The Economist Phones It In On the Falling Crime Rate

| Fri Jul. 19, 2013 10:26 AM EDT

Obviously I'm a fan of lead as the primary explanation for the sharp rise in crime in the 60s and 70s followed by a sharp fall in the 90s and aughts. But you don't have to buy this hypothesis hook, line, and sinker to be embarrassed by the Economist's current cover story on the fall in crime. It's just the usual endless succession of sociological explanations, all of which are supported by thin evidence—or even directly contradicted by the evidence—with only a single throwaway sentence about unleaded gasoline. Honestly, this article could have been written a decade ago with hardly a word needing to be changed. The laziness just oozes from the whole thing. Sheesh.

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