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rich
05-10-2005, 10:15 PM
Didn't read it yet, but it is enticing. The author says that the main reason for our significantly lower crime rate here in the U.S. is due to abortions. It makes sense to me.

Fractured_Chaos
05-10-2005, 11:25 PM
"Significantly lower"? Compared to what? Another country? Or another time period?

rich
05-11-2005, 12:12 AM
Hmmm, read it again drgnlvr, you must've misunderstod.

Maryn
05-11-2005, 12:26 AM
The author was a guest of Jon Stewart's on "The Daily Show" last week (or maybe the week before?) and his theories are fascinating.

The idea--backed up with quite a bit of data--is that unwanted kids are more often poorly raised and educated and may turn to criminal endeavors. If those kids are never born, about 20 years later there's a drop in the crime rate.

I intend to ask for it for my birthday. Me, reading a book on economics!

Maryn, stunned

William Haskins
05-11-2005, 01:01 AM
nothing like a preemptive death penalty to keep the riffraff out of the world.

maestrowork
05-11-2005, 01:03 AM
Can't we just preemptively neuter the would-be parents instead?

rich
05-11-2005, 01:24 AM
No ethics showing up in the disclosures here, just facts--plain ol' cold facts.

William Haskins
05-11-2005, 01:27 AM
well, i haven't read the book, so i'm not aware of what facts he's using to support his hypotheses, but i could argue off the top of my head that there are many factors outside of abortion that have contributed to a lower crime rate.

rich
05-11-2005, 01:37 AM
Yes, I think so, too, but not enough to show the drastic drop.

William Haskins
05-11-2005, 01:39 AM
i'm not going to lie... the whole thing smacks of the eugenics movement of the early 20th century.

if they could only isolate and sterilize the idiots, the criminals and the racially inferior, it would usher in a new golden age.

i find it sickening.

rich
05-11-2005, 02:17 AM
Chill, Will. The author has nothing to do with social engineering, nor any other movement. He's just plugging in stats. Interesting stats btw, but merely stats.

William Haskins
05-11-2005, 02:24 AM
stats are rarely "plugged in" to anything without an agenda riding on their coattails...

i plan on reading the book, and find the whole notion fascinating.

and, by the way, i'm quite capable of voicing an opinion on something without needing to "chill".

William Haskins
05-11-2005, 02:26 AM
took me 20 seconds to find an academic study that suggests the exact opposite:


http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=270126

eldragon
05-11-2005, 02:30 AM
I'm total pro-choice, so don't misunderstand me........


But I'm also a spiritualist, so I don't believe an abortion stops a soul from being.

Why would the crime rate drop because of people not being born? Does that mean the old criminals got tired of it? What happened to them?

Of all the aborted, weren't there a few that might have changed the world for the better?

three seven
05-11-2005, 03:19 AM
Hmmm, read it again drgnlvr, you must've misunderstod.Count me in on that. I've read it half a dozen times, and I still have to ask - significantly lower than what?

rich
05-11-2005, 04:13 AM
Hmmm, guess all of us should read the book.

Check nationwide stats on crime for the past three decades. That fact is not disputable. The abortion issue is.

mmm... pancakes
05-11-2005, 08:49 AM
Check nationwide stats on crime for the past three decades. That fact is not disputable. The abortion issue is.

So the "significantly lower crime rate" is in the entire US, in recent history?
Crime rates in the US have dropped significantly?
Is abortion legal throughout the USA? I was under the impression it was in some states, not in others.

Fill this non-American in.

three seven
05-12-2005, 08:24 PM
Hmmm, guess all of us should read the book.

Check nationwide stats on crime for the past three decades. That fact is not disputable.What fact? Not all of us have got time to read the sodding book. Can you not just tell us what the fact is?

rich
05-12-2005, 09:15 PM
Good Lord. You're starting to sound like Mr. T. Luckily, my Brooklyn upbringing has taught me to deal with impatient folk.

I just bought the sodding book some two hours ago, and will be reading it in a day or so.

(You will maybe tell us what "the sodding book" means? I'm assuming it's akin to "the ****ing book" as would be said here in the colonies, but I'm not sure if "the bloody book" is more or less edgier than "the sodding book.")

Maryn
05-12-2005, 09:29 PM
took me 20 seconds to find an academic study that suggests the exact opposite:


http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=270126

One of the authors is from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank which takes a public and vocal anti-abortion stand. (Say hi to Newt Gingrich and Lynn Cheney next time you stop in.) He therefore arrives with an agenda which precludes objectivity.

Maryn

eldragon
05-12-2005, 09:39 PM
One of the authors is from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank which takes a public and vocal anti-abortion stand. (Say hi to Newt Gingrich and Lynn Cheney next time you stop in.) He therefore arrives with an agenda which precludes objectivity.


