is broken in the USA?
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: oggsmash on December 10, 2021, 01:24:31 PM
  I mean, if the CIA is loaded with pedos...well I suspect the FBI can have a few too.    Compromised people are IMO worthless at doing anything that is going to reflect any sort of truth.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: jhkim on December 10, 2021, 02:43:24 PM
   When many US cities have higher homicide rates than Rio, I think anyone attempting to paint a picture of "Crime is not that bad, here is the data" is intentionally missing the serious problem areas.  I would also say, decriminalizing a shit load of crimes also does wonders to lower crime rates.   How many televised flash mob robberies to people need to see to understand something is broken in the USA?

I'm not saying that crime isn't bad. U.S. crime is quite bad - especially our murder rate, which is far worse than other First World countries. What I would say is:

1) U.S. crime was even worse back in the 1980s-1990s. Going earlier - it was better back in the 1950s than today, but worse in the 1930s.
2) One shouldn't judge crime rates (or lots of other things) based on watching television.


  Anyone here ever watch that show "The Wire"  It was great from what I remember, but much like robocop and detroit, it actually got WORSE than depicted in the show.  Anyway, one thing the police brass and politicians always are talking about is "massaging the stats" and making it look as if crime has not increased, or in some areas decreased.  I think that was probably a reflection of harsh reality instead of creative writing.  I would also say, things like a homicide stat to compare to the 90's or the 70's are not as meaningful, since if there is one thing doctors in cities can do these days, it is treat trauma and gunshots.  I think lots of dudes who would have been dead in 1994 get shot and recover these days.

I love The Wire. It's an amazing show, and yes, there is at least some reality to it. It's based on David Simon's non-fiction book "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets" from when he spent 1988 with the Baltimore homicide unit. That book was adapted to television twice: in Homicide: Life on the Street (1993–99) and in The Wire (2002–08). So note that when Simon was writing about police massaging the stats - he was talking about doing so back in 1988. Massaging the stats is something that has always happened - it doesn't explain the huge drop in crime rates from 1990 to the early 2000s. Also, the national NCVS was established decades earlier under Nixon to address local police manipulation of stats.

Sadly, while many other U.S. cities like New York and L.A. have seen decrease in crime, Baltimore homicides have only gotten worse since 1988.

As for improved treatment of gunshots... If that were the primary factor, then I'd expect to see a downward trend in homicide but none in other crimes. But the national trend went down dramatically in most crimes from 1990 to the mid-2000s - including robbery, burglary, assault, and arson.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: oggsmash on December 15, 2021, 11:15:57 AM
   When many US cities have higher homicide rates than Rio, I think anyone attempting to paint a picture of "Crime is not that bad, here is the data" is intentionally missing the serious problem areas.  I would also say, decriminalizing a shit load of crimes also does wonders to lower crime rates.   How many televised flash mob robberies to people need to see to understand something is broken in the USA?

I'm not saying that crime isn't bad. U.S. crime is quite bad - especially our murder rate, which is far worse than other First World countries. What I would say is:

1) U.S. crime was even worse back in the 1980s-1990s. Going earlier - it was better back in the 1950s than today, but worse in the 1930s.
2) One shouldn't judge crime rates (or lots of other things) based on watching television.


  Anyone here ever watch that show "The Wire"  It was great from what I remember, but much like robocop and detroit, it actually got WORSE than depicted in the show.  Anyway, one thing the police brass and politicians always are talking about is "massaging the stats" and making it look as if crime has not increased, or in some areas decreased.  I think that was probably a reflection of harsh reality instead of creative writing.  I would also say, things like a homicide stat to compare to the 90's or the 70's are not as meaningful, since if there is one thing doctors in cities can do these days, it is treat trauma and gunshots.  I think lots of dudes who would have been dead in 1994 get shot and recover these days.

