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Bloggingheads 09-23-2009 07:58 PM

Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 

nikkibong 09-23-2009 09:45 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
I love Kleiman - he's one of my favourite 'heads - but we've heard all of this before. I'm well into the second segment, and have yet to hear anything I haven't heard in previous Kleiman diavlogs.

It's the Evolution of God all over again!

P.S. I would love to see Kleiman debate someone with a strong libertarian/anarchist perspective.

kidneystones 09-23-2009 10:04 PM

Dear Leader
 
nikkibong writes...

Mark offers a lot, agreed. You spent time in China. How would you feel if American school children were taught to sing the praises of George Bush or Sarah Palin?

Would you object? How about Mark? Would Mark argue that politically indoctrinating children in public schools is a crime?

cognitive madisonian 09-23-2009 10:34 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
I didn't quite finish the segment, but unless I missed anything that would solve this, a few points:

1) Kleiman contradicts himself. After establishing the fact that higher cigarette taxes resulted in greater smuggling, he proceeds to offer higher taxes as a solution to curb alcohol abuse. This ignores the fact that at a certain point, taxation levels will lead to smuggling, which will be used by those who abuse alcohol to begin with.

2) Kleiman appears to lack an understanding of the role genetics and cognitive processing play in crime. Hope, Mr. Kleiman, will not solve anything. You can not stop a person who is hardwired with a predisposition toward violence and an insufficient processing of long term consequences of actions from ending up committing a crime. Generally, the more comfortable their life is, the less likely they are to commit a crime, but they are a ticking time bomb no matter what.

3) I think that Singapore has a higher percentage of people in prison than the United States. They have a much higher execution rate. Even if it does not, it directly contradicts Kleiman's hypothesis that a 'tough on crime' approach doesn't yield results. Singapore is perhaps the safest nation on Earth. It is also the most draconian of developed nations. The difference is not in terms of 'toughness', but in consistency. The United States is not as consistent as Singapore.

4) Heterogeneous societies have higher crime rates than non-heterogeneous. That's not a condemnation of diversity, merely a fact. New Zealand and Australia have higher crime rates than the United States.

5) One of the most successful programs at reducing recidivism centered around having prisoners dress in pink. Again, this flies in the face of Kleiman's assertions.

Kleiman is doubtlessly well read but appears to lack a truly rounded understanding of crime.

AemJeff 09-23-2009 10:35 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 130960)
...
Kleiman is doubtlessly well read but appears to lack a truly rounded understanding of crime.

That qualifies as quite a singular view.

Reihan 09-23-2009 10:42 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
A programming note:

I'm delighted to know that there are Bloggingheads enthusiasts who are very familiar with Mark's fascinating and vitally important work. But of course authors often try to reach broader audiences, and that involves introducing new readers and new viewers to concepts that some of us find very familiar. I had assumed that this would be obvious, and it is the reason I wanted to give Mark the opportunity to introduce viewers to the central concepts of _When Brute Force Fails_.

Having written for a number of blogs over the years, I'm always fascinated by the tone of reader responses, and how certain sensibilities come
to predominate. At _The American Scene_, there's been a lot of debate an discussion over the changing tenor of our comments. Suffice it to say, a lot of us have found the increasingly sharp tone discouraging. Not me, though: I've long maintained that the secret to life is low expectations. I'm thus delighted when I read commenters who come across as thoughtful, well-informed, and at least slightly empathetic. Actually, a lot of our bloggers are people I first came across via their comments. But now I'm
rambling! Go read Mark's book if you haven't.

graz 09-23-2009 10:47 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Right on... write on yourself... new right via Salam... all right.

PreppyMcPrepperson 09-23-2009 11:27 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 130953)
P.S. I would love to see Kleiman debate someone with a strong libertarian/anarchist perspective.

