Crime Rate Narrative

I familiarized themselves with the right-wing narrative of why NYC’s murder rate dropped from 2,500+ to 333 in 20 years.

Can anybody briefly tell me what the left-wing narrative is?

It’s always a good idea to hear both sides, and I’d really like to know if this is something anybody is going to try to replicate in St Louis.

25 thoughts on “Crime Rate Narrative”

  1. “what the left-wing narrative is?”

    Sure. The left-wing narrative is that the national murder rate fell during the same time period, so statically Bloomberg’s and Guiliani’s tough-on-crime policies like the racist stop-and-frisk and racist “broken windows” laws didn’t actually have any beneficial effect on the NYC crime rate.


    1. The St Louis and Chicago murder rates are getting closer to that of Tijuana, so nothing much is dropping around here except for the victims. People screech about racism but seem not to care that these are the areas where black people, mostly, live in a war zone. I wish somebody did something about that.

      I never heard anybody objecting to the “broken windows” theory but people are crazy so I’m not that surprised. The theory is brilliant and the policy it inspires absolutely works.


  2. I can’t tell you a ton about the left wing narrative. But one thing I see the left say is that crime has continued to drop under de Blasio, who has ended the policies that conservatives claim were instrumental in reducing crime.


    1. That would mean DeBlasio fired 1/3 of the police force and stopped prosecuting theft and robbery. He did somewhat discourage stop and frisk but it still exists. Or at least Ocasio is convinced it does.


      1. As far as I know AOC is wrong and de Blasio has been progressive on criminal justice (in the sane way that I agree with.) I don’t follow NYC politics that closely though.

        The only part of the right wing narrative I’ve heard is some people’s weird obsession with stop and frisk specifically (admittedly I haven’t looked that much into either side’s arguments.) Hiring more police and prosecuting robbery seems like a no brainer to me, although sadly I know it’s controversial with dumbass progressives. It’s one of those “luxury beliefs” that the bourgeoisie can hold because it causes no harm to themselves, but which hurts poorer people (first article on that below, if you didn’t already see it; his followup in Quillette is also worth checking out)



    The REAL crime disaster scenario is currently taking place in California, where the overrun of major cities by homeless mentally ill and drug-addicted losers is causing havoc that should be raising major alarm bells nationwide, but doesn’t seem to be of much alarm to anybody important, even in California. Turn on Fox News (Yes, that’s the only station that pays any attention to this), and you can see the tents and garbage and filth (feces and used dope needles) on the sidewalks blocking access to businesses whose owners pay high property taxes and should have the right to expect the government to enforce laws that won’t allow anarchy to drive their business to ruin, while infected rats infest the streets spreading ancient diseases like bubonic plague.

    The current District Attorney-elect of San Francisco, Chesa Boudin, is the son of Weather Underground domestic terrorist parents who are currently in prison for felony murder of two policemen and a security guard. He was subsequently adopted by fellow Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohm, who basically beat the law and now laugh gleefully while cursing everything that the U.S stands for. Chesa Boudin has learned well, and has declared that he will not enforce “quality of life” laws against urinating or defecating in public, shooting up dope in public, shoplifting or any theft below a certain monetary amount, soliciting or carrying out sex acts in public, etc., etc., because somehow penalizing these situations is “criminalizing poverty.” Remember, this guy just got ELECTED!

    The billionaires living in Silicon Valley don’t care, because they’re all behind gated communities where the dope fiends and the plague-infected rats never wander. California Governor Newson doesn’t care because he isn’t up for election anytime soon, and besides, NO PROGRESSIVES of any stripe are complaining about the situation — except to say that solutions proposed by conservatives, such as enforcing basic safety and health laws, are elitist and racist, and that any suggestion to reopen state mental institutions to re-incarcerate and treat mentally ill, drug-addicted patients would be fascistic and unconstitutional.

    I’m rather pissed off about this, not because it will ever reach my far saner state of Arizona, but because ten years ago I wrote the draft of a dystopian futuristic novella describing an almost identical situation to that currently in California — and then tossed it aside as being too unrealistic for any editor to consider!


    1. Here’s what I don’t get, though. Californians keep voting for these losers. There hasn’t been a dent in their steely determination to vote for these people. This must mean they are ok with it all.

      Where I live, it’s paradisiac, with extremely clean streets, zero homelessness, everything so beautiful. But that’s because we have a great mayor who is local and cares. Why don’t Californians throw all these Boudins and Newsoms out? I’m sure regular voters must be suffering.


    2. Wrong:

      Rising homelessness is a phenomenon occurring in metro regions all over the country, according to a 2018 report published by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. The problem largely is driven not by immigration, but by the skyrocketing cost of housing versus stagnant wages. (Despite the prevalence of news stories about newly arrived Central American migrants to the U.S., overall unauthorized immigration has been on a declining trend since 2007, according to Pew Research Center figures.)

      A dire 2019 report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that, “In no state, metropolitan area, or county in the U.S. can a worker earning the federal or prevailing state minimum wage afford a modest two-bedroom rental home at fair market rent by working a standard 40-hour work week. In only 28 counties out of more than 3,000 counties nationwide can a full-time minimum-wage worker afford a one-bedroom rental home at fair market rent.”