I love The Wire. It's an amazing show, and yes, there is at least some reality to it. It's based on David Simon's non-fiction book "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets" from when he spent 1988 with the Baltimore homicide unit. That book was adapted to television twice: in Homicide: Life on the Street (1993–99) and in The Wire (2002–08). So note that when Simon was writing about police massaging the stats - he was talking about doing so back in 1988. Massaging the stats is something that has always happened - it doesn't explain the huge drop in crime rates from 1990 to the early 2000s. Also, the national NCVS was established decades earlier under Nixon to address local police manipulation of stats.

Sadly, while many other U.S. cities like New York and L.A. have seen decrease in crime, Baltimore homicides have only gotten worse since 1988.

As for improved treatment of gunshots... If that were the primary factor, then I'd expect to see a downward trend in homicide but none in other crimes. But the national trend went down dramatically in most crimes from 1990 to the mid-2000s - including robbery, burglary, assault, and arson.

  The USA has a high murder rate for first world countries because we have MANY more criminal gangs than any other first world nation.  There is a VERY clear explanation for the crime dropping in the 90's and you know it.  That much maligned crime bill everyone says was enormously racist took a massive bite out of crime.    I think there is a great deal more unreported crime now as well, but even if there is not, and even if there is a downward trend now, in 2021 (not the mid 2000's, but now), so what?  The reality is you say not to judge crime by TV...when people can be so brazen as to rob a store en masse on camera, I am going to judge that behavior from TV.  I can also say, that is a flat out break down of society.  People are separating out via regions and states now instead of simply fleeing to the suburbs, many are going to whole new states.   Baltimore having triple the homicide rates of Rio is a really, really bad sign.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: oggsmash on December 15, 2021, 11:25:51 AM
  I would also say, mentioning New York having decreased crime, and leaving out why.... the Guilianni and Bloomburg implementing measures that, much like the 90's crime bill, are considered racist and terrible brought crime WAY down.   Who knows what the new mayor will do, but the shit stain leaving right now did not do NYC any favors at all.  I do not know about LA, but I do know LA was a take no prisoners level of law enforcement around the same time the crime bill hit... so I am sure they also took some heavy handed (and likely to be labeled racist measures) towards dropping those crime rates. 

    Many cities have for only a couple years, have been taking a considerably softer touch towards crime, decriminalizing crime so to speak, and putting criminals right back on the street with low cash bail.  That has had a fairly immediate effect, and honestly constantly making actuarial arguments over crime stats from the 90's while ignoring something as simple as extremely low bail on a violent felon in Wisconsin lead DIRECTLY to killing many people and wounding scores of people is missing the forest for the trees. 

   Soft ball treatment of criminals will not reduce crime.  I guess decriminalizing more and more crime will, but if we are not going to look at where and why serious crime areas have the problems they do, it will never, ever be fixed.   
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: jhkim on December 17, 2021, 01:37:53 PM
  The USA has a high murder rate for first world countries because we have MANY more criminal gangs than any other first world nation.  There is a VERY clear explanation for the crime dropping in the 90's and you know it.  That much maligned crime bill everyone says was enormously racist took a massive bite out of crime.    I think there is a great deal more unreported crime now as well, but even if there is not, and even if there is a downward trend now, in 2021 (not the mid 2000's, but now), so what?

As for why it's important - I think in order to understand causes, the first thing is to understand the data. Especially, I want to push against the narrative expounded by SHARK that you can just look at the TV and see how terrible things are now - and that we should go back to how we handled things in the 1980s, ignoring the data because it is bullshit.

As for the causes -- just in this thread, a lot of people here have expressed different opinions. It's not just me. Reckall cited abortion access; Ghostmaker cited poverty levels and gun control; Pat said it was disputed and was skeptical about broken windows policing. You say it's clearly the crime bill.

To be clear - by crime bill, are you talking about the 1994 federal crime bill written by then-senator Joe Biden and signed by Bill Clinton? cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_Crime_Control_and_Law_Enforcement_Act  That included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Violence Against Women Act, among other provisions.