Me too--Maybe Walter Block? http://www.walterblock.com/

Wonderment 09-24-2009 12:43 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

1) Kleiman contradicts himself. After establishing the fact that higher cigarette taxes resulted in greater smuggling, he proceeds to offer higher taxes as a solution to curb alcohol abuse. This ignores the fact that at a certain point, taxation levels will lead to smuggling, which will be used by those who abuse alcohol to begin with.
We would have to look carefully at the data. The smuggling problem may be offset by an overall reduction in consumption. (There may be disincentives to participating in the black market). There's probably an optimal high tax you could impose without stimulating much smuggling. You could also crack down on smuggling. It's worth exploring. I voted against California's proposition to double the price of cigarettes. I ultimately decided it was a tax mostly on poor people (like the lottery), but it was a tough decision for me.

Quote:

2) Kleiman appears to lack an understanding of the role genetics and cognitive processing play in crime. Hope, Mr. Kleiman, will not solve anything. You can not stop a person who is hardwired with a predisposition toward violence and an insufficient processing of long term consequences of actions from ending up committing a crime. Generally, the more comfortable their life is, the less likely they are to commit a crime, but they are a ticking time bomb no matter what.
Everyone knows that genes play SOME role in criminality and addiction. But the notion that "no matter what" most offenders are "ticking time bombs" is ridiculous. Proper treatment of addiction and decriminalization of possession, for example, would reduce incarceration dramatically. No one disputes that. The dispute is over the costs of treatment and the morality of legalization. As Kleiman notes, a punitive ideology is one component of the "moral" argument.

Quote:

3) I think that Singapore has a higher percentage of people in prison than the United States.
I think not. My understanding is that the USA has the highest per capita rate of incarceration on the planet. I could check the latest numbers, but Singapore does not sound like a rival to US infamy in that regard.

Quote:

5) One of the most successful programs at reducing recidivism centered around having prisoners dress in pink. Again, this flies in the face of Kleiman's assertions.
Yes, chopping off hands is another great way to reducing recidivism. In fact, execution reduces recidivism to zero.

Wonderment 09-24-2009 12:58 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Hi Reihan,

I'm sure you've read Monica Ali's "Brick Lane." She is a very widely acclaimed novelist from Dhaka.

Hate to stereotype you as the Bangladeshi guy, but it would be cool if you interviewed her on BHeads. Or just talk about the Bangladeshi diaspora.

I'm trying to promote more literature and the arts on Bheads. Most Bhead guests apparently don't read fiction :(

claymisher 09-24-2009 01:04 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Reihan posted too soon. Mark is a A-list fan favorite around here.

piscivorous 09-24-2009 01:05 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 130975)
We would have to look carefully at the data. The smuggling problem may be offset by an overall reduction in consumption. (There may be disincentives to participating in the black market). There's probably an optimal high tax you could impose without stimulating much smuggling. You could also crack down on smuggling. It's worth exploring. I voted against California's proposition to double the price of cigarettes. I ultimately decided it was a tax mostly on poor people (like the lottery), but it was a tough decision for me. ...

Even if it were to reduce consumption would the cost savings from fewer il-health effects offset the costs associated with enforcement in either lives or money. More police, more jails and jailers, more criminals and higher taxes to pay for it all. The prohibition on drugs is costly enough in those terms.

claymisher 09-24-2009 01:16 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 130976)
I'm trying to promote more literature and the arts on Bheads. Most Bhead guests apparently don't read fiction :(

I read National Review sometimes!

claymisher 09-24-2009 01:22 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 130953)
P.S. I would love to see Kleiman debate someone with a strong libertarian/anarchist perspective.

Do you mean somebody who worships property above all else, or somebody who doesn't believe in private property at all? Because that's going to make a huge difference if you're talking about crime.

patomaru 09-24-2009 02:08 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 130980)
Even if it were to reduce consumption would the cost savings from fewer il-health effects offset the costs associated with enforcement in either lives or money. More police, more jails and jailers, more criminals and higher taxes to pay for it all. The prohibition on drugs is costly enough in those terms.

