Lion of the Blogosphere

Crime and morality

Crime and incarceration since 1960

This chart comes from an Atlantic article. I don’t especially recommend reading the article which appears to be typical liberal whining about how society be racist against the black man.

But this chart tells a very significant story. Since 1960, there was a massive increase in the violent crime rate. Even after the decline which began around 1990, the crime rate today is still nearly four times as high as it was in 1960. That still fits my definition of a massive increase in crime.

My explanation for the chart is that starting around 1960 (maybe a few years earlier), there began a massive decrease in morality and good behavior. As a result of this decrease in morality, the crime rate soared. After the crime rate soared, the people demanded that politicians take action (or they voted for politicians that promised and delivered such action), and thus we saw more aggressive policing and a massive increase in the incarceration rate as more prisons were constructed (although the increase in the incarceration rate was no more massive than the increase in the crime rate that preceded it).

And thus the reason for the drop in the crime rate beginning around 1990 is that more aggressive policing (such as stop-and-frisk) and keeping more people in prison resulted in fewer criminals on the street: the criminal element can’t commit crimes if they are in prison.

However, the underlying decay in morality and good behavior has not changed. If anything, it has gotten worse. If we started letting people out of prison, I predict that we would see the crime rate increase back to the 1990 level and most likely exceed it (because even in 1990, the incarceration rate was much higher than in 1960, so the high 1990 crime rate is despite the fact that many more criminals were in prison).

The chart above is borrowed from a Pew Research article. We see that the percentage of children living without married parents increased from 13% in 1960 to 39% in 2013. I believe that this is strongly related to the decline in morality and good behavior, although it’s not the only factor involved. Children living with two married parents not only have the benefit of having a father around, but they also have parents who have demonstrated their commitment to traditional moral values by getting married in the first place.

The chart shows families of all races; currently, around 65% of black children are being raised in single-parent or no-parent households.

I believe that the main thing that began to change around 1960 is that society became more permissive, and at the same time we lost our commitment to using public education to teach children good moral values, or what I previously have called middle-class values. I believe that in schools where most of the children came from the bottom half of society, the school administration viewed its mission as not to get the kids ready for college or to get them to score higher on tests, but rather to make them good citizens with good values who would work at menial jobs. Basic literacy and some knowledge of history was considered part of being a good citizen, but academic excellence of the kind needed for college was not part of the mission.

In the 1950s, we also had segregated schools, and pretty much all of the black schools were not trying to prepare their students for college. This came to be considered as racist. Today, any imposition of middle-class values on ghetto students is considered to be racist. If too many children are expelled from school for bad behavior, that too is considered to be racist. The only acceptable instruction is drilling for reading and math tests.

This is sort of related to my recent posts about libertarian economics, because this is a problem that is not going to be solved with lower tax rates or fewer government regulations. It’s actually not going to be solved at all because government is full of liberals who are more concerned with racism and the gap in test scores than in teaching poor kids—especially poor black kids—to behave better.

In fact, I predict that the decline in crime since 1990 has reached its trough and will be on the upswing again because we have lost the political will to be tough on crime. This is seen in the end of stop-and-frisk (considered to be racist) and in articles like the one from the Atlantic arguing that too many people are in prison.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 8, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

90 Responses

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  1. I usually don’t write comments to your articles, but I do have to write a comment to this one, because I believe there is a very serious problem with the chart as well as others which show a massive increase in violent crime since the 60’s: Prior to 1960, in many states, lots of crimes, including very serious ones, were never reported. Prior to 1960, there were very large parts of the country that people wouldn’t risk traveling in, probably including large parts of the rural south and west, but probably every state had rural areas that were scary to travel in. “Violent crime” includes a lot of things, such as rapes and assaults, and I am sure that most of the rapes and assaults that happened in rural parts of the county never started even getting reported or incorporated into real statistics until after the 1960’s.


    October 8, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    • What is your evidence for that? It is delusional, frankly. People used to travel all throughout the West and South safely. The increase in crime correlates nicely with racial integration and the rapid increase of Mexican immigration.


      October 8, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      • My maternal grandmother drove cross country with her gal pals in the 1920s. She encountered no trouble whatsoever.

        slithy toves

        October 9, 2015 at 10:47 am

    • People used to hitchhike pretty much anywhere, including cross-country. I don’t think large swaths of America were no-go zones before 1960.

      Mark Caplan

      October 8, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      • I hitchhiked in my early teens until about 1980 when I got my drivers license, but only across town to and from my minimum wage, off-the books job when I didn’t have a ride or my bicycle.

        E. Rekshun

        October 8, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    • This non-reporting is nonsense. I grew up in New York City, in a largely white neighborhood. Mostly Irish and Italian, a smattering of mostly white Puerto Ricans, a few Chinese. But as is common in New York, we were not far from a black part of town. It was about eight blocks away.

      In the early part of the 60s it was common to leave your doors unlocked, for young kids to play outside at all times without adult supervision. Nobody gave a thought to crime. But it all changed, and it changed rapidly. In a very short time the houses in my once safe neighborhood suddenly grew bars on the windows and gates on the doors. People installed multiple bolts on their doors. I remember my father installing strange new door locks with a weird, round key that was supposedly un-pickable. There were waves of burglaries. Cars were stolen left and right. And then nobody left their door open, and the kids came in when it started to get dark. The once clean park across the street was littered with broken glass. Graffiti began to appear. It was social breakdown across the board.

