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bonfire of the vanities - Page 6

post #76 of 84
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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.
Yes, good points all.
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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.
New York doesn't have this problem Either it's surrounded by water, or else the other side of the border -- Nassau and Westchester Counties -- have less or at worst comparable crime than the neighborhoods they border.
post #77 of 84
I think its one thing to theorize about the changes in criminal laws and the effect it has on the populace and another to theorize that the majority of aborted fetus' would have grown up to become violent criminals. In other words, its quite of a stretch. And it seems to me, from reading various articles on the subject, that the "study" was done more to discredit Guilani's success (think the 100,000 pre-election Lancet study) than to present a credible theory.
post #78 of 84
I am no expert on crime but I read an article by Leavitt in the Winter, 2004 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives (it's behind a subscription wall so no link)  in which he identifies four explanations for the decline of crime in the 1990s: more police, longer prison sentences, the receding of the crack epidemic and the legalization of abortion in the early 1970s.  He also sites six popular explanations for the decline in crime that, in his view, had nothing to do with crime rates.  Two of these are changing demographics and police strategies.  That last is not incompatible with the first of his "true" explananations.  Leavitt finds that what made the difference in lowering crime rates was the sheer number of cops, not the approach that they took or new policing strategies. As I say, I don't have an opinion about who's right here.  The authors Manton links to have great credentials.  But Leavitt is not a schnook.  He's a University of Chicago economist who wrote the article as a fellow at Stanford, and he knows more about this than some all-purpose pundit at Slate, if that's who he was debating.  As an aside, it seems likely to me that major changes in crack use must have had some effect on the crime rate, but I'll have to dig into the article Manton sites later tonight.
post #79 of 84
Levitt may be a fine economist; for all I know, he is.  But he got taken apart brick by brick in that debate.  Read it for yourself.  It's one thing to lose a debate.  But to go on and publish the same thesis in a book without even attempting a refutation -- without even acknowledging that the debate took place -- is not reasonable.  I lost a lot of respect for him.
post #80 of 84
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I don't think people remember how much of a &#*.hole New York was considered just 20 short years ago.
This is entirely correct. The situation changed due to a very few people, one of whom was a fellow named Daniel Biederman; another Rudy Giuliani. Dan took a very underused mechanism called the "Business Improvement District" - a private/public partnership designed to concentrate improvement efforts where they were most needed - and raised it to new heights with the Grand Central Partnership and the 34th Street Partnership. These two "BIDs", as they are known, spearheaded the formation of some 40 more such districts whose valiant efforts cleaned up not only the dirt, but, in partnership with the efforts of William Bratton, the crime as well. And so New York was transformed from the bankrupt "Fear City" of the '70's and early '80's back to the world's premier tourist destination with one of the highest "clean scores" and lowest crime rates of all of the major metropolitan areas. And, BTW, the premier shopping district for exciting luxury merchandise and clothing, the Madison Avenue we all love for our upscale clothing shops, was also saved from its 1980's decline in just this manner. That is why those who did not live through this period have trouble feeling the context of "Bonfires". Boring? Yes. True. Yes.
I find it interesting that those who weren't there can't make the imaginative leap as readers to that time and place.  Surely Wolfe does an adequate job of drawing an atmosphere. edit: it's always been amusing to me how many of my friends who still live in New York romanticize the 70's and the 80's. I'll admit that there was something more appealing about the Times Sq. of yore than of now.
post #81 of 84
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Originally Posted by Horace,April 12 2005,05:23
Perhaps Wolfe displays some regard for McCoy's father (the "Lion" as I recall) and his generation.  Nice contrast between the Old Boys and the McCoys, as it were.  The Old Boys club wasn't one of virtue, but it was one of restraint.
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I would also point out that in the Lion's generation, Wall St. was an exclusive club that denied a seat to minorities and women. In fact, you could be a white male, but still be locked out simply because you didn't go to the right elementary school. None of that guaranteed a certain competence. At least today, everybody may be a greedy asshole but at least they're more qualified and better than that previous generation.
Very true, but getting back to the book:  Wolfe uses the Old Boy network as a foil to show the faults of McCoy, incl. his over-the-top consumption, indiscretions, etc.  As for "better" and "more qualified" I don't know about that.  As for the exclusivity of Lion's generation, there were minority firms in NYC. Edit:  attrocious spelling. Awkward syntax.  Still  not entirely graceful.
post #82 of 84
Thread Starter 
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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.
And, NYC has all the doormen for all the apartments and condos who could act as the police's eyes and ears. That must also have helped as well. Yes, the LAPD has fewer cops, but the consensus was that they were also better trained so that each individual LAPD cop take the place of a number of NYPD officers. What happened to the crack's popularity? It must be as addictive as ever. Why hasn't crack fueled a new round of violence? Don't tell me the D.A.R.E. Program and "Just Say No" really worked. Somebody also mentioned Bratton's community outreach programs. However, I was under the impression that the NYPD alienated minorities as they felt they were being unfairly targeted and hassled by the NYPD. I know that Bloomerg's new measures were a response to the NYC budget defecit, but could they also be considered the logical next step to the broken windows implentation? What was the difference between the 80s and 90s, where we demonized greed in the 80s and yet cheered on the success of the stocket market in the 90s?
post #83 of 84
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NYC has all the doormen for all the apartments and condos who could act as the police's eyes and ears.
"Safe Haven" program. Taken citywide in 1994 thanks to the efforts of John Ravitz, Patrolman Steve Petrillo, Detective Lou Uliano, the Madison Avenue B.I.D., and The Association for a Better New York.
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Yes, the LAPD has fewer cops, but the consensus was that they were also better trained so that each individual LAPD cop take the place of a number of NYPD officers.
Not true. NYPD officers are better trained. They would have taken Rodney King behind a building first.
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What happened to the crack's popularity?
Ecstasy.
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Somebody also mentioned Bratton's community outreach programs.
Didn't accomplish sh.t. Bratton was good, not perfect. What worked was the aggressive nature of COMSTAT and the personal responsibility it forced upon the precinct brass.
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I know that Bloomerg's new measures
I thought those were a private matter between the Mayor and his tailor.
post #84 of 84
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And, NYC has all the doormen for all the apartments and condos who could act as the police's eyes and ears. That must also have helped as well.
I doubt this made much of a difference. Doormen are after all only prevelant in the neighborhoods that were already the safest. Yet crimed dropped further in poorer neighborhoods, the ones without any doormen.
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