I don't know how you go from raising the price of beer ten cents a can to prohibition, but it seems a stretch to me. It also seems a stretch to think you would need that many more police, jails, or jailers in response to said tax-hike. The comparison shouldn't be to prohibited substances, but to cigarettes. Just like I have a feeling police budgets weren't raised too much to deal with the cigarette smuggling threat the last time there was a cigarette tax hike, I don't think there would be much need for extra place to deal with a beer tax hike. Going prohibition again might be another story though.

patomaru 09-24-2009 02:31 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 130960)
1) Kleiman contradicts himself. After establishing the fact that higher cigarette taxes resulted in greater smuggling, he proceeds to offer higher taxes as a solution to curb alcohol abuse. This ignores the fact that at a certain point, taxation levels will lead to smuggling, which will be used by those who abuse alcohol to begin with.

You are conflating two different concepts here. Smuggling and abuse don't seem to be related to me, especially considering how negligible smuggling must be. Even considering how high takes are on cigarettes, how many people actively go out looking for cigarette smugglers to by from? Also, assuming even a percentage do, how much does that contribute to violent crime or any crime besides smuggling? How would that be any different than if one raised the alcohol tax? Smuggling may go up, but it would be negligible or nearly irrelevant compared to lowering of alcohol abuse rates. (Assuming Kleinman's numbers are correct)

Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 130960)
2) Kleiman appears to lack an understanding of the role genetics and cognitive processing play in crime. Hope, Mr. Kleiman, will not solve anything. You can not stop a person who is hardwired with a predisposition toward violence and an insufficient processing of long term consequences of actions from ending up committing a crime. Generally, the more comfortable their life is, the less likely they are to commit a crime, but they are a ticking time bomb no matter what.

Wasn't the whole point of the discussion of the HOPE project to show you can have an effect on a large number of people and once you get them out of the way you can focus on worst offenders, which I would assume would include most of those who are "hardwired with a predisposition toward violence." His point is once you deal with the offenders who don't have those problems you can focus on those who do with more severe punishments.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 130960)
3) I think that Singapore has a higher percentage of people in prison than the United States. They have a much higher execution rate. Even if it does not, it directly contradicts Kleiman's hypothesis that a 'tough on crime' approach doesn't yield results. Singapore is perhaps the safest nation on Earth. It is also the most draconian of developed nations. The difference is not in terms of 'toughness', but in consistency. The United States is not as consistent as Singapore.

You are conflating two points here again, severity and consistency. But I don't see how you saying the difference between the United States and Singapore is consistence is in anyway a contradicting of Kleinman. In fact, I am pretty sure that is his whole point: being tough on crime without consistency is pointless.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 130960)
5) One of the most successful programs at reducing recidivism centered around having prisoners dress in pink. Again, this flies in the face of Kleiman's assertions.


Aren't you just agreeing with Kleinman again? One of his points is that severity of punishment is not a good way to reduce recidivism, that a better way is to have a punishment immediately inconveniences the person or acts as a deterrent to the person or his friends around him. Having someone dress in pink seems to me to fall under the heading of non-severe-punishment-that-would-make-you-and-those-around-you-not-want-to-have-happen-to-you-again. In other words, exactly what Kleinman says is the most effective type of punishment.

Just from reading your five points and listening to this diavlog, it seems that you agree with Kleinman a lot more than you think you do.

piscivorous 09-24-2009 08:24 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Investigative Reports Find Growing Ties Between Cigarette Smuggling and Terrorist Organizations

States Go to War on Cigarette Smuggling

I guess it really doesn't take prohibition for crime to exist now does it.

Baltimoron 09-24-2009 09:06 AM

Re: Dear Leader
 
Talk about non sequiturs...!!

Baltimoron 09-24-2009 09:08 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Unfortunately, Reihan admits he didn't push back enough because Kleiman was just too compelling.

You'll have to take up that mission on a future Apollo.

cognitive madisonian 09-24-2009 09:37 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

You are conflating two different concepts here. Smuggling and abuse don't seem to be related to me, especially considering how negligible smuggling must be. Even considering how high takes are on cigarettes, how many people actively go out looking for cigarette smugglers to by from? Also, assuming even a percentage do, how much does that contribute to violent crime or any crime besides smuggling? How would that be any different than if one raised the alcohol tax? Smuggling may go up, but it would be negligible or nearly irrelevant compared to lowering of alcohol abuse rates. (Assuming Kleinman's numbers are correct)
To be honest, I'm not particularly familiar with the topic of smuggling, so Kleiman's suggestion that increased taxes on cigarettes created a significant smuggling market (I may have gotten the wrong impression of what he was saying) caught me a little off guard. I'm a non-smoker; the limit of my interaction with anything resembling a smuggling operation was back in my high school days, when a friend would steal cigarette boxes from his place of employment and sell them at school for a discount.