      One time somebody on our block bought a new television and put the box outside for the trash (no recycling then). Within days, their house was broken into and the TV stolen. After that, if you bought anything “stealable” you’d break up the box so nobody would know. Crime was on your mind constantly; it affected everything you did. It went from zero to all encompassing within a year or two.

      At the same time, I spent my summers in a very rural part of the state (100% white then). Not at camp, we had a house. And let me tell you there was ZERO concern about crime. As a 9 year old I’d go on 5 hour bike rides with my cousin all over the place, without adults. Nobody thought about it for a moment. In fact, as the 60s wore into the 70s, one of the nice things about going upstate was that you could stop worrying about crime for a while.

      I wouldn’t doubt that rural areas with lots of blacks became dangerous. But white areas? No way.

      The causes are numerous, but something noticeably changed in the 60s, much for the worse.


      October 8, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      • Interesting because as someone who grew up in NYC in the 1990s I have experienced the city change from crime-ridden to safe.

        We never kept anything in a car’s front or back seats because criminals will break in to steal your jackets or even the quarters one keeps for tolls. All storefronts had security gates and all ground floor windows had security bars. We had 3 locks on our doors and we were taught to use all of them at all times. Unlike my suburban cousins we never left our bikes or sneakers outside lest they were stolen.

        Today new storefronts don’t have security gates, car break-ins are not a worry, and my neighbors are taking off the security bars from windows because they don’t look good. My parents are astonished when I tell them that I am going to a high-end restaurant in Harlem or Avenue A. To them those neighborhoods are lawless no-go zones.

        This is why I am so dismayed by DeBlasio. He is undoing 20 years of hard work to make this city safe.


        October 9, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      • “My parents are astonished when I tell them that I am going to a high-end restaurant in Harlem…”

        One of the ones on FDB a few blocks north of Central Park North?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 9, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      • Yes, but there also a few on 125 and Lenox. Hamilton Heights also has a couple of nice places.


        October 9, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    • What is your evidence for that? It is delusional, frankly. People used to travel all throughout the West and South safely.

      In the 50s blacks were the same proportion of criminals as they are today. The difference now is the ratio of blacks to whites is narrower than the 50s.

      I don’t buy the argument blacks were once well behaved during the heyday of Jim Crow; Theodore Roosevelt in reference to lynchings discussed black criminality and propensity to rape white a century ago. Their criminal tendencies of today are is essentially how they’ve always been.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      October 8, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      • People who say the 50s were safer and people who say blacks were just as crime prone back then are both largely correct. We didn’t lock our house or car doors in the neighborhood I grew up in and there was no crime. Due to segregation, poor blacks were concentrated in a certain area of town. If one entered a white neighborhood, he would have no other blacks around and would be very conspicuous. Blacks didn’t have many chances to commit crimes against whites. If one did commit a crime, punishment would be swift and harsh. That discouraged crime. I also think that segregation forcing middle class blacks to live by poor blacks had a positive effect. It gave poor blacks good role models of their own race they could emulate. Poor blacks don’t have that now because all the middle class blacks have left the ghetto. The difference between then and now isn’t 100% environment, though. Welfare has had a very dysgenic effect on the black population. I wouldn’t advocate returning to the segregation of the fifties but even if we did crime wouldn’t drop back to a fifties level because the criminal blacks have been outbreeding the noncriminal blacks for the last fifty years.


        October 9, 2015 at 9:05 am

      • I also think that segregation forcing middle class blacks to live by poor blacks had a positive effect. It gave poor blacks good role models of their own race they could emulate.

        Segregation might have slightly improved black criminality. But I still suspect its positive effects are over romanticized by Southerners, most of whom remember the ”good’ black America through the lens of entertainers who were cleaned up by movie studios and record companies to sell to white audiences.

        If poorer blacks were significantly better behaved back then there wouldn’t have been segregation in the first place.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        October 9, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    • This is crazy. I was born in 1955 in western Canada. I don’t believe there were parts of western US that were too dangerous to travel in. We drove down to the US sometimes when I was a kid. You’re just making shit up.


      October 8, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    • You’re totally nuts.


      October 9, 2015 at 10:06 am

    • I agree that there are numerous irregularities regarding reports of violent crime in this country. Some cities, like Chicago for example, are notorious for having spotty reports about crime. I’d like to see evidence for your claim, but on a gut level I see where you comes from. In Discipline and Punishment, Foucault wrote about how modern societies have a paradox between explicit freedoms and implicit government observation/control. Foucault’s claim is that while people have more enumerated rights than ever before, they also have more government monitoring, intervention, etc in their lives too, so a serf in the middle ages might be de jure less free, but de facto more free than a modern person. With crime, this could make sense as underreporting could account for lower crime rates. I doubt that explains everything about crime rates changing over the decades, as I still think crime rose because of social reasons, but I think that underreporting, in a pre-high tech surveillance state world, could be a mitigating factor that makes the “real” crime gains less dramatic.


      October 9, 2015 at 9:42 pm

  2. I believe that this is strongly related to the decline in morality and good behavior that, although it’s the only factor involved.

    There should be a “not” there.