      In sum, it may well be the case that the photograph depicts an elderly couple forced into homelessness by high housing costs and/or other circumstances, but in the absence of any verifiable details, we are unable to confirm those or any other specific claims people have made about it.


      1. Why on Earth would a single person need a two-bedroom house? It’s so bizarre. I lived in a studio even when I was teaching at Cornell. The issue of two-bedroom abodes never even occurred to me. People are so weird.

        “In a shocking development, a part-time McDonald’s worket can’t afford a boat and a Ferrari.”

        I didn’t have a two-bedroom apartment until I was 32. And I never felt deprived as a result.

        “A modest two-bedroom home.” People are unbelievably spoiled. My first two-bedroom rental, I thought it was a palace.


          1. So here’s a question. I did the responsible thing when I was poor. I didn’t have “one to several children.” I waited until I could provide. I paid for that decision with my health because giving birth at 40 is not great fun. How reasonable is it to expect me to support with even higher taxes the irresponsible folks who want to have “one to several children” without a stable family and a good income?

            And I’m not even getting into the question how “a single person” can suddenly acquire all these children. Must be through parthenogenesis.


            1. In the preface to Major Barbara, Shaw attacks “the stupid levity with which we tolerate poverty as if it were … a wholesome tonic for lazy people”. His great political impulse was to de-moralise poverty, and his most radical argument about poverty was that it simply doesn’t matter whether those who are poor “deserve” their condition or not – the dire social consequences are the same either way. He assails the absurdity of the notion implicit in so much rightwing thought, that poverty is somehow more tolerable if it is a punishment for moral failings: “If a man is indolent, let him be poor. If he is drunken, let him be poor. If he is not a gentleman, let him be poor. If he is addicted to the fine arts or to pure science instead of to trade and finance, let him be poor … Let nothing be done for ‘the undeserving’: let him be poor. Serve him right! Also – somewhat inconsistently – blessed are the poor!”



  4. The price of living in NYC also increased steeply. Various neighborhoods had a huge population shift. The dramatic crime decrease in NYC might have to do with people getting pushed out by rent and cost of living increases and not much more than that. The people that used to frequent Needle Park surely cant pay the rent now. Maybe the crime got dismantled as dangerous neighborhoods disbursed, or it may be that the crime just got moved somewhere else.


  5. I don’t know what the “left wing” narrative is.

    I’ve seen two hypotheses advanced for the overall reduction in the crime rate.
    There’s the lead-crime hypothesis and the legalized abortion and crime effect. I really wouldn’t pick one and say any one thing is responsible for the reduction in the crime rate, let alone any one thing in New York City.

    The broken windows/stop and frisk is ideologically appealing because its purported effects can be seen on a smaller time scale and in showier way than a reduction in pollution or population. A mayor can make a big show of arresting turnstile jumpers but it’s a little more difficult to make a show out of not selling leaded gasoline and getting rid of lead based paint.


    1. New York City was 2,5 times the national average, so it clearly stands out.

      The abortion theory is actually very racist. The idea is that to get rid of crime, you need to prevent black people from even being born. I’m obviously pro abortion rights but I recently found out that 70% of abortions are of black babies. Given that I myself never aborted and wouldn’t consider doing it, it does feel very creepy to support something that has, as its major effect, the reduction of the number of black people. I never thought anything could shake my convictions on this issue but this definitely has. A well-to-do white lady who’s cheering on population control of black people is not something I ever wanted to be.


      1. You’ll be glad to know the 70% figure is wrong:

        A little over half of the women getting abortion in New York City – 56 percent – were between the ages of 20 and 29. Nine percent were under the age of 20, 31 percent were in their thirties, and four percent were age 40 or older. Non-Hispanic black women made up the largest group of women who obtained abortions in New York City, accounting for 39 percent of reported abortions. Hispanic women made up the second-largest racial category at 28 percent of abortions, and white women made up 15 percent of the abortions reported in the city. Three-quarters of the women were unmarried. Fifteen percent were married, and 10 percent did not report their marital status. Ninety-three percent of the abortions reported in New York City were performed on city residents.


  6. I never really bought the lead paint or abortion stories, after all the crime rate were way lower before the 60s when there was more lead and other pollutants and no legal abortion. Why was there a huge crime wave from the late 60s to the early 90s? Probably more a factor of disinvestment and flight from the cities, and the ramping up of the drug war.

    NYC is probably under the national average of 5/100,000 murders right now, while it used to be way above -like lots of cities. It probably has an expceptionaly low murder rate for a city right now so it probably cant be explained just by the general trend. I suspect that crime , especially crime at high human density,is a system with a feedback loop where there and there are critical thresholds that drive the system once they are passed.


    1. Absolutely, there’s something unusual happening in NYC in terms of crime, and I’d definitely like to know what it is because I live between STL and Chicago, which are dying of crime. If it’s something that can be replicated, it really should.


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