Thanks for the heads up. I certainly won't throw any of my lower than poverty income at them.

rich
05-12-2005, 09:41 PM
Lordy, what hath God wrought? Didn't think this book would spawn such excitement. Maybe I should've started with the fact that most drug dealers live with their moms.
(And I still haven't read the freakin' thing.)

Here's what I'm missing, Maryn. If the book says that abortion has lowered crime, why would an anti-abortionist seek to find merit in abortion?

Maryn
05-12-2005, 09:58 PM
"Freakonomics" doesn't have a co-author from the American Enterprise Institute. The contradictory "academic" study does. When I saw the author of "Freakonomics" on TV, he appeared to have no socio-political agenda at all, just a fascination with the various correlations in the data.

The AEI definitely has a socio-political agenda, of course--that's the reason for its existence. Among its stances are opposition to feminism, abortion, and gun control.

Maryn, who doesn't plan to be barefoot and pregnant after a shotgun wedding

rich
05-12-2005, 10:03 PM
Ah, I was on the wrong book. Sorry, Maryn.

Maryn
05-12-2005, 10:22 PM
I'll be interested in your thoughts after you read it. I haven't even bought it.

Maryn

William Haskins
05-12-2005, 11:40 PM
perhaps you should have read my post preceding the link, in which i said:




stats are rarely "plugged in" to anything without an agenda riding on their coattails...

William Haskins
05-12-2005, 11:48 PM
Maryn, who doesn't plan to be barefoot and pregnant after a shotgun wedding i don't think anyone's asking you to. the law is on your side in your choice. just recognize that you'd be doing it to spare yourself the responsibility of having a child, not sparing the world from a potential criminal.

Paint
05-13-2005, 01:31 AM
Excuse me--isn't this called genecide? Hasn't it been tried with other 'groups' before?

Do drug dealers really live with their mothers? That was an amazing statement to me.
Seems like lableling. Tends to make me resist the bonds that hold me down.

Paint

rich
05-13-2005, 03:36 AM
Will, let's be fair here. Your agenda was plugged into the authors of "Freakonomics." What Maryn referred to is the person in your link, who appears to have a substantial agenda.

Paint, if you plan to join this discussion it would be good of you to make some sense--"labeling?"

William Haskins
05-13-2005, 04:18 AM
let me try this again... my point in posting the link was to show that the same data can be used to reach different conclusions. i think it's great that maryn can see a guy "on tv" and surmise that he has "no socio-political agenda at all, just a fascination with the various correlations in the data", but that doesn't mean that it's true.

and, even if it is, that doesn't stop zealots from taking the data and running with it to trumpet abortion not only as a personal choice for a woman regarding her health and worldview, but as a remedy against social ills.

and while i think it's sweet for you to defend maryn, please don't try to tell me that "say hi to newt gingrich and lynn cheney next time you stop in" and " maryn, who doesn't plan to be barefoot and pregnant after a shotgun wedding" don't come right out of the knee-jerk pro-choice agenda.

i'm all for fairness, but it cuts both ways.

brokenfingers
05-13-2005, 05:06 AM
I havenít read the book nor do I intend to. Freakonomics sounds like a good title to me.

In my opinion, statistics are B.S. and can be used, distorted and molded to fit any agenda or groupthink.

Itís a proven statistic ;)

What I mean is that he isnít showing any of the other factors that may have affected the crime rate like increased spending on crime and larger police forces, stiffer penalties and less lenient parole rules, updated crime-fighting technology and so much more.

Itís like me saying:

HmmmÖ.. twenty years ago light beers were introduced. Ever since then the crime rate has dropped steadilyÖ..

Coincidence????

three seven
05-13-2005, 05:10 AM
The figures are interesting. The crime rate's been falling very gradually since 1991, and with abortion legalised in 1973, that'd tie in nicely with all those missing adult criminals. They'd all have been 18 by then, had they made it out of the womb.

So the abortion rate climbed (very gradually) for the next 21 years - but then, so did the population. So regardless of how many babies aren't being born, there are still more that are every single year. And unlike the population, abortion's been in decline since 1994.

Moreover, in the two decades before it was legalised, an estimated one million women a year were having abortions on the sly, and the crime rate was on the up and up. So it could be argued that in 1973 the number of abortions actually fell (to a shade under 750,000), and yet the crime rate still went down.

Hmmmm.

