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  #1  
Old 09-23-2009, 07:58 PM
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Default Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

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  #2  
Old 09-23-2009, 09:45 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default 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.

Last edited by nikkibong; 09-23-2009 at 09:48 PM..
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2009, 10:04 PM
kidneystones
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Default 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?
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2009, 09:06 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Talk about non sequiturs...!!
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2009, 08:48 AM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

I really wish you hadn't appropriated a Stones lyric as your signature.
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2009, 04:43 PM
cousincozen cousincozen is offline
 
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Default 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
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2009, 04:49 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousincozen View Post
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.)
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2009, 04:55 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
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.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2009, 05:00 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
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.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2009, 05:06 PM
cousincozen cousincozen is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Wait! Can "people of color" be racist?? I thought, according to The Little Red Style Guide, it wasn't possible.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2009, 06:07 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousincozen View Post
Wait! Can "people of color" be racist?? I thought, according to The Little Red Style Guide, it wasn't possible.
You'll have to ask your hero about that.
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2009, 01:41 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousincozen View Post
Wait! Can "people of color" be racist?? I thought, according to The Little Red Style Guide, it wasn't possible.
It depends on how you define racism, a subtle point you may or may not care about.
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2009, 01:43 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Here's a conservative Republican who is very upset because (he says) his college professor told him that only whites can be racist.
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2009, 05:03 PM
cousincozen cousincozen is offline
 
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Default 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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  #15  
Old 09-24-2009, 05:09 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousincozen View Post
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!
Do be sure to believe everything posted at Breitbart, Pajamas, Drudge, et al, without question. Particularly when it fits your worldview. Police report filed by Acorn exposes false claims...
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  #16  
Old 09-25-2009, 01:53 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousincozen View Post
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!
Where "what's next" means, not scandal, but scandal that serves the lunatic agenda of the Republican Party. Right? Because there are real scandals getting next to no coverage, while you and the wingnut media scapegoat an organization dedicating to improving the lives of the downtrodden.

Such as, possibly, a Bush Administration scheme to funnel a trillion dollars to big oil.

Typical wingnut. Keep picking on poor people. Especially non-white poor people. It is what defines you, and your party. It's what makes you proud to be a conservative.



.

Last edited by TwinSwords; 09-25-2009 at 02:04 AM..
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  #17  
Old 09-25-2009, 01:59 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousincozen View Post
Oh, about that:

Quote:
Police say a worker with the activist group ACORN who was caught on video giving advice about human smuggling to a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute had reported the incident to authorities.

National City police said Monday that Juan Carlos Vera contacted his cousin, a police detective, to get advice on what to with information on possible human smuggling.

Vera was secretly filmed on Aug. 18 as part of a young couple’s high-profile expose.

Police say he contacted law enforcement two days later. The detective consulted another police official who served on a federal human smuggling task force, who said he needed more details.

The ACORN employee responded several days later and explained that the information he received was not true and he had been duped.

I don't know if the wingnuts, lunatics, or Republicans who are bashing ACORN have ever spent any time in an densely populated urban setting, but when you do, you occasionally run into bad people. Criminals, and a few crazy people. And what you do when they are in your presence is you nod and smile and you don't say anything to upset or provoke them. This is common sense survival strategy. If a couple of crooks walk into your office, the best response is not to get all high and mightly like wingnuts in forum comments. A better strategy would be to smile, and nod, and seem non-threatening, and hope they go away as quickly as possible.

I have lived and worked in urban downtown settings in Detroit and Cincinnati, and I will tell you: all sorts of characters walk through the door promoting all sorts of crackpot schemes. When kidney-stones' heroes O'Keefe and Giles walked into ACORN offices, they were just two more weirdos that people in densely populated urban settings have to deal with regularly. The ACORN workers likely thought they were crazy, and just told them what they needed to to make them go away.

I suppose a good conservative would have asked the prostitute and pimp to give up their evil ways and join a good Baptist church. Those of us who live in this thing called "actual reality" know you don't talk crooks out of their criminal lifestyle that easily.