    October 8, 2015 at 1:57 pm

  3. Good post. I hadn’t considered that the current crime level, which the media portrays as being extremely low, was still much higher than it was before the 60’s got into full swing. Your chart not only makes that clear, but it also makes clear that imprisoning criminals work. However I doubt that was the point the Atlantic was trying to make.

    Mike Street Station

    October 8, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    • Your chart not only makes that clear, but it also makes clear that imprisoning criminals work

      And theres not even much of a correlation there

      Lloyd Llewellyn

      October 8, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      • Most countries in the first world experienced the same rise and decline in crime over this period however very few increased imprisonment rates to the same extent: (This is true even if you restrict the sample to white Americans). If social permissiveness (liberalism) was the underlying reason then we would expect a correlation between the extent to which a country permissive (liberal) and its crime rate. I doubt this is true.


        October 8, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    • These stats don’t compare like with like. How can you compare a society that is >90% white with one where, among the age group most likely to commit crime – white people make up, at most, a plurality?


      October 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      • Yep, good point!

        E. Rekshun

        October 8, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      • Demographic factors can’t explain the rise in crime If anything the majority of immigration occurred in the period in which crime was decreasing. Of course that doesn’t mean the two things are correlated.


        October 9, 2015 at 12:59 am

      • @Magician:

        “Demographic factors can’t explain the rise in crime If anything the majority of immigration occurred in the period in which crime was decreasing.”

        (1) From 1926-1964 there was almost no immigration. Take the long view.

        (2) The quality of immigrants declined. Sure, the likes of the Poles and the Irish aren’t great. They’re still miles better than any of the – *ahem* – people the US is importing. Numbers are of the essence, and race is right up there with oxygen. The US is far less white than it used to be.


        October 9, 2015 at 1:53 pm

  4. Another likely cause of the decline in crime is better entertainment, better quality tv, video games, pornography, the internet, ect.


    October 8, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    • I agree.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 8, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    • Some of the internet trolls who enjoy “trolling” online would have enjoyed “trolling”(intentionally trying to anger people) in the real world 20 years ago. Only the latter contributes to the violent crime rate.


      October 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    • And, in the ’80s, as a response to the crime spikes of the ’60s and ’70s, things like the “three-strikes-you’re out” law, plus the return of capital punishment, took care of the many of the most crime-prone members of society. The 3-strikes law could probably be relaxed today, but it did serve a purpose.


      October 8, 2015 at 5:41 pm

  5. Once again liberals confuse the symptoms with the disease. The high prison population is troubling because there are so many criminals in this country. The treatment is to deter crime for taking place. Stop and frisk is good for young NAM men because it stops them from criminal behavior and therefore helps them avoid prison.

    Instead liberals work backwards. Too many men incarcerated for crime? Let’s release them from prison. The incarceration rate will go down…problem solved!!

    Same with illegal immigration. 30 million undocumented workers? Let’s give them all greencards. No more illegal immigrants…problem solved!!


    October 8, 2015 at 2:11 pm

  6. A lot of bad ideas happened in the 1960s…


    October 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    • Some pretty good music, though.

      E. Rekshun

      October 8, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      • I would say there’s a tradeoff, but I’m not sure how much music is balancing out bad ideas.


        October 9, 2015 at 9:45 pm

  7. Just blame it on HBD – inherent black behavior. Despite the high attendance rates of blacks at the more selected colleges, they are usually rowdier, less studious, and black men with a propensity for a thug-like culture of sex and sports, reminiscent of the ghetto. I don’t even find these traits to be particularly marked among Hispanic students.


    October 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm

  8. In 1960 I was still living at home with a divorced working parent. My brothers had already been frogmarched off to the Navy recruiter for crimes untold. That’s how they handled a lot of things back then. We all three of us got in so much trouble, each of us nearly killing or maiming another child or adult. When there is no father in the home, there is no law, no reason to give a shit.

    I do remember the crime wave later. My mother’s cousin was murdered and dumped down by the tracks in LA, a colleague of mine was strangled, killer never found; my mother’s place was burgled, my friend and I were mugged at knifepoint by a little brown man in North Hollywood. He had been hiding in my van. Thank God he just ran off when we screamed.

    Anyway, I suppose my town isn’t the only place busying itself with “jail diversion” planning. They’re going to start cutting some of these guys loose…meaning all the guys people were screaming to lock up for child support, DUI, vandalism etc. Oh I can’t wait for that to come down.

    Mrs Stitch

    October 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm

  9. You’re ignoring genetics. Thanks to the 1964 immigration act, the genetic quality has declined sharply, although that was happening anyway. If America had stuck to it’s pre-1926 stock or, even better, shut its borders some time around 1830 (and, of course, picked its own cotton) then the 60s could’ve happened without the massive increase in crime. Maybe some increase, but nothing like what actually happened.

    And can we give the single parent battering a rest, please? Someone who does that badly as a single parent wouldn’t do any better if they married first and really shouldn’t be breeding at all. The children of the intact, nuclear families who do much better do so because of great genes. Arguing otherwise is simply cargo cult politic.

    The people committing the crimes today *can’t* have middle class values inculcated into them. The only solution, short of time travel, is eugenics. Which makes this statement:

    “…government is full of liberals who are more concerned with racism and the gap in test scores than in teaching poor kids—especially poor black kids—to behave better.”