I think it's possible - but I also think it's very difficult to sort out causes from sociological data, especially that crime is affected by all sorts of other factors besides policing. I suspect that the trend is from multiple causes that have to do with society at large. Especially, I think to have a better idea, one would need local data especially on comparison of how the crime rates changes in different localities, compared with how things went in those areas.


  The reality is you say not to judge crime by TV...when people can be so brazen as to rob a store en masse on camera, I am going to judge that behavior from TV.  I can also say, that is a flat out break down of society.  People are separating out via regions and states now instead of simply fleeing to the suburbs, many are going to whole new states.   Baltimore having triple the homicide rates of Rio is a really, really bad sign.

I think going by television is still a terrible idea. You're evidently moved by brazen smash-and-grab robberies. Other people are moved by brazen school shootings - and also claim how terrible things are, but with a different slant. I think the broader reality of crime is very different than television news, just as reality is different than television news in general.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Kyle Aaron on December 17, 2021, 07:34:03 PM
As for improved treatment of gunshots...
I researched this a lot for Conflict, and my personal social circle has a lot of doctors, nurses, and paramedics. They say there have certainly been some improvements over the decades, but the biggest factor is time from injury to treatment.

Now, either the gunshot potentially kills you, or it just fucks you up for some years afterwards. For homicide rates and RPGs we're not really interested in the poor bastard who gets shot and survives but needs years of operations and rehab to be able to function even badly. So just consider deaths and treatment to avoid them.

In terms of the gunshot killing you, either it hits your brain or spinal cord, or it strikes a major blood vessel. There's not really anything anyone can do about a piece of your brain being pulped, it is what it is. It's the blood vessels where there was room for improvement.

For example, when someone loses a lot of blood, they go into shock and may die. Often they had to take time to blood type the person, and a transfusion wasn't always available - paramedics can't carry all the different blood types in their vehicle, rural hospitals won't have them all, etc. It turned out that a lot of the shock response was actually due to a drop in blood pressure - so you could just give the casualty saline, that'd keep the overall blood volume up. You can't replace their entire blood volume with saline, they do need some red blood cells carrying oxygen around. But the saline vs doing nothing would buy you some time to get them to hospital, or clamp the bleeding artery, and put in a proper transfusion. So that's one example of an improvement in techniques over the decades.

However, what they all say is that time is the primary factor, by far. If you're losing a unit of blood every 5 minutes then you're in more trouble after 15 minutes than 5. The gunshot victims with the best survival rates don't get paramedics at all - their buddies on the scene bundle them up in the back of a car, speed off and then dump them at the front door of the local hospital - then speed off again. And that's because it's 5-15' quicker. An ambulance has to be called, driven to the scene, the paramedics get out and assess, and so on. But the buddies on scene don't have to drive there, they don't assess, they just take the casualty straight over.

(That's not telling you not to call ambulances when injured, by the way, there are all sorts of injuries where moving you around quickly isn't going to help.)

Likewise, gunshots have a 71-72% survival rate in the US, but had a ~90% survival rate in Afghanistan. The difference isn't body armour because the guy who had a round go dink on his plate doesn't show up in military hospital as having a gunshot wound. The civilian-military difference is the guy getting basic first aid on scene, dumped in the back of a Hummer and driven back to base, or choppered off, etc. In other words: time.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: HappyDaze on December 18, 2021, 12:10:06 AM
However, what they all say is that time is the primary factor, by far. If you're losing a unit of blood every 5 minutes then you're in more trouble after 15 minutes than 5. The gunshot victims with the best survival rates don't get paramedics at all - their buddies on the scene bundle them up in the back of a car, speed off and then dump them at the front door of the local hospital - then speed off again. And that's because it's 5-15' quicker. An ambulance has to be called, driven to the scene, the paramedics get out and assess, and so on. But the buddies on scene don't have to drive there, they don't assess, they just take the casualty straight over.
Consider that the "buddies" are hghly unlikely to call ahead to have a trauma bay (or an OR) prepped for the moment of arrival, but the ambulance most certainly can (and usually does), and there are some meaningful tradeoffs that might make  the ambulance a better use of time.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: Kyle Aaron on December 18, 2021, 07:27:45 PM
Agreed. Nonetheless, this is what I'm told.

