Where Have All the Criminals Gone?

“This isn’t the first time Mr. Levitt’s abortion research has come under attack. Other academics have tried to poke holes in it, and critics across the political spectrum found the research offensive. Conservatives were appalled that it found such positive consequences from a practice many of them found immoral. Liberals felt it smacked of eugenics.” – Jon E. Hilsenrath, Staff Reporter of the Wall Street Journal

Should we be prepared to second-guess, instead of dazzled? This particular chapter has sparked some of the most controversial ideas that Levitt and Dubner’s book uncovers. Like previously noted earlier in my blog, the idea that unwanted children that aren’t aborted are more likely to become troubled adolescents, than are planned and “wanted” children. The proof behind this is the legalizing of abortion in the 1970’s to the crime rate drop in the 1990’s. Not only is the study and idea believed to be immoral by some, but the data is also thought to be incorrect.

Once this book became a best seller, so did the ideas behind it. But not all of them. Many more conservative economist (Wait…Is there such a thing as conservative and liberal economists?…Hmmm.) began to challenge the correlation between abortion and crime rates. Many call the idea immoral, and false accusations. In other studies they challenge that Levitt’s numbers and studies are too narrow to prove such a theory, but Levitt counters saying they are to narrow-minded, and claims that false numbers are only a dent in the whole concept.

So what is it really? A stretch to try to explain something, or the truth? Might just depend on what side you’re on, or how you look at it…Is the man holding the briefcase, or is the briefcase holding him?

You be the judge.


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