    So utterly pathetic. As opposed to what? Conservatives who believe in teaching good manners to people who cannot, ever, internalize them? All you do by pushing for that is antagonize those of us who don’t need that level of supervision. You need to stop the stupid, violent people of all races from arriving, staying and/or breeding. And you need to encourage the smart people to breed more which, and this will be deeply traumatic for you, liberal policies. Lotsa free childcare. Generous maternity leave. De-stigmatizing single motherhood. Lotsa career opportunities for smart women who have lotsa babies. Anything – and I do mean *anything* – to simply get their genes passed on.


    October 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    • De-stigmatizing single motherhood? What for? One might as well derail a train. If you’re worried about the low white birthrate why not advocate that more men marry and raise families? There is just no substituting for the presence of fathers – not on a large scale. To build the kind of society we want we need to do far more than just “simply get our genes passed on.” Being fatherless is a huge handicap for a child. I heard someone once say “every broken home is like the death of a small civilization.” Being the product of multiple broken homes myself I can tell you that this is true.


      October 8, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      • “There is just no substituting for the presence of fathers – not on a large scale…Being fatherless is a huge handicap for a child. I heard someone once say “every broken home is like the death of a small civilization.””

        Bullshit. All of it. Men are not so special that their mere presence will act as a panacea. All it means is that being the kind of person who can’t make a marriage/partnership work is highly correlated with passing some truly awful genes onto the next generation. The same kids of divorcees and single mothers who do so badly would – wait for it – do just as badly if their parents were together.

        “Being the product of multiple broken homes myself I can tell you that this is true.”

        Your parent couldn’t make marriages work. That means, stochastically speaking, that you got some shitty genetic inheritances.

        The kind of people who do badly under liberalized sexual mores – or hey, under a guaranteed basic income – are the people it’s kindest to take aside early and sterilize. There is no reason whatsoever to make their more intelligent counterparts miserable with increasingly strict supervision. It won’t make the less intelligent do any better and it makes the more intelligent angry and resentful.


        October 8, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      • If America had stuck to it’s pre-1926 stock or, even better, shut its borders some time around 1830 (and, of course, picked its own cotton) then the 60s could’ve happened without the massive increase in crime.

        There would be only 100-130 million white Americans without pre-1924 European immigration, coupled with the same number of blacks.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        October 8, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      • @Jesse apparently can’t hold two thoughts in his head at once. HBD is real and matters. Culture is also real and matters. Rocket science, this is.

        People like @Jesse give the HBD aware a bad name, because they are every bit as fundamentalist as their counterparts on the other side. Those who say genes don’t matter are obviously wrong. Those say that culture and upbringing don’t matter are obviously wrong also.

        For example, liberal Jews, for all their smarts, are dying out from low fertility. The genetically similar Orthodox are demographically thriving. Jesse worries about mass migration and it is a problem. But before that, western nations have had low fertility for 40 years due to declining religiosity, which is what is making them sitting ducks now.


        October 8, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      • “You are young enough not to have a proper perspective on how much better society used to function. Maybe you will learn?”

        Oh, I know full well. But, unlike everyone here, I understand why. It wasn’t because of Bible humping, banning divorce, keeping women down etc. It was because of eugenic effects and an elite that – sometimes, haltingly – actually regarded borders as a good thing.

        ““then those people are officially Too Stupid To Breed.”

        “And yet they exist. The libertarian fools would have the left half of the curve ruin society for everyone, by pretending they don’t exist.”

        Fine. A better quote would be “Too stupid for an intelligent society to allow them to breed”. I am aware that they exist. I’m also aware that nothing can be done to make them behave better, and trying will simply make the more intelligent hate you. What can be done is to stop them breeding (or hell, stop them arriving and staying) to improve the stock in the future. Meanwhile, you do whatever it takes to up the intelligent birthrate.


        October 9, 2015 at 4:01 am

  10. This is why you shouldn’t mock Christianity or call it false, Lion. It has served an essential societal purpose. People didn’t do bad things or get divorced because they feared for their souls. That sounds quaint, but nothing has replaced that.


    October 8, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    • They did plenty of bad things. They didn’t get divorced because it was either illegal or caused so much impoverishment it was de facto banned. And what’s the obsession with divorce? You do understand that it makes no difference to outcome, right? The people you’re thinking of who are harmed by it are simply inadequate and no divorce wouldn’t change that.

      Also, if there are really people who need socon policies to keep them on the straight and narrow, then those people are officially Too Stupid To Breed.


      October 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      • Here’s our problem, Jesse, Moist of the things now referred to as “socon pollcies” (heterosexuality as the only acceptable orientation, marriage as opposed to cohabitation, childrearing by married couples instead of unmarried mothers, etc) are thing that have historically been considered the basis of civilization and not the result of a particular political outlook. That they are now considered not only “socon” but “wingnut” or “extreme” by so many is a sign of just how far gone the U.S. has become. I find this change so perplexing that there are times I I wonder if I should have been born in another country. Seriously.


        October 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      • @Maryk:

        Socon policies don’t make people behave better. Selective, wise breeding on a population level does that. People who really do need socon policies, especially if they need them imposed from without, are just inferior and it’s cruel to let them breed.