But let's establish a few things here. First, without referencing some specific hard data, I feel comfortable making the assertion that those who abuse alcohol, cigarettes, and most other drugs (higer end narcotics such as powder cocaine may be an exception) are on the lower end of the socio-economic scale. They will be the ones who may be priced out through the addition of taxes, and for whom the smuggling market will make the most sense, both in terms of as a supply route and as a potential career.

Second, the very fact that these people are disproportionately poor ties into my second point about the genetics behind crime--they also are often behind poverty. The exact same lack of processing of long-term consequences that leads people to violent and otherwise criminal behavior also leads them to not seek higher education (or even completion of a high school degree), and to seek out the short-term thrill of doing dangerous narcotics, instead of processing the long-term consequences of such actions.

Quote:

Wasn't the whole point of the discussion of the HOPE project to show you can have an effect on a large number of people and once you get them out of the way you can focus on worst offenders, which I would assume would include most of those who are "hardwired with a predisposition toward violence." His point is once you deal with the offenders who don't have those problems you can focus on those who do with more severe punishments.
To some extent I can agree with this sentiment. I actually don't see much of a point of putting people who are not dangers to society in jail. For instance, crooked politicians--instead of putting them in jail, force them to pay a large percentage of their net worth and do some type of community service. Traficant, for instance, was no threat to society. Putting him in jail was a pointless waste of resources.

But this mentality is hardly limited to conservatives, as Kleiman argues. What have some on the left been howling for, for years? 'Put all these people in jail!'

By the way, I'm in favor of decriminalizing drugs. I don't believe it will increase abuse, because I don't believe it has done so in Portugal.

When you get passed the people who are not real threats to society, you get to those that are. These are the people who rack up 20, 30, 40 offenses in their lives. Many simply become involved with increasingly despicable offenses until they do something so severe (eg murdering a child) that they are put in jail for life or death row. Kleiman condemns the three strikes law but instead of disregarding it Ii would say fine tune it. Yes, someone who commits two felonies before the age of 20 is more dangerous than someone who commits 3 by age 40, but this is not a reason to disregard the principle of putting people who are not going to be rehabilitated in prison for the rest of their lives.

Quote:

You are conflating two points here again, severity and consistency. But I don't see how you saying the difference between the United States and Singapore is consistence is in anyway a contradicting of Kleinman. In fact, I am pretty sure that is his whole point: being tough on crime without consistency is pointless.
Well it's certainly a point I can agree with but I gathered that separate from the issue of consistency, he was condemning the practice of severity, which I do not accept. Misplaced severity, yes--I quite like Singapore, but I'm not wild about the code for executing a person who smuggles a certain quantity of narcotics. But if Kleiman truly believes severity doesn't work, I challenge him to visit Singapore. Or Saudi Arabia, or any other country that has very harsh punishments and very low crime rates. The issue is not whether severity works, it is whether we are ethically willing to accept the more severe punishments. I don't endorse chopping off the hands of people who steal, but I can tell you very confidently that it would drop the crime rate.

Countries that reject severity do not have substantially lower aggregate crime rates. They have lower murder rates, but murder rates don't rise and fall with the severity of punishments.

Quote:


Aren't you just agreeing with Kleinman again? One of his points is that severity of punishment is not a good way to reduce recidivism, that a better way is to have a punishment immediately inconveniences the person or acts as a deterrent to the person or his friends around him. Having someone dress in pink seems to me to fall under the heading of non-severe-punishment-that-would-make-you-and-those-around-you-not-want-to-have-happen-to-you-again. In other words, exactly what Kleinman says is the most effective type of punishment.
Ah, this is probably where I wasn't paying the closest of attention. The 'make them dress in pink' technique is certainly different than much of what I heard from Kleiman--eg reduce prison sizes. It's not concerned with the rehabilitation side of incarceration.