William Haskins
05-13-2005, 05:40 AM
in 1997, murders committed by 14 to 17 year olds (those born after roe-v-wade) were 94% higher than murders committed by 14 to 17 year olds in 1984 (these would have been born pre-roe-v-wade).

not only that, but during the same period (1984 to 1997) murders committed by 25 to 34 year olds (those born prior to roe vs. wade) decreased 27%.

brokenfingers
05-13-2005, 05:52 AM
Let us not forget that the sperm cell count has been steadily decreasing in the last few decades since abortion was legalized also.

Coincidence???

brokenfingers
05-13-2005, 05:56 AM
Didn't read it yet, but it is enticing. The author says that the main reason for our significantly lower crime rate here in the U.S. is due to abortions. It makes sense to me.
Frankly Rich, I disagree.

I think it has more to do with the cancellation of the Gong show...

three seven
05-13-2005, 02:45 PM
in 1997, murders committed by 14 to 17 year olds... etc etcThanks Haskins - I couldn't be bothered to dig that deep at half two in the morning.

I think we've pretty much shown that the theory is utter bollocks.

William Haskins
05-13-2005, 04:00 PM
http://www.obereed.net/hh/correlation.html

hehe...

three seven
05-13-2005, 04:36 PM
Don't understand any of that. Too many long words, not enough pictures.

Paint
05-13-2005, 05:52 PM
I often don't make sense-and that's okay with me.

Labeling: Grouping people together under one name, race, or idea, without any thought as to individuality or circumstances. Often perceived as insulting.

Websters Dictonary: "label-something that identifies."

"Drug dealers live with their mothers." All men or women living with their mothers are not drug dealers. A rash statement like this hurts people.

Having an abortion to stop crime is senseless and insane.

Just my two cents. Take what you want--leave the rest behind.

Fractured_Chaos
05-13-2005, 06:33 PM
It's a proven fact that 99.9% of convicted criminals have eaten mashed potatos during childhood. So logically, one can assume that eating mashed potatos leads to crime. :wag:

Statistics rarely tell the whole story, and like Mr Haskins mentioned, they never come without an agenda. Stats are a -tool- to get an -idea- of what a trend might have been, or might be, but without all the other information that comes along with those stats, you're not getting the full picture. All they should be used for, is looking for -possible- commonalities.

It's like the stats on juvenile crime and the connection to being in a single-parent home. It has been concluded that being raised by just the mother, with no male parental influence will cause kids to commit crimes. This has been used in very heated debates from the far right on how it's the fault of the mothers that the kids are committing crimes, and that only a home with both a male and female presence can raise good kids. Essentially, they are using these stats to push their anti-gay agenda (Yeah, I know...quite a leap, isn't it?).

They refuse to factor in the poverty level these kids are living in, or the fact Mom* is working two jobs to keep food on the table, or maybe she has her own issues, like drug addiction, or a criminal history of her own, or maybe even...as sometimes happens, the kid just made the wrong decisions and went down the wrong road.

IMO, Statistics are dangerous in the wrong hands. Leave them up to the statistitians.





*Not attempting to be sexist, here, but face it, MOST single parents are women.

William Haskins
05-13-2005, 07:03 PM
also, based on the frequency of obese people drinking diet soda, i think we may have found the culprit for what makes people fat.

rich
05-13-2005, 07:27 PM
So much commentary, and yet none of us has yet to read the book.

three seven
05-13-2005, 07:35 PM
So much commentary, and yet none of us has yet to read the book.On the contrary, we all have yet to read the book.

Yet another misrepresented statistic...

rich
05-13-2005, 08:09 PM
???

I'd rather this thread eventually turns into a book discussion. If this is gonna turn into a verbal slug fest, well, count me in.

William Haskins
05-13-2005, 08:13 PM
So much commentary, and yet none of us has yet to read the book.


i don't understand. was your motivation for posting the thread to advertise the book or provoke discussion of the premise?

i mean, i've provided stats (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=192612&postcount=33)that run counter to the author's premise, indicating that, at least as far as murder is concerned the "human weed filter" of abortion not only failed to stem the tide of crime, but that it actually increased exponentially.

robeiae
05-13-2005, 08:38 PM
i mean, i've provided stats (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=192612&postcount=33)that run counter to the author's premise, indicating that, at least as far as murder is concerned the "human weed filter" of abortion not only failed to stem the tide of crime, but that it actually increased exponentially.

Sorry William, I don't mean to single you out...

As has been noted, no one has read the book (or at least almost no one). The authors are not suggesting that legalized abortion is a "good thing" becuase it will result in lower crime rights, nor are they saying drug dealers live with their mothers so anyone who lives with their mother is likely to be a drug dealer: you need to read it before you attack it.

One of the parts I found most interesting was their discussion of the consequences of the "No child left behind" act and skills testing in general in schools: the incentives these programs create for teachers and adminstrators, the responses to these incentives, etc. (teaser: teachers cheat for their students on these tests in very clever and well-planned ways).