        The more intelligent and industrious people don’t need them imposed. They need child benefit going straight to the mothers, generous maternity/paternity benefit, free childcare, stringent anti-discrimination/equal pay laws, no immigration…

        If you can’t understand basic genetics, then you shouldn’t be commenting on this.


        October 8, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      • “Also, if there are really people who need socon policies to keep them on the straight and narrow”

        Did you even understand Lion’s first chart? The culture that once existed gave us a very low crime with little policing. The more degradation we have had means that heavy policing gives us only a so-so crime rate. Dear young lad, it is unfortunate that you are able to vote. Under the old rules, you wouldn’t have had suffrage and you’d have been able to keep your foolishness to yourself.

        You are young enough not to have a proper perspective on how much better society used to function. Maybe you will learn?

        “then those people are officially Too Stupid To Breed.”

        And yet they exist. The libertarian fools would have the left half of the curve ruin society for everyone, by pretending they don’t exist.


        October 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      • @Maryk —

        Don’t feel bad. Jesse thinks he is sophisticated but he is primitive. Jesse thinks you are primitive because he doesn’t understand what civilization is.

        @Jesse, a Chesterton quote for you:
        “Do not be proud of the fact that your grandmother was shocked at something which your are accustomed to seeing or hearing without being shocked. … It may be that your grandmother was an extremely lively and vital animal and that you are a paralytic.”


        October 8, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      • Jesse, has the type of society you’re talking about ever existed or are you talking about a theoretical construction? While it is true that some people and some races even, maybe better at handling a very liberal permissive type of society than others, I’m not sure that anything other than a small fraction of humanity would be capable of living in the kind of society you want to create. It seems to me that you want to use genetics and eugenics as a way to avoid the difficult work it takes to build and maintain a society of actual human beings. I don’t know what your standard would be for allowing people to breed in the Brave New World you want to see, but the type of government that would have such tight control over who can breed sounds to me like the kind of government that would also have a host of other powers you might not like. Like most social liberals you want freedom for yourself but not for others.

        As to “shitty genetic inheritances” my Mom had the same genetic inheritance as her two siblings. Both have normal family lives. But my Mom was married 4 times. Her intelligence was not her problem. Her IQ is 127.

        The bottom line is that societies get more of what they tolerate. A permissive society breeds moral decay. Eventually the consequences are felt by all – even those who live decently. There are many people who will simply do whatever they can get away with. The social values that you consider restrictive keep those people in line – and allow the rest of us to live peacefully.


        October 8, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      • @Maryk:

        As to whether it would work for the bulk of humanity, a serious question: Who cares? It would work for me and my tribe.

        The argument that it would empower the govt too much to have eugenics is also the same argument used against stopping immigration. You love overarching power as long as it advances the socon agenda. I like it when it advances the liberal agenda. The only difference is that mine will create a far better society than one where the degenerates are allowed to breed.

        And how do you not get it? The same people who do appallingly under liberalism will do appallingly under conservatism. You just make the better people resentful.

        And your shitty genetic inheritance can include more things than IQ. Someone who fails at 4 marriages, regardless of IQ, well, that’s what’s known as a signal.


        October 9, 2015 at 4:07 am

  11. “I predict that the decline in crime since 1990 has reached its trough and will be on the upswing”… It already is.

    Baltimore is on pace to have 336 homicides this year, up from 221 in 2014. In fact, they have had 203 homicides in the past 6 months, so the pace is quickening. In the last 30 days, there have been 31, so school and the arrival of cooler weather isn’t doing the trick either.

    Basically, Baltimore has already given up all of its gains in the last 20 years, in 2015. Freddy Gray was a terribly violent criminal and the fact that he was the focal point of so much sympathy shows a broken moral compass. Similarly, Michael Brown violently assaulted someone on camera and everyone watched it. In a world where people have moral sense, he does not attract the kind of sympathy that he got.

    Apparently Putin is the only one with the moral confidence to kill terrorists dead. We don’t seem to have even that anymore.


    October 8, 2015 at 2:52 pm

  12. I offer an additional reason why crime would have been lower before 1960: there was more social cohesion, I.e. people were less atomized. So, a-holes thinking of striking out violently had to worry about being stopped by others coming to the victim’s aid. In recent decades, criminals know that they’re not going to be gang-tackled by a bunch of good samaritans. In the case of black-zon-white crime, they know most whites are afraid of being seen as “racist” for sticking up for a fellow white.


    October 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm

  13. One thing that people simply forget is that the ratio of white / black members of society has changed drastically during that period.

    I have been alive during roughly the period shown on the graph. As a child, the standard ratio of white/black citizens was essentially 7/1 (black made up about 13% of the population, whites the rest). It is not quite that because other races (hispanics and asians) weren’t zero-but it was close.

    Today, black make up roughly the same- about 13% of the population. But whites are falling fast. I believe the current numbers are roughly 70% of the population (with the remainder being mostly hispanic as well as growing asian). But the ratio of white/black has dropped: to 5/1 or so.

    And among the young, it is even more different. Kindergartners are roughly 50% white, 15-20% black, and 25% hispanic (hispanic I’m estimating from memory, and it may be off). So the ratio at that age of white/black is about 3/1. (what’s the ratio of 20-30 year olds-the prime criminal age?).

    If you factor the changing demographics of the country, this will dramatically skew the statistics of the chart listed above. i haven’t done so, so I don’t know what it does to the numbers. But The demographic changes in the country during the time illustrated on the chart are pretty tremendous, and it really should be factored in.