I may have to listen to some parts of the diavlogue again; I got the impression the first time around that Kleiman fell on the side of those who blame the system for recidivism and criminal behavior in general, and who believe that all criminals can be rehabilitated. Wonderment has argued points along these lines, and while he argues them cogently, I disagree utterly with them.

Quote:


We would have to look carefully at the data. The smuggling problem may be offset by an overall reduction in consumption. (There may be disincentives to participating in the black market). There's probably an optimal high tax you could impose without stimulating much smuggling. You could also crack down on smuggling. It's worth exploring. I voted against California's proposition to double the price of cigarettes. I ultimately decided it was a tax mostly on poor people (like the lottery), but it was a tough decision for me.
Unfortunately I'm making somewhat-informed speculations here, but working with the assumption that a) alcohol abuse is disproportionately common in lower income neighborhoods and lower income households and b) that the overall consumption rates remain roughly what Kleiman cites (10% of drinkers consuming 50% of alcohol), I have to ask whether taxes did in fact curb behavior among those whose drinking is a problem. Perhaps a few, but not many.

I find Kleiman's suggestion for how to eliminate the smuggling market to be a pipe dream. So long as there is demand, there will be supply. They will get more covert, and it will simply get more dangerous. Rather than trying to eliminate these safe, covert operations, I say let them go on. I abhor all addictive substances (except caffeine, as I'm currently drinking some coffee), but as much as I abhhor them, I do not see the point of continuing to pour tons of money into curbing this behavior when it doesn't work. The war on drugs has basically been a failure.

Quote:

Everyone knows that genes play SOME role in criminality and addiction. But the notion that "no matter what" most offenders are "ticking time bombs" is ridiculous. Proper treatment of addiction and decriminalization of possession, for example, would reduce incarceration dramatically. No one disputes that. The dispute is over the costs of treatment and the morality of legalization. As Kleiman notes, a punitive ideology is one component of the "moral" argument.
As I said above, I certainly wouldn't say that most offenders are ticking time bombs. But the ones we have to worry about are. We don't really have to worry about a guy that commits insurance fraud, or embezzles money from his company. We need to worry about the repeat DUI offender, the rapist, the murderer.

Quote:

I think not. My understanding is that the USA has the highest per capita rate of incarceration on the planet. I could check the latest numbers, but Singapore does not sound like a rival to US infamy in that regard.
I may have been thinking only of the execution rate--Singapore's is, so far as I know, the highest in the developed world (it's harder to trust the figures of less developed nations). But Singapore's system works, this is my major point.

Quote:

Yes, chopping off hands is another great way to reducing recidivism. In fact, execution reduces recidivism to zero.
Well I wouldn't compare that to the pink approach :p

My point was in establishing the reality that severity can indeed drop the crime rate, which you agree with although with great moral reservation.

nikkibong 09-24-2009 09:43 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by claymisher (Post 130984)
Do you mean somebody who worships property above all else, or somebody who doesn't believe in private property at all? Because that's going to make a huge difference if you're talking about crime.

Indeed; I'm most interested in hearing Kleiman debate an anti-statist. Something like these guys.

AemJeff 09-24-2009 09:55 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 131021)
Indeed; I'm most interested in hearing Kleiman debate an anti-statist. Something like these guys.

I think I'd start moaning pretty loudly about those guys appearing here. I think I'd prefer Preppy's Mises fellow. I'll admit that the sweetly dorky portrait with his presumed partner and a child softens up his Austrian "aura" a bit for me. On the same page of headlines spiked have accused "Greens" of mental illness, and spoken out in support of pedophilia. Yech....

GulfCoastCommie 09-24-2009 10:48 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
I would love to see Mark debae someone from Critical Resistance like Angela Davis or someone else from a prison abolitionist perspective.

Blogingheads has lots of far right ideologes, but I can probably count on one hand the amount of time they've had folks left of the democratic party.
________
buy easy vape

bjkeefe 09-24-2009 10:58 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by claymisher (Post 130979)
Reihan posted too soon. Mark is a A-list fan favorite around here.

