Politics

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 01:59 PM

Is it really a surprise that poverty causes violence?

I hate to continue a locked thread, especially a racebaiting one, but the last response of the person who originally seemed to be accusing black folks of being inherently homicidal or some such nonsense surprised me greatly.

When I pointed out that the great majority of the difference disappeared when corrected for socioeconomic factors, I expected if anything the usual know-nothing bluster about bootstraps. Instead the response was an attempted "gotcha" as if he had "caught" me in an inappropriate suggestion that poverty causes violence.

Moving away as I should from the personal, I'm somewhat surprised that this could be questioned. This is a sincere wonder, not in any way a feigned gotcha or trap.

Why would poverty, mixed as I established with its concomitant lack of education and opportunity NOT cause a greater propensity to violence? Remember generalizations are not universal. It would be absurd to infer that I claim all pooor folks are violent or that no rich people are. This discussion should be about correlation, not spurious imaginary truisms.


Let's consider for a moment. Contrast A and B in various cases.

A doesn't have enough to eat. B is well fed. Both see me, an easy target for mugging, with a sack of groceries. Who is more likely to hit me over the head and take it?

A lives in an unheated room in a leaking tiny apartment. B lives in a comfy McMansion. Who is likely to be deterred from crime by the threat of being put in a small, but heated and dry prison cell?

A went, briefly, to a gang-infested poorly served school where teachers stayed only long enough to get a better gig, with few books, fewer amenities and no positive role models. B went to a private college prep school. Who is more likely to value immediate gratification over education?

A has few employment opportunities where he lives, and all of them are menial minimum wage jobs. B has a degree, a network of colleagues, and a wide range of cushy job opportunities. Who is more likely to seek the high risk but reasonable reward life of violent crime?

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is it really a surprise that poverty causes violence? (Original post)
Jaime Espinoza Jun 2014 OP
fools_gold Jun 2014 #1
Argentina Jun 2014 #10
Hal Jun 2014 #2
Barefoot Dancer Jun 2014 #11
MoreCowbell Jun 2014 #16
Tin Ear Jun 2014 #3
Jack Burton Jun 2014 #4
Jaime Espinoza Jun 2014 #5
Tin Ear Jun 2014 #6
Jaime Espinoza Jun 2014 #7
MoreCowbell Jun 2014 #17
2bigmac Jun 2014 #8
WhiskeyMakesMeHappy Jun 2014 #9
Barefoot Dancer Jun 2014 #12
Dork_Diggler Jun 2014 #13
Verminhex Jun 2014 #14
Miss Quay Jun 2014 #15

Response to Jaime Espinoza (Original post)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 02:10 PM

1. It's not a surprise to me

But that doesn't change the statistics. Just provides probable causation.Two different issues, though it helps if you are trying to solve a problem.

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Response to fools_gold (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 04:04 PM

10. Well said. It doesn't surprise me either.

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Response to Jaime Espinoza (Original post)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 02:59 PM

2. no; pretty much a historical universal for more than just the reasons you mentioned. the other is

that the violence of the rich is not defined as violence.




another historical item that often goes unnoted: gang activity often goes hand-in-hand with immigrant/ethnic groups' rise in social status, i.e. it's one method of capital formation.

irish gangs, Italian gangs, jewish gangs for example in us history.

strangely enough, few to no 'black gangs' until the rise of the civil rights movement post-war.

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Response to Hal (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 08:31 PM

11. The scene in that print depicts the true nature of violence and crime. nt

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Response to Hal (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 02:16 AM

16. Huh

strangely enough, few to no 'black gangs' until the rise of the civil rights movement post-war.

Would you care to expound on that? You're, somewhat, correct. I am, understandably curious, if you are familiar with the reasons why.

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Response to Jaime Espinoza (Original post)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 03:14 PM

3. I have heard from others on this board that correlation is not causation. I don't think the

correlation is even uniform. I think you'll find violent crime concentrated in some areas vs. others given the same level of poverty.

I would generally agree with the assertion that violent crime is higher in impoverished areas but would dispute that poverty causes violent crime. Perpetrators cause violent crime to happen by their own actions.

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Response to Tin Ear (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 03:16 PM

4. Good point

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Response to Tin Ear (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 03:21 PM

5. I think properly understood correlation is not necessarily causation

However causation is, with some extremely technical exceptions, always correlation. They are certainly not separate concepts. Correlation does noy have to be perfect and I'm sure there are small variations, but I cannot think of an example where concentrated poverty does not cause an increase in crime. This occurs across nations, races, religions. It's hardly likely to be a coincidence surely?