Last edited by TwinSwords; 09-25-2009 at 12:42 PM..
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  #18  
Old 09-25-2009, 02:02 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Dear Leader

Quote:
Police say a worker with the activist group ACORN who was caught on video giving advice about human smuggling to a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute had reported the incident to authorities.

National City police said Monday that Juan Carlos Vera contacted his cousin, a police detective, to get advice on what to with information on possible human smuggling.
Oh, and the touching coda:

Quote:
Vera was fired on Thursday.
See what good the wingnuts O'Keefe and Giles have wrought?
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  #19  
Old 09-23-2009, 11:27 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
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/
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  #20  
Old 09-24-2009, 01:22 AM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
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.
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  #21  
Old 09-24-2009, 09:43 AM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

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Originally Posted by claymisher View Post
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.
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  #22  
Old 09-24-2009, 09:55 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
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....
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  #23  
Old 09-24-2009, 09:08 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default 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.
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  #24  
Old 09-24-2009, 04:52 PM
Namazu Namazu is offline
 
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Default 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 View Post
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.
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  #25  
Old 09-23-2009, 10:34 PM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default 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.

Last edited by cognitive madisonian; 09-23-2009 at 10:41 PM..
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  #26  
Old 09-23-2009, 10:35 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
...
Kleiman is doubtlessly well read but appears to lack a truly rounded understanding of crime.
That qualifies as quite a singular view.
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  #27  
Old 09-24-2009, 12:43 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #28  
Old 09-24-2009, 01:05 AM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
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.
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  #29  
Old 09-24-2009, 02:08 AM
patomaru patomaru is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

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Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
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.
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  #30  
Old 09-24-2009, 08:24 AM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #31  
Old 09-24-2009, 02:31 AM
patomaru patomaru is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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 View Post
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 View Post
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 View Post
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.
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  #32  
Old 09-24-2009, 09:37 AM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

My point was in establishing the reality that severity can indeed drop the crime rate, which you agree with although with great moral reservation.
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  #33  
Old 09-24-2009, 11:48 AM
MarkARKleiman MarkARKleiman is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #34  
Old 09-24-2009, 12:20 PM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

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Originally Posted by MarkARKleiman View Post
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.
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  #35  
Old 09-24-2009, 03:55 PM
Me&theboys Me&theboys is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

Fascinating and informative diavlog. Thank you. Can't wait to read the book.
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  #36  
Old 09-24-2009, 08:41 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

Professor Kleiman:

Do you have a link or other information about HOPE? In the early 90s I was an intern for an Non-profit early-release program in Baltimore. We had a very small staff, and I left the organization quite frazzled and embittered. Is HOPE a state-funded program with employees, or a non-profit? Where I worked was also a bit entrepreneurial: I had to initiate contacts with agencies and rehab programs. Is HOPE better organized?
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  #37  
Old 09-24-2009, 12:31 PM
Wade Wade is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

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Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
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.

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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.

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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.'

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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?

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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.

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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.
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  #38  
Old 09-24-2009, 12:42 PM
Wade Wade is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #39  
Old 09-25-2009, 12:35 AM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

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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.
Kleiman did a good job of making the case throughout this dialogue that you can. If you have better evidence that shows you can't, let's see it.
Also, he didn't mean hope as in hope, he meant it as in the acronym for the program he was talking about.

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New Zealand and Australia have higher crime rates than the United States.
Really. They certainly don't have higher violent crime rates. New Zealand's violent crime rate is four times lower than the US's. Australia's violent crime rate is slightly lower than NZ's. Where are you getting your statistics?
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  #40  
Old 09-27-2009, 02:58 AM
komencanto komencanto is offline
 
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Default Re: Less Crime and Less Punishment (Mark Kleiman & Reihan Salam)

Singapore has a third the incarceration rate of the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...rceration_rate

Kleinman advocates making punishment harsh, but brief and immediate. How does Singapore contradict this?
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