Second that.

Also, LOL @.

MarkARKleiman 09-24-2009 11:48 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
A couple of responses:

1. Yes, the extremely high taxes on cigarettes have created a smuggling problem. Alcohol taxes are not nearly high enough to make that an issue. In any case, a small market in untaxed alcohol wouldn't do enough damage to counterbalance the reduction in violence that would flow from the reduced consumption brought about by higher taxes. The world is full of tradeoffs; recognizing them is not self-contradiction.

2. The probationers in Hawaii who reduced their rate of new crimes by more than half after they were put on HOPE had exactly the same genes they had before the program. Genetics matters, but genetics isn't everything.

MarkARKleiman 09-24-2009 11:52 AM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
What a great idea! At one point there was a plan to have me debate Angela Davis at Brown, but we couldn't make the scheduling work. I'd be happy to do a diavlog instead.

cognitive madisonian 09-24-2009 12:20 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MarkARKleiman (Post 131055)
A couple of responses:

1. Yes, the extremely high taxes on cigarettes have created a smuggling problem. Alcohol taxes are not nearly high enough to make that an issue. In any case, a small market in untaxed alcohol wouldn't do enough damage to counterbalance the reduction in violence that would flow from the reduced consumption brought about by higher taxes. The world is full of tradeoffs; recognizing them is not self-contradiction.

2. The probationers in Hawaii who reduced their rate of new crimes by more than half after they were put on HOPE had exactly the same genes they had before the program. Genetics matters, but genetics isn't everything.

Thanks for the response. You make some fair points, and without reading much more into the HOPE program, I'll refrain from further response on it. I'm glad that we're on common ground on genetics playing a role--yes, I will agree that they are not the be all end all.

On the topic of future discussions, I'd love to see a discussion with someone such as Sarnoff Mednick.

bjkeefe 09-24-2009 12:28 PM

Less Crime and Less Punishment but More Sucking Up!
 
Forget Bob Wright playing to the Gang of 12. Here, Mark panders to the math nerds!

Wade 09-24-2009 12:31 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian (Post 130960)
I didn't quite finish the segment, but unless I missed anything that would solve this, a few points:

1) Kleiman contradicts himself. After establishing the fact that higher cigarette taxes resulted in greater smuggling, he proceeds to offer higher taxes as a solution to curb alcohol abuse. This ignores the fact that at a certain point, taxation levels will lead to smuggling, which will be used by those who abuse alcohol to begin with.

As you say, 'at a certain point, taxation levels will lead to smuggling.' I believe that alcohol taxes are well below that point, and cigarette taxes (in places such as New York City) are at or near that point.

Quote:

2) Kleiman appears to lack an understanding of the role genetics and cognitive processing play in crime. Hope, Mr. Kleiman, will not solve anything. You can not stop a person who is hardwired with a predisposition toward violence and an insufficient processing of long term consequences of actions from ending up committing a crime. Generally, the more comfortable their life is, the less likely they are to commit a crime, but they are a ticking time bomb no matter what.
The data from the Hope project speaks otherwise.

Quote:

3) I think that Singapore has a higher percentage of people in prison than the United States. They have a much higher execution rate. Even if it does not, it directly contradicts Kleiman's hypothesis that a 'tough on crime' approach doesn't yield results. Singapore is perhaps the safest nation on Earth. It is also the most draconian of developed nations. The difference is not in terms of 'toughness', but in consistency. The United States is not as consistent as Singapore.
I think your paraphrase of Kleiman's hypothesis is not detailed enough to be meaningful. One can argue (as I think Kleiman does) that 'brute force' can be an inefficient, and sometimes ineffectual, method of trying to reduce crime without saying that any regime that is 'tough on crime' is bound to not 'yield results.'

Quote:

4) Heterogeneous societies have higher crime rates than non-heterogeneous. That's not a condemnation of diversity, merely a fact. New Zealand and Australia have higher crime rates than the United States.
I don't know anything about this, but it sounds interesting. When did you think Kleiman should have brought this point up?