    October 8, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    • excellent point.

      less whites + more single moms = more crime


      October 8, 2015 at 6:13 pm

  14. This is a really well thought out essay and the argument is completely plausible.

    I’m not entirely convinced:

    1. The first commentator, Jeff, makes a good point that alot of the rise in crime is a reporting effect.

    2. The graph of violent crime is completely consistent with the lead exposure hypothesis. LOB’s argument does better at explaining why the crime rate dropped on the right side of the chart (we locked them all up!) then why it rose on the left side (moral decay!). But the lead exposure hypothesis works well for both sides.

    3. The correlation between how the violent crime rate and the imprisonment rate is not really strong. They both increase almost in parallel through the 1980s. Then in the 1990s and 000s, crime drops but imprisonment increases. First, few people are imprisoned and crime is low. Then few people are imprisoned and crime increases. Then more people are imprisoned and crime increases. Then more people are imprisoned and crime drops.

    On # 3, what could be going on is that only a certain percentage of people were likely to do violent crime, and the solution to the problem was to literally lock them all up. But it was an all or nothing thing, you couldn’t just lock some of them up, you had to get to x% of the population in prison to solve the violent crime problem. If this is the case, in the future we should see the imprisonment rate level off. Once you have locked up the people who might commit crimes, and its an all or nothing thing, then violent crime should drop and you just have to keep the same percentage of the population in prison. There is no need to increase it. This explanation is consistent with LOB’s explanation.

    An alternate explanation is the imprisonment decreased the incentives for violent crime, eventually the message got out on the street, and violent crime began dropping. Then as violent crime goes down and the situation gets back to normal, we should see the imprisonment rate drop too. The high imprisonment rate was an appropriate response for essentially an emergency (it wasn’t needed after all before 1960) and once conditions normally you can be less gonzo on locking people up.

    So be very suspicious if the red line on the chart keeps rising.


    October 8, 2015 at 3:11 pm

  15. The 60s was a perfect storm: feminism, sexual de-evolution, welfare, desegregation. . .nothing good could possibly come from any of this. . .except cheap labor and consumerism.


    October 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm

  16. Your ideas are sound, but as you point out, they don’t tell the whole story. Another thing that happened in the 1960’s is we “reformed” the mental health system, mainly by closing the asylums and throwing the crazy people out into the streets. A lot of criminals and most of the homeless are people who SHOULD be in a controlled environment where someone makes sure they take their meds.

    A large percentage of the people in American prisons are suffering from untreated mental illness. Prison populations have soared as we’ve made involuntary commitment of the crazies more difficult.


    October 8, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    • This is also an excellent point.

      Of course many if not most of the mental institutions that were closed down were essentially run as prisons.

      However what should have happened (but didn’t because it would have cost money) was that the mental institutions stay open but the patients/ inmates treated more humanely. There is a case for keeping the same numbers in the prisons but improving the conditions (for one thing, getting rid of prison rape). And at least the people there because they are mentally ill/ retarded could be separated from the gang members and the psychopaths.


      October 9, 2015 at 11:28 am

    • Ann Coulter’s latest column made that point.:

      According to a 2002 report by Central Institute of Mental Health for the European Union, the number of involuntarily detained mental patients, per 100,000 people, in other countries looks like this:

      — Austria, 175

      — Finland, 218

      — Germany, 175

      — Sweden, 114

      — England, 93

      The absolute maximum number of mental patients per 100,000 people who could possibly be institutionalized by the state in the U.S. — voluntarily or involuntarily — is: 17. Yes, according to the Treatment Advocacy Center, there are a grand total of 17 psychiatric beds even available, not necessarily being used. In 1955, there were 340.

      Mike Street Station

      October 10, 2015 at 5:35 pm

  17. brilliant essay, lion. this *is* a book you need to write, and a very important book.

    i am not sure if the masses will read it or understand it — since they have been indoctrinated into the SJW agenda — but maybe if enough intelligent and influential people read it, we can save america.

    another idea: how can we get the young people to read this essay? i mean the intelligent and politically minded teenagers and college students, the ones who aren’t yet fully brainwashed and whose minds are still open to non-SJW (aka “racist”) ideas.

    remember that saying, people don’t change their minds, they just die and are replaced by people with people with different ideas.

    we have a lot of work to do lion, but you are off to a great start. your writing is capturing one of the main things that is wrong with america.

    now, time to turn this essay into a book!


    October 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    • This…seriously.

      Lion is retired, so who gives a shit if everyone knows his real name. Not like the SJWs can get him fired.

      He has years and years and years of great posts to mine from to write a book, and good writing ability. This is a chance at greatness.

      I’ll buy a copy!


      October 8, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      • I just recently learned that SJW stands for “social justice warrior.” I had speculated that it might stand for “single Jewish woman!” On lion’s blog it could also stand for the kind of community most of us would like to live in – one where we’re “seeing just whites.”


        October 8, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      • The only all white organization nowadays are either blogs like this or magic the gathering tournaments.


