“Throw Your Hands Up in the Air, and Wave ‘Em Like You Just Don’t Care”
- Dave is right, crime is a fact. But how it’s measured is a statistic. If an incident involves a burglary, which then leads to a rape/murder, do you measure that as three separate crimes or one? The FBI has classification suggestions, but there is no consensus on how to report it.
- There are most definitely dangerous parts of St. Louis and the city does have a crime problem. No doubt about it. But determining whether it’s the most dangerous or the 15th most dangerous city is going to be somewhat of a subjective process. Honest researchers will admit that you can get statistics to say pretty much anything you want, depending on how you treat the data. So when I see arbitrary rankings from a dataset that is known to have problems, I have to wonder how accurate the rankings can possibly be. And at least with estimates, you get standard errors. But with rankings, the researchers make it seem like this is gospel truth.
- I agree that the solution to St. Louis’ crime problem is economic growth and better education. That’s why removing governmental red tape and improving education are two of the Show-Me Institute’s most important goals.
- Comparing me to Joseph Stalin is a little harsh, don’t you think? And referring to me as "young" and "impressionable?" Can we say ad hominem?
- And lastly, responding to Dave’s comment:
But trying to deny that the city has a crime problem, and a serious one at that, doesn’t do anyone any good.
I agree. And neither does it do any good to go out of your way to single out a single city as the MOST dangerous or the second most dangerous or the 32nd most dangerous. All that does is cheapen the problem, and allows policymakers to ignore crime in their own cities. (“Hey, we’re not in the top 10, so we must be doing something right!”)