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bonfire of the vanities - Page 5

post #61 of 84
Manton: If what you assert re: Levitt is true, I agree with you. Any economist (or other academic or scientist) should be interested in pursuing the truth and should be open to refutation of one's thesis, notwithstanding one's interest in selling books. As to attribution of responsibility/causation to Giuliani, that's still very much subject to debate.
post #62 of 84
Debatable? Sure. Nonetheless, based on the evidence I have seen -- and I have seen most of it -- I think it's true.
post #63 of 84
I'm a huge fan of Rudy, and don't want to take anything away from him, but he also was fortunate to be mayor of NY at the right time, when violent crime, largely drug-related, began to ebb as many drug addicts and "lords", especially involved with crack, became incarcerated, grew too old to cause trouble, or just died.  It's a major social factor behind the national declines in crime.  Truth be told, Rudy's popularity had declined precipitously during the latter stage of his mayoralty, what with the open marital troubles with his former wife (culminating in a messy divorce) and the huge public relations misstep of holding a news conference to announce his plan to divorce, allegedly BEFORE he informed his wife of his plans.  Whether she was taking advantage of her acting abilities or was genuinely distressed, the subsequent news conference of Donna Hanover "tearfully" describing her shock over learning of the divorce plans did not serve Rudy well in the public eye and caused his popularity to plummet.  Rudy's political career was pronounced dead by many pundits, however it really was "9/11" that put Rudy in a position to resusitate his career, which is precisely what he has done.  In true New York fashion, however, the recent scandal involving his former police chief, Bernie Kerik, having to withdraw his nomination as head of homeland security, which was heavily lobbied by Rudy, has stubbed Rudy's toe badly, maybe both toes.  Time will tell if his political career can be repaired, though he's raking in the dough in the private sector and might not care. Grayson
post #64 of 84
Quote:
Quote:
How much does somebody need to earn today to be considered rich in NYC with average apartment costing over one million dollars?
Rich? At least 5-10 million/ann.
Ideal customer Alex? Jon.
post #65 of 84
Quote:
As to attribution of responsibility/causation to Giuliani, that's still very much subject to debate.
All the other explanations fall short, though. Of NYC's 76 police precincts -- i.e., covering all age demographics, racial groups, crime rates, income and education levels, etc. -- the drops are either weakly correlated to other possible causes (decline in crack, or the aging of males out of peak crime years), don't correlate with these factors at all, or flatly run counter to them. The single strongest correlation citywide of the decline in violent crime is with the rise in misdemeanor arrests. Which is to say, the much-maligned "broken windows" theory looks to be correct. Check this out: http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_22.htm Reading it required me to dust of my grad school statistics (by far the worst experience of my entire post-undergrad education) but it was worth it.
post #66 of 84
I heard an academic type on NPR recently (I regret I can't remember his name or discipline) suggest that declining national crime rates, which began to be noticed in the 1990s and continue today, reflect the legalization of abortion following the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973. By this line of reasoning, fewer unwanted pregnancies were carried to term, resulting in fewer unwanted children who might otherwise have turned to crime. Interesting, semi-Malthusian theory.
post #67 of 84
Thread Starter 
Even if we accept that the broken windows theory was responsible for the drop off in crime, didn't Rudy come off as petty for forcing Bratton out? I remember reading that Rudy was jealous of Bratton's popularity and success. When Bratton took over the LAPD, there was some debate as to how applicable the broken windows theory would work in a city as spread out as LA.
post #68 of 84
Etruscan: check out the last two posts on page 6 of this thread.
post #69 of 84
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When Bratton took over the LAPD, there was some debate as to how applicable the broken windows theory would work in a city as spread out as LA.
That's still a subject of debate here, though the recent crime statistics (comparing 1-3/04 to 1-3/05) seem to strongly favor Bratton's approach. Well, the numbers *and* his better relationship (than his predecessors') with the most affected minority communities in LA. More than the geographic and cultural issues, however, was the issue of whether Broken Windows was feasible with LA's historically low officer-to-population ratio. During the early to middle portion of Gates' tenure, LA was considered a model of policing with a relatively small force: circumstances have clearly changed since then. Also, Bratton hasn't simply pursued Broken Windows as his sole strategy--he's also used gang injunctions and community-based policing, and has aggressively pursued funding and support for after-school programs, etc.  