        October 9, 2015 at 9:23 am

      • Magic the Gathering is something I never got into. But I strongly suspect that there would be a lot of Asians at a tournament. A Barenaked Ladies concert would probably be more white.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 9, 2015 at 9:37 am

  18. Desegregation, Civil Rights and Letting in Brown people all created the upsurge in crime. The media tried to hide it by making most of the criminals White or the gangs diverse, but now everyone realizes the truth. They are not like you White man. When blacks say he dindu nuffin, they are not denying he killed or raped someone, they are saying they don’t care. The blacks don’t care about murder or rape unless it happens to someone they know, and they don’t want blacks sent to prison for ANY REASON. That’s why minority neighborhoods are unliveable hellholes, and Third World countries are crap. They don’t understand the need for laws. Violence is the only way these people solve problems. Murder and rape are acceptable as long as it doesn’t happen to them or it doesn’t happen to one of their tribe by another tribe. These blacks are still tribal. Gangs are just artificial tribes they form because their genetic tribes in Africa are cut off from them. They cannot assimilate to America or any Civilization. The are living fossils from the Stone Age.

    Joshua Sinistar

    October 8, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    • This is quite a brilliant summation of the entire black experience in modern America.

      Thank you!


      October 8, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    • From my personal experience of Rikers demographics, if you remove blacks and Hispanics you could close the place down. There simply wasn’t enough white criminals to keep it going.


      October 9, 2015 at 1:11 am

  19. This chart is intentionally misleading: the left axis is a flow, whereas the right axis is a stock. For example, if the violent crime rate went to 0 in 2016, it would appear as the incarceration rate were unjustifiably high, because all those rapists and murderers who committed crimes prior to 2016 are in jail, despite the fact there is no crime being committed. If it is not intentional, the Atlantic editors are innumerate.


    October 8, 2015 at 6:11 pm

  20. As a parent and a frequent reader of HBD blogs, I stand with Lion on divorce and single-parent households. I realize that many HBD fundamentalists would disagree, but I don’t really see a way around this, even if it’s hard to measure:


    October 8, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    • Or rather, around this specifically: “Finally, a sanity check. Suppose your parents get divorced when you’re 16. Your high school grades drop and your behavior gets worse. Maybe you fail a couple of classes and start using drugs. The couple of classes failed mean you’re going to a second-tier instead of a first-tier college, and the drug use means you’re addicted. How does that not affect your life outcomes, even if five years later you’ve forgotten all about whatever psychological stresses you once had?”

      I can only imagine this problem is compounded, on average, when the parents get divorced when the kid is three.


      October 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      • That’s not a result of the divorce. That’s a result of two people who can’t make a marriage work passing on their shitty genes. That’s so obvious that…seriously, how do you not realize how stupid your position is?


        October 9, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      • “That’s a result of two people who can’t make a marriage work passing on their shitty genes. That’s so obvious that…seriously, how do you not realize how stupid your position is?”

        You’re right and I apologize. The genetically fit rarely divorce once they get married and if they do, their children are destined for failure, drug abuse, and early death.


        October 10, 2015 at 9:12 pm

  21. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia on the “Witchita Massacre” case –

    WaPo, 10/07/15 – Justices appear skeptical at reversal of Wichita murderers’ death sentences

    That popularity for capital punishment “might suggest that a retention election that goes before such people would not come out favorably for those justices who create Kansas law that would reverse these convictions,” Scalia said, adding “I am just speculating, of course.”

    Could Scalia be…nah, he couldn’t.

    E. Rekshun

    October 8, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    • Of course he couldn’t. That would mean JS is a guido!”


      October 8, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      • From a cultural and historical standpoint, Spaniards are not guidos. In fact, they are anything but gawdy and socially “dumb”, stereotypes which are given to many lower class Italians.

        Machiavelli saw them as the consummate politicians and conquerors.

        Rivelino, who’s on Lion’s blog roll, and lives in Madrid, thinks Spaniards are spartan and have simple tastes. It could originate from their Jewish side of being cheapos.

        Dig through his blog to find that post.

        Read my incomplete blog!


        October 9, 2015 at 11:12 am

  22. Prior to 1960, there were very large parts of the country that people wouldn’t risk traveling in, probably including large parts of the rural south and west,

    If this was true wouldn’t we hear more tales about banditry in the south and west from those days?

    Any reluctance to travel in the South was probably more due to the difficulty of traveling there posed by climate, foliage, flooding and topography. Along with air conditioning, it was the growth of our national highway system in the 1950’s that finally opened the south for supporting large populations with easy travel and commerce.

    Imagine how South Carolina would like for the next 3 years without dams, and modern clearing of bridges and waterways. It would be one huge rice paddy. With the exception of the Mississippi the South doesn’t have many naturally navigable waterways or natural lakes.


    October 8, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    • Without air conditioning, most of the south’s white population would probably die off pretty quickly.

      The key to living in the south is staying inside, avoiding mosquitoes, avoiding parasites by wearing shoes.

      It is a demographic vortex without modern amenities.


      October 8, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      • Most deep southern municipalities do some mosquito spraying via garbage-type trucks. It works fairly well. Also, winters are cold enough in the Carolinas and Georgia that you do get winter dieoff of mosquitos and not year-round susceptability, which doesn’t start until somewhere fairly far down the Florida peninsula.

        But here in Atlanta I still can’t sit on my porch without getting mosquito bites now, even here in early October.