BTW, Levitt (the co-author who is the economist) is from the Univ. of Chicago School of Economics which is somewhat indicitive of where he hangs his hat, ideologically speaking.

Rob

Paint
05-13-2005, 08:55 PM
The complete title of the book is "Freakonomics, A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything." It could be a good book for those of us who love conspiracy theories.

rich
05-13-2005, 09:06 PM
Reading it, Paint, might give you a better notion of what it is. Who knows? It could even have more depth than a mix of oils and pigments.

Fractured_Chaos
05-13-2005, 09:07 PM
As has been noted, no one has read the book (or at least almost no one). The authors are not suggesting that legalized abortion is a "good thing" becuase it will result in lower crime rights, nor are they saying drug dealers live with their mothers so anyone who lives with their mother is likely to be a drug dealer: you need to read it before you attack it.

I hope you didn't think that was my thought, robeiae. I just find statistics in their simplest terms to be misleading and agenda driven. I don't argue one way or another whether abortion is good or bad. I just have serious doubts that abortion is the cause for a drop in the crime rate. ;)

robeiae
05-13-2005, 09:15 PM
I hope you didn't think that was my thought, robeiae. I just find statistics in their simplest terms to be misleading and agenda driven. I don't argue one way or another whether abortion is good or bad. I just have serious doubts that abortion is the cause for a drop in the crime rate. ;)

I was just pointing out, in defense of a fellow economist, that the attacks were being made against a position that is not necassarily his...

But the book is worth reading, whether you like his conclusions or not (and BTW, he really doesn't have too many "conclusions" per se).

Rob:)

William Haskins
05-13-2005, 09:21 PM
i've enjoyed the discussion and will bow out so as not to ruffle anyone's feathers.

ultimately, and the statistics will bear this out, if we can manage to kill everyone, the crime rate will be zero.

Fractured_Chaos
05-13-2005, 09:28 PM
I was just pointing out, in defense of a fellow economist, that the attacks were being made against a position that is not necassarily his...

But the book is worth reading, whether you like his conclusions or not (and BTW, he really doesn't have too many "conclusions" per se).

Rob:)

Well, considering all the noise made about this book (and not just here), I will probably read it...eventually. :D

rich
05-13-2005, 09:32 PM
William, I don't know if anything in life is conclusive. The reason I'll be reading this book is because it "appears" to come from somebody who has no agenda, is well respected within his field, hasn't even a central theme for any of his work, and has come up with conclusions that beg looking into by all of us.

MacAllister
05-23-2005, 12:03 PM
I've just ordered this, Rich. I think it looks interesting.

The authors have a blog (http://blog.freakonomics.com/), if anyone is interested. The book is about a LOT more than just a legalized abortion/crime relationship.

But here is a brief statement (http://www.freakonomics.com/2005/05/abortion-and-crime-who-should-you.html) of the authors' contention, on that topic--it's under the entry for Sunday, May 15th--"Abortion and Crime: who should you believe?"

rich
05-23-2005, 02:29 PM
I finished the book last week. I didn't post anything because I felt that the thread will go around in circles. It's a fascinating book by a fascinating economist. And, true, there is much more matter to it than the abortion issue.

rich
05-24-2005, 03:03 AM
Hopefully, one would come after you with reason and sympathy, but since you're dismissing Freakonomics outright, not much can be done.

kdnxdr
03-29-2006, 10:26 PM
Abortion or no-abortion, we have plenty of crime to go around and I don't see a definete trend towards the erradication of crime, even if every person in the world were neutered.

All factors considered, it would be interesting to see what affected the commiting of crime the most. Especially, why would an educated, materialistcally satisfied person commit a crime, or why not(?) since there are many, many, many who do.

The thought that existence, in what ever state, attibutes to crime logically works out that all people should be annialated.

I, personally, believe that ALL people, regardless of any factors, are quite capable of commiting crime/violence given the right circumstances/motive. No one person has achieved the being of being perfectly crime/violence free. I don't even believe the Dali Lama has reached that state of perfection, though some do.

NeuroFizz
03-29-2006, 10:43 PM
If quality data is published in a peer-reviewed journal, the only agenda is typically the advancement of knowledge (along with advancement of the scholarly reputation of the authors). If quality data is published in a mass market book, you can bet there is at least one other agenda, even if it is just to make money. The problem arises if the data is not of sufficient quality to appear in peer-reviewed journals and the author chooses the mass market publishing strategy. This raises the question of validity and experimental (or statistical) soundness. I can't comment on this particular book because I haven't read it.

And, I agree with William. The stated implications, on the surface, are uncomfortable.