I know of no statistics collected on the topic of bystander dropoffs vs ambulance callouts given the same injury or conditions. All we have is anecdotal, and those I've spoken to are agreed that the dropoffs work out quicker. However, as in my parenthetical comment, they're agreed that it's still not recommended because of all the other things which could be wrong with a person and could be made worse with moving them sloppily.

I had an unseatbelted speeding woman crash her car into the tree in front of my house. She ended up lying between the seats with her head resting on the back seat. There was a fair chance of pneumothorax and cervical spine injury, and of course airway blockage. I held her neck and trunk steady for about forty-five minutes (wicked bicep pump!) and monitored her until they took her out. Moving her by myself into my car and taking her up the road would definitely have made her worse.

And of course, many jurisdictions now are quite good at giving first aid instructions over the phone. I had to do CPR on a guy on the street, and though I'm trained and somewhat practiced in it, it still helped to have a calm person on the other end of the phone talk me through it.

But anyway: time is important. This doesn't mean that nothing else matters.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: oggsmash on December 20, 2021, 10:04:12 AM
  The USA has a high murder rate for first world countries because we have MANY more criminal gangs than any other first world nation.  There is a VERY clear explanation for the crime dropping in the 90's and you know it.  That much maligned crime bill everyone says was enormously racist took a massive bite out of crime.    I think there is a great deal more unreported crime now as well, but even if there is not, and even if there is a downward trend now, in 2021 (not the mid 2000's, but now), so what?

As for why it's important - I think in order to understand causes, the first thing is to understand the data. Especially, I want to push against the narrative expounded by SHARK that you can just look at the TV and see how terrible things are now - and that we should go back to how we handled things in the 1980s, ignoring the data because it is bullshit.

As for the causes -- just in this thread, a lot of people here have expressed different opinions. It's not just me. Reckall cited abortion access; Ghostmaker cited poverty levels and gun control; Pat said it was disputed and was skeptical about broken windows policing. You say it's clearly the crime bill.

To be clear - by crime bill, are you talking about the 1994 federal crime bill written by then-senator Joe Biden and signed by Bill Clinton? cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_Crime_Control_and_Law_Enforcement_Act  That included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Violence Against Women Act, among other provisions.

I think it's possible - but I also think it's very difficult to sort out causes from sociological data, especially that crime is affected by all sorts of other factors besides policing. I suspect that the trend is from multiple causes that have to do with society at large. Especially, I think to have a better idea, one would need local data especially on comparison of how the crime rates changes in different localities, compared with how things went in those areas.


  The reality is you say not to judge crime by TV...when people can be so brazen as to rob a store en masse on camera, I am going to judge that behavior from TV.  I can also say, that is a flat out break down of society.  People are separating out via regions and states now instead of simply fleeing to the suburbs, many are going to whole new states.   Baltimore having triple the homicide rates of Rio is a really, really bad sign.

I think going by television is still a terrible idea. You're evidently moved by brazen smash-and-grab robberies. Other people are moved by brazen school shootings - and also claim how terrible things are, but with a different slant. I think the broader reality of crime is very different than television news, just as reality is different than television news in general.

  LOL, I think as a to do list, you might want to get a friend who lived in a serious high crime area.  Talk with them, and see what they say.  I have a friend who grew up in the absolute worst part of Chicago.  He laughed about alarmist TV reporting on shootings, robbery, etc.  Because he said what people in the USA thought was horrible break downs in society was called Tuesday on South Prarie Trail.   TV DOES not show how severe the breakdowns are in some areas of the nation.  School shootings are IMO a definite signal of a breakdown of society, however they are 99 percent of the time seen coming from a mile away, and almost always with some kid who is medicated and should not be moving freely in society.  Mob break ins at random are not completely new, but they are more brazen and a definite signal the police are not so interested in actually stopping criminals in some places....it is a breakdown of society. 