Are you really saying that you can only see the proximal cause of violent crime and that moral agents are not influenced by their environment and their experiences?

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Response to Jaime Espinoza (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 03:38 PM

6. Violent crime is more prevalent in impoverished areas I will concede not that poverty causes

violent crime to occur. Impoverished areas may contain criminals, former criminals, mentally ill, and degenerates of all types in higher concentrations. The poverty still doesn't cause people to do violent crime.

Yes, I am certain environmental factors play a huge role. Typically copying the behavior of others or being pressured into partcipating, and associating with other antisocietal types. Thats who for the most part is doing the violent crime.

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Response to Tin Ear (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 03:50 PM

7. So again, please clarify

You think that none of the distinctions between A and B as I described them, would have any effect on their relative propensity to violent crime? I don't think I exaggerated poverty unduly in those examples, but they would not have any impact on how likely a person is to seek criminal rewards where no licit ones are available?

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Response to Jaime Espinoza (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 02:23 AM

17. No, but...

However causation is, with some extremely technical exceptions, always correlation.

especially not, when it's based on flawed assumptions and steered to preconceived outcomes.

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Response to Tin Ear (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 03:59 PM

8. Very true

Even in your poverty ridden cities, you have the good neighborhoods and the bad neighborhoods. I'm thinking back to the city I grew up in... I can't really pinpoint what caused the violent crime. IN the projects, there was all kinds of crime as far as drugs, stealing, drinking, etc.. But in the nicer part of town, a dude slaughtered his kids in the basement.

I've also spent time in the Appalachian Mtns where there are tons of poor people. You have the crime ridden families right next door to the "good guys". They both probably would be considered poverty level.

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Response to Tin Ear (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 04:01 PM

9. Re: correlation is not causation.

A freshman collage class I had, the proff had a great analogy.
As ice-cream sales go up, violent assaults also go up. There is a statistical correlation between the two. Would it then be correct to say that the best way to bring down violent assaults is to ban the sale of ice cream?

Of course there was another correlation, as the outdoor temperature goes up, so do ice cream sales, AND violent assaults.

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Response to Jaime Espinoza (Original post)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 08:54 PM

12. Poverty causes higher rates of violence.

I think some of the higher rate can be attributed to an option exercised by some poor people, expand their choices. Poverty severely limits the choices an individual can make. A CEO earning $18 million per year has 18 million choices. A person with $1,000 has considerably fewer. If someone has run out of choices, they may decide to make the choice to commit violence (stealing is violent) in an effort to expand their choices.

Poverty affects every part of a person's existence, not just financial. Personal relationships are intricately affected by poverty. The severe restriction of resources, opportunities, choices one can make, all deeply affect the person in poverty.

Not only does the under privileged person deal with violence in their own environment, there is institutionalized violence and violent responses from society at large. The over privileged in western civilizations never voluntarily give up a drop of their own privilege. In fact, they contribute in large measure to the violence against the under privileged.

Violence Against Homeless People Is On The Rise
Earlier this year, a survey of 250 homeless people living in South Florida conducted by the Task Force For Ending Homelessness found that more than 4 in 10 women (44 percent) and 3 in 10 men (34 percent) have been victims of violent attacks since living on the streets. “I have heard more reports of assaults in the last six months than I ever have,” the group’s CEO, Lorraine Wilby, told the Orlando Sentinel, noting that most were not random acts of violence, but robberies of what small possessions people carried with them.

Hate Crime Against Homeless

Outlawing Homelessness
In the past decade, cities have increasingly moved toward enacting and enforcing laws that specifically criminalize homelessness in response to their concern about the use of public space. Cities enact and enforce these criminal laws as "quick-fix" solutions to remove homeless people from sight, rather than addressing the underlying causes of homelessness. This criminalization trend has been documented in reports by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty since 1991.

The most recent report, Out of Sight – Out of Mind?, which surveyed advocates and service providers in 50 of the largest U.S. cities, found that 86 percent of the cities surveyed had laws that prohibited or restricted begging, while 73 percent prohibited or restricted sleeping and/or camping. Over one-third of the cities surveyed have initiated crackdowns on homeless people, according to the survey respondents, and almost half of the cities have engaged in police "sweeps" in the past two years.

UN Expert Condemns Cruel Treatment of Homeless in U.S

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Response to Jaime Espinoza (Original post)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 08:57 PM

13. Does poverty cause violence or does violence cause poverty?

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Response to Jaime Espinoza (Original post)

Fri Jun 13, 2014, 09:00 PM

14. Yes.

 

It is to me.

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Response to Jaime Espinoza (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 01:34 AM

15. Not to anyone who has actually experienced poverty.

Its a clinical fact.

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