Crime and Standard View Essay example

Submitted By monem87
Words: 420
Pages: 2

Crime has fallen in The US and no one knowswhy

Crime has fallen in The US and no one knowswhy
When the FBI announced last week that violent crime in the U.S. had reached a 40year low in 2010, many criminologists were perplexed. It had been a dismal year economically, and the standard view in the field, echoed for decades by the media, is that unemployment and poverty are strongly linked to crime. The argument is straightforward: When less legal work is available, more illegal work takes place.The economist Gary Becker of the University of Chicago, a Nobel laureate, gave the standard view its classic formulation in the 1960s. He argued that crime is a rational act, committed when the criminal's expected utility exceeds that of using his time and other resources in pursuit of alternative activities such as leisure or legitimate work. Observation may appear to bear this theory out after all neighborhoods with elevated crime rates tend to be those where poverty and unemployment are high as well (Hard Times, Fewer CrimesJAMES Q. WILSON).
Crime rates have fallendramatically since 2008 and 2009 in the US. Between 2008 and 2009 violent crime fell by 5.3% and property crime by 4.6%; between 2009 and 2010, according to the preliminary Uniform Crime Report released by the FBI on May 23rd, violent crime fell by another 5.5% and property crime by 2.8%. Robberies precisely the crime one might expect to rise during tough economic times fell by 9.5% between 2009 to 2010. The decline in violent crimes…