        October 8, 2015 at 9:52 pm

  23. Excellent post, Lion!

    E. Rekshun

    October 8, 2015 at 8:27 pm

  24. If you want to see a preview of our new multicultural country, looking no further than my state (Georgia) which leads all 50 in the percentage of its citizens in jail or judicial supervision. (I wonder why)

    I live in DeKalb county (East side of metro area) and we have a population of about 750,000, which breaks down to roughly 35% white, 50% black and 15% Latino/Asian. This county’s sheriff’s department has over 40,000 open warrants at any one time. That’s a staggering percentage.

    Clayton County (southside of Atlanta) is where all of the public housing riffraff headed after they were demolished in the runup to the ’96 Olympics. That county went from 90% white to less than 30% white in 30 years. They have a population of less than 275,000 there, but the sheriffs department has 20,000+ open warrants at any one time.

    A few years ago Clayton County had a huge rash of ghettto rats hanging out in the morning and stealing cars while people while people went back inside briefly while warming up their car on cold days. The response of the black-run police department was to go about issuing tickets to people who left running, unattended cars outside their residence.

    This is the same place where the first elected black sheriff promptly fired 27 white department employees (and only whites) on his first day of taking office, he placed snipers on the roof across the street while they were ushered out, with many of the fired white employees being denied access to their county sheriffs cars and having to be taken home in county paddy wagons:

    Needless to say, properties values have been in a Ferguson type of freefall ever since.


    October 8, 2015 at 9:06 pm

  25. Prior to 1960, there were very large parts of the country that people wouldn’t risk traveling in, probably including large parts of the rural south and west,

    Also, in the pre-1960’s south you had 100% of the work force (black and white) doing hard-labor jobs almost exclusively. Few people in rural areas had the energy to commit opportunistic crimes after doing farm work for 10 hours. Also, it was not socially acceptable then to mill about in public without something to do. (the primary daytime activity of most of today’s criminal class) nor were men able to mooch off women for living arrangements and food (as most black criminals do today).


    October 8, 2015 at 10:04 pm

  26. Sort of off-topic, but: NAMs, NAMs, NAMs… What about AMs, Asian Majorities? This is happening rapidly in the NY metro area. If you don’t believe me, stand at the top of the escalators at the Journal Square PATH for 5 minutes during the morning rush hour. If you don’t agree with me that at least 80% of the people who pass you are East Asians or South Asians, you’re lying. Then walk 5 minutes north of the station and then 5 minutes south. If you don’t agree with me that at least half of the people you pass are South Asians or clusters of head-shawled Middle Eastern women pushing strollers and orbited by at least three elementary-aged children, then again, you’re lying. Then get on the PATH and go west 10 minutes and get off at Harrison. Note the commuters streaming into the PATH station from the parking lots (few of the commuters live in Harrison, they drive in from near and far-flung suburbs). Again, 80%.

    It’s understandable that Americans are focused on white-black and, recently, mestizo-Indio. But how long can we ignore the presence of AMs?


    October 9, 2015 at 9:45 am

    • I’ve noticed a LOT more hijabs on Staten Island. I used to never see women wearing them (in this borough).

      slithy toves

      October 9, 2015 at 10:52 am

  27. Matt Walsh intones a similar sentiment in this interesting article:

    To quote:

    “I only wish more Christians and “conservatives” would speak out loudly about our culture’s descent into corruption and madness. This is where the real battle must be fought. While we’re all talking about the presidential election, progressives have spent the last couple of days throwing parades for a mother who poisoned her son with medically unnecessary medication. Why? Because they know they win everything if they can convince society to accept their teachings about sex, gender, and the nature of human life. Nothing matters once that process is complete.”

    slithy toves

    October 9, 2015 at 10:50 am

  28. However, the underlying decay in morality and good behavior has not changed.

    Higher crime rates are the result of the same conditions that led to sex, drugs and rock&roll. Immorality is a luxury. It’s how low class people self-actualize.


    October 9, 2015 at 12:36 pm

  29. It’s probably a simplistic matter of imprisonment, and little more. See Charles Murray on it (has data and a nice graph):

    Keep locking ’em up – AEI | Society and Culture Blog » AEIdeas


    October 10, 2015 at 9:44 am

  30. Are you in favor of segregated schools, Lion?


    October 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm

  31. What about the lead-crime hypothesis?


    October 14, 2015 at 9:49 pm

  32. war on drugs?
    3 strikes laws and similar things? Could it be that a wider range of behavior now counts as crimes that are punished with long prison sentences?

    I simply do not know but I was recently wondering how much “low violence” was taking for granted among adolescent boys (10-15 or so) in a lot of books I read in my childhood around 1980. Those books were often older, that is written and/or taking place between the 1920s and 1960s. But it was almost taken for granted that playful rivalries among schools or (otherwise non-criminal) “gangs” would involve rather violent beatings as well as stuff like tying up “prisoners” for hours. And boys would also be physically punished by fathers (and sometimes teachers). I am not talking about lower class slums but those were usually middle class all white European settings, often in other respects quite idealized.

    Similarly, I think in former times drunken fistfights would often only lead to a night in jail and maybe a small fine, it was just considered normal between lower class people on weekends or during festivals.

    nomen nescio

    October 15, 2015 at 8:34 am

  33. “there’s evidence that two-parent households are less likely to sink into poverty and also have better outcomes for boys in particular.”


    October 17, 2015 at 11:08 am

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