Quote:

5) One of the most successful programs at reducing recidivism centered around having prisoners dress in pink. Again, this flies in the face of Kleiman's assertions.
Which of Kleiman's assertions would this program's success fly in the face of? I would guess that Kleiman would be a big fan of dressing prisoners in pink.

Quote:

Kleiman is doubtlessly well read but appears to lack a truly rounded understanding of crime.
I'd be interested in seeing some more support for this claim.

Wade 09-24-2009 12:42 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Sorry, in the process of setting up an account and getting distracted on bloggingheads and looking for links I didn't notice that Kleiman gave his own response before I did.

osmium 09-24-2009 01:56 PM

Wait for it
 
Mark goes there ... wait for it, wait for it.

Wonderment 09-24-2009 02:48 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Angela Davis at Brown, but we couldn't make the scheduling work. I'd be happy to do a diavlog instead.
THAT would be awesome. Please suggest it to Bob. He'll listen to you :)

bkjazfan 09-24-2009 03:18 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 130976)
Hi Reihan,

I'm sure you've read Monica Ali's "Brick Lane." She is a very widely acclaimed novelist from Dhaka.

Hate to stereotype you as the Bangladeshi guy, but it would be cool if you interviewed her on BHeads. Or just talk about the Bangladeshi diaspora.

I'm trying to promote more literature and the arts on Bheads. Most Bhead guests apparently don't read fiction :(

What gives you the impression that most Bheads don't read fiction? Granted, other than George Johnson I haven't heard them talk about it but being bookish types I would hazard to guess many of them at some time in their lives have been lovers of literature.

Sure, I would like to hear more about fiction on BHTV since I like to read; however, for whatever reason the powers to be haven't taken that track.

John

Me&theboys 09-24-2009 03:55 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
Fascinating and informative diavlog. Thank you. Can't wait to read the book.

cousincozen 09-24-2009 04:43 PM

Re: Dear Leader
 
Ha! Once again, courtesy of Blogginghead's sistersite, The Drudge Report:
"(No background music) School kids taught to praise Obama"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zrsl8o4ZPo

AemJeff 09-24-2009 04:49 PM

Re: Dear Leader
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cousincozen (Post 131103)
Ha! Once again, courtesy of Blogginghead's sistersite, The Drudge Report:
"(No background music) School kids taught to praise Obama"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zrsl8o4ZPo

Malkin's been shrieking hysterically about this, too. (No link.)

Namazu 09-24-2009 04:52 PM

Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)
 
I'd be happy to have him say the same things a dozen more times: unlike those in most diavlogs, these are issues society tends to ignore rather than debate. If someone deeply immersed in these issues is ready to "take the other side," by all means let's have them--but to the extent the status quo is indefensible, it becomes harder to find a credible defender.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 130953)
I love Kleiman - he's one of my favourite 'heads - but we've heard all of this before. I'm well into the second segment, and have yet to hear anything I haven't heard in previous Kleiman diavlogs.

It's the Evolution of God all over again!

P.S. I would love to see Kleiman debate someone with a strong libertarian/anarchist perspective.


bjkeefe 09-24-2009 04:55 PM

Re: Dear Leader
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 131105)
Malkin's been shrieking hysterically about this, too. (No link.)

Yep. And I see that she's made her usual preemptive strike ...

Quote:

We already know what the response will be to critics of this elementary school agitprop: Raaaaaacist!
... which, in her twisted little mind, means she is now free to say any racist thing she wants.

AemJeff 09-24-2009 05:00 PM

Re: Dear Leader
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 131107)
Yep. And I see that she's made her usual preemptive strike ...



... which, in her twisted little mind, means she is now free to say any racist thing she wants.

Let's help her out. It's pretty clear to me that the author of "In praise of Interment" is either a flaming Raaaaaacist or she has no moral compunction about utilizing racist themes when that's convenient.

For the googlebots: Michelle Malkin is a racist.

cousincozen 09-24-2009 05:03 PM

Re: Dear Leader
 
Yes, well, it's almost as good as tax advice about using "undocumented," under-aged Honduran girls to run a brothel.

I can't wait for what's next!


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