Friday, July 23, 2004

Hmmm...

The income divide in our nation's capitol is significantly larger than almost every other large city in America.  Hmm... could this help explain DC's rampant crime?  

Why Ike, whatever do you mean?

5 Comments:

At 9:31 AM, Blogger jsm said...

The article states that inequality is growing, but the numbers show that crime in DC for this year is on pace to be at it's lowest level in recent memory. Certainly a link can be made between poverty and crime, but I really can't see how there is a casual link between inequality and crime. I understand where inequality fits within the context of the social gospel, but linking it to crime seems a bit of a stretch.

If all the rich people in DC were to suddenly move away or lose their money, how would that cause a reduction in crime? Do highly paid lobbyists and AOL executives trigger some sort of reaction among the poor and middle class to commit crimes?

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger jrl20 said...

It is common sense human experience that the presence of someone living it up in the midst of your misery is enraging. The presence of AOL execs and highly paid lobbyists in D.C. shows the poor precisely what they don't have. It shoves the injustice of it all right in their faces.

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Lost In NY said...

When NY Yankees fans were openly taunting my Red Sox fan friend following Game 7 of the ALCS last year - yelling things like "$&#@ Boston" and "Go back to loserville" - there was the type of animosity in the room that would have led a younger, less calloused man to lash out in rage. There was almost a fight, but for the presence of some sensible yankees fans who apologized profusely. This is the type of common human experience - inequality, feeling lesser than someone and having it thrown in your face - that brings out the worst in people, and makes them do things that at the time seem rational, whether they are legal or not.

 
At 2:50 AM, Blogger Kurt said...

The article clearly states that DC is trying to recruit upper middle class into the city. Are you saying that it is better for them to live in the suburbs rather than pay taxes that support schools and social services?

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Lost In NY said...

That's not what I'm saying at all. Move 'em on in - every one of those tax dollars are needed. You don't have us in the logical trap that you think you do, however...

Those taxes you speak of are property taxes, collected at the local level. Property taxes are notorious for the inequality they engender (for a discussion of this in school systems, read Jonathan Kozol's powerful book, Savage Inequalities). Property taxes follow arbitrary boundaries (often seperate suburbs or communities) designed to KEEP THE MONEY IN, and not let it go where it is needed most. Thus, in many ways, these taxes further the economic divide.

We here believe that moving the affluent into gated communities amongst the urban poor WILL SERVE to increase crime and hostility. However, because of the political dynamic which we face, we know it will be difficult - perhaps politically impossible - to start collecting property taxes at a wider level (say at the state level). Thus, any taxes that we can get out of the affluent that can be used to help the poor are a good thing. The Social Gospel, however, demands that they be better.

 

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