post #70 of 84
It's a real question. Not so much whether the theory itself will work, but how to implement it in a car town. The theory is really about the maintenance of order through the enforcement of low level crime. It's easier to define strategies for this in a compact, dense city where beat cops and foot patrols can spot crime as it happens and make a real difference. Not so easy to do in L.A. Beyond this, the political structure in L.A. is dysfunctional. Bratton is not appointed by the Mayor but hired for a set term by an unaccoutable commission. He does not have the necessary support from City Hall -- either the Mayor's Office or the City Council -- to adequately reform the department or implement his strategies. He is having a hard time of it, and L.A. is ultimately the loser.
post #71 of 84
This thread proves that ultimately people will see things in the light of there chosing and find "facts" to support their worldview, even if it is something as preposterous as relating the drop in crime with the amount of fetus' aborted in the 70's. "The multitude of books is making us ignorant." ~Voltaire
post #72 of 84
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It's a real question.  Not so much whether the theory itself will work, but how to implement it in a car town.   The theory is really about the maintenance of order through the enforcement of low level crime.  It's easier to define strategies for this in a compact, dense city where beat cops and foot patrols can spot crime as it happens and make a real difference.  Not so easy to do in L.A. Beyond this, the political structure in L.A. is dysfunctional.  Bratton is not appointed by the Mayor but hired for a set term by an unaccoutable commission.  He does not have the necessary support from City Hall -- either the Mayor's Office or the City Council -- to adequately reform the department or implement his strategies.  He is having a hard time of it, and L.A. is ultimately the loser.
I agree, but to reiterate: it's more than the sprawl. The number/ratio of officers is an issue that has plagued the city for decades. Beat cops could be in more places at once if there were more of them. And yes, the system is broken. but, although the police commission is largely unaccountable, they have tended to support Bratton, even if it means little, given the lack of City Hall support. Sadly, the commission wouldn't exist but for the federal consent decree that came from the rather egregious civil rights violations that occurred under Bratton's predecessors. And the lack of City Hall support also stems, to some degree, from a greater, more widespread dysfunction created by Prop. 13, which resulted in Cities making increasingly perverse choices regarding land use and budget allocation. Even with two former police officers now on City Council, the rallying cry of "more officers" still falls on deaf ears.
post #73 of 84
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I agree, but to reiterate: it's more than the sprawl. The number/ratio of officers is an issue that has plagued the city for decades. Beat cops could be in more places at once if there were more of them.
Yes, I agree and did not mean to imply otherwise.  The officer to population and officer to square mile ratios are both much lower in L.A.  But I still think the tactics matter at least as much, if not more.  Cops in cars are a fundamentally different thing than cops on foot: they see less, and interact with people less, and respond more slowly, usually to radio calls, less often to their own observations. Where in L.A. does it really make sense to have officers on foot patrol?  Only a handful of areas, really: MacArthur Park, Central Hollywood, the eastern edge of Downtown.  Even if you had the officers, it's not so easy to deploy them intelligently.
post #74 of 84
Quote:
This thread proves that ultimately people will see things in the light of there chosing and find "facts" to support their worldview, even if it is something as preposterous as relating the drop in crime with the amount of fetus' aborted in the 70's.
I don't agree that correlating the rise of abortion with a drop in crime rates is necessarily a preposterous claim. Every action you take is going to have an effect, oftentimes it is in areas that you never would have thought of. As for the first part of your post, I agree- "No matter how much evidence exists that seers do not exist, suckers will pay for the existence of seers." - J. Scott Armstrong The question just becomes, what evidence bases itself most in the reality of the situation? A.
post #75 of 84
Quote:
Cops in cars are a fundamentally different thing than cops on foot: they see less, and interact with people less, and respond more slowly, usually to radio calls, less often to their own observations. Where in L.A. does it really make sense to have officers on foot patrol?  Only a handful of areas, really: MacArthur Park, Central Hollywood, the eastern edge of Downtown.  Even if you had the officers, it's not so easy to deploy them intelligently.
I agree, and Bratton's challenge has been finding a way to implement what is essentially beat patrolling in the more troubled areas. But, as you say, the number of areas where this can be effective is pretty small: to your list, I'd add southern downtown and the adjacent areas, such as Exposition Park, as well as Watts (where this has worked) and Echo Park. Another problem is the issue of boundaries: much of the crime associated with LA occurs in and is fed by adjacent areas--Bell, Compton, Inglewood, for instance--that have policing problems of their own. Compton's policing and budget problems were so bad that, about two years ago, they dissolved their police department and contracted with the LACSD.
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