  General acceptance of degenerate behavior is a massive signal for a breakdown in society.  It is what is going on.  I do not know if pendulum swings the other way or not... But of course the broader reality of crime is different than television news....just not in the ways you want to infer.  The bad places are MUCH worse than the TV likes to present, and the safe places are much safer than TV wants to present.  I do not understand how that makes it hard to fix the shit shows.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: oggsmash on December 20, 2021, 10:12:25 AM
The big thing that crime bill did, was come down like the hammer of thor on the drug crimes that were fueled on insane street violence, crack.  people in affected neighborhoods clamored to end the chaos, and big sentences and punishment rained down.   20 years later, it is called a racist law because of who was hammered by it...forgetting that meth gets the exact same hammer and has a very similar disproportion in the other direction.   Are you contending the minimum sentencing and so forth from that crime bill didnt slow crime down a great deal by locking up all the violent offenders for long sentences it could?  The fire arms bill didnt so shit, street crime is not fueled by magazine sizes over 10 rounds, and believe it or not, dudes doing drive by shootings with full auto weapons beefing over tons of crack cocaine do not give two fucks about magazine size laws.   They do start to pay attention when you get HAMMERED for having even a trace of crack and a gun, or any weight of crack at all though.
Title: Re: Crimes Rates and other Trends
Post by: jhkim on December 20, 2021, 01:43:29 PM
I think going by television is still a terrible idea. You're evidently moved by brazen smash-and-grab robberies. Other people are moved by brazen school shootings - and also claim how terrible things are, but with a different slant. I think the broader reality of crime is very different than television news, just as reality is different than television news in general.

  LOL, I think as a to do list, you might want to get a friend who lived in a serious high crime area.  Talk with them, and see what they say.  I have a friend who grew up in the absolute worst part of Chicago.  He laughed about alarmist TV reporting on shootings, robbery, etc.  Because he said what people in the USA thought was horrible break downs in society was called Tuesday on South Prarie Trail.   TV DOES not show how severe the breakdowns are in some areas of the nation.
But of course the broader reality of crime is different than television news....just not in the ways you want to infer.  The bad places are MUCH worse than the TV likes to present, and the safe places are much safer than TV wants to present.  I do not understand how that makes it hard to fix the shit shows.

I lived in Hyde Park (a pocket in Chicago's South Side) and at the south end of Harlem in the late 1980s and 1990s. I was mugged twice, and I knew many others who were victims of crime. I remember visiting a friend in the dorms who was on the phone with 911 as someone was stealing her car while she watched through the window.

As far as I can tell, you're agreeing with me that television news is not an accurate portrayal of the reality of crime. I wasn't trying to imply a particular slant. I'd agree that television underplays a lot of common crime like mugging or domestic violence - while playing up spectacular crimes like mass smash-and-grabs or school shootings. My point is just that television news isn't accurate evidence towards any conclusion about crime, in whichever direction - while you claimed that you could tell based on television news how bad things are compared to the 1980s.


School shootings are IMO a definite signal of a breakdown of society, however they are 99 percent of the time seen coming from a mile away, and almost always with some kid who is medicated and should not be moving freely in society.  Mob break ins at random are not completely new, but they are more brazen and a definite signal the police are not so interested in actually stopping criminals in some places....it is a breakdown of society. 

  General acceptance of degenerate behavior is a massive signal for a breakdown in society.  It is what is going on.

Can you clarify what you mean here? Your terms of "breakdown of society" or "degenerate behavior" seem vague to me, so I don't have any opinion on that. From my view, we are going through a divisive period in U.S. society - with some similarities but also many differences to the 1930s and the 1960s. Crime rates are lower than they were at their 1990 peak, but for several crimes (like murder and assault), rates have been going up since 2014 or so. As a society, we should try to focus especially on the trends that are getting worse including these as well as suicide, alcoholism, and drug overdose.