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Old 06-22-2010, 02:02 AM
breadcrust breadcrust is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 326
Default Re: Communitas: Mass Incarceration (Glenn Loury & Ross Levine)

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That's actually not terribly supportive of a racial theory of crime. Latin Americans seem to be more criminal than blacks, but latin american immigrants to the U.S actually seem to reduce crime rates in their new homes (perhaps in part by driving out blacks to other cities). So even if there will always be a gap, there seems to be a lot of variation we should expect to be susceptible to policy. The historic changes in crime in the U.S also support that, though I suppose re-ruralizing the population is out of the question.
Responding to this paragraph would take forever. I'll probably do it later. But it's hard to find any concentration of Sub-Saharan Africans where crime, poverty, and things we in the west would view as crime (treatment of women) aren't the norm.

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I disagree. Incarceration reliably incapacitates.
I despise his love of the (D), his obsession with destroying charity, and his anti-libertarian attitudes about drug-use by non-criminals and would like to punish him by putting him in Obama's and all future cabinets as Minister of Crime. The HOPE program seems necessary and boring young ne'er-do-wells with Motel 6es sounds like a good idea. But it seems weird to me just how low the murder rates of Muslim countries are. Is it the primitive punishment? Corporal punishment may not work on everyone, but this is a false dichotomy. It would work on lots of people and there's no reason why it couldn't be tried along with Kleiman's stuff.

Fiction<Anecdote<Data
But I'm not saying there's any data in the book. It's a polemic. It's nothing but arguments mixed with awesomeness. His arguments for corporal punishment seem pretty rational.

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I think you overrate the extent to which intellectuals matter. Hatred towards tattletales is found on every sort of playground (and even tolerated by parents) and all criminal subcultures hates snitches/rats/stoolpigeons.
I think you underrate the power of memes, slogans, and tasty ideas, which are produced by intellectuals. Something like: Stop, Drop, and Roll! Or the motorcycle version: Slow, Look, Lean, Roll. These came from some intellectual, no doubt. They're practical, helpful, and memorable. Black intellectuals like Obama could have used the Skip Gates episode to talk about the problems of keeping it real. They could have offered practical, simple advice about not pushing or escalating with armored dudes who carry Glocks. But they chose to strengthen the "Stop Snitchin'" meme with a bunch of disparate impact lying.

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But because Obama & Loury are notable figures you can hold as a foil against your own ideological camp you want to attribute bad outcomes to them.
Let's just say that I exaggerated. 75% is too high.

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Also, Loury used to be a rightie. He even came up with a pretty good theory of political correctness.
I've read the PC piece. It was mentioned here, after all. I don't know that it matters what his "side" was before when it's clear how silly his arguments are on this topic.
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