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Freakonomics guy on Bennett's obscene blather:

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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:52 PM
Original message
Freakonomics guy on Bennett's obscene blather:
basically, race has nothing much to do with abortion/lower crime rate:

....2)Race is not an important part of the abortion-crime argument that John Donohue and I have made in academic papers and that Dubner and I discuss in Freakonomics. It is true that, on average, crime involvement in the U.S. is higher among blacks than whites. Importantly, however, once you control for income, the likelihood of growing up in a female-headed household, having a teenage mother, and how urban the environment is, the importance of race disappears for all crimes except homicide. (The homicide gap is partly explained by crack markets). In other words, for most crimes a white person and a black person who grow up next door to each other with similar incomes and the same family structure would be predicted to have the same crime involvement. Empirically, what matters is the fact that abortions are disproportionately used on unwanted pregnancies, and disproportionately by teenage women and single women.

3) Some people might think that my comments in (2) above are just ducking the race issue because it is politically correct to do so. Anyone who has read Freakonomics knows that I am not afraid to take issues of race head on. Much of the book deals with challenging issues of race (e.g. black-white test score gaps, black naming patterns, etc.). I mean it when I say that, from a purely fact-based and statistical perspective, race is not in any way central to our arguments about abortion and crime.

4) When a woman gets an abortion, for the most part it is not changing the total number of children she has; rather, it is shifting the timing so those births come later in life. This is an important fact to remember. One in four pregnancies ends in abortion and this has been true for 30 years in the U.S. But the impact of abortion on the overall birth rate has been quite small.

5) In light of point (4) above, it is hard to even know what Bennett means when he says "you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." Implicit in his comment is the idea that some external force, like a government, is forcing blacks to have abortions. This is obviously a completely different situation than abortion as we know it today, in which a woman chooses whether or not to have an abortion now, and then starts her family later in life, when her situation is more stable and conducive. The distinction between a woman choosing to control her fertility and the government choosing to limit her fertility is fundamental and people often seem to lose sight of that.



the rest here:
http://www.freakonomics.com/blog.php

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kikiek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well written. He's good. I have his book will have to read it now!
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. so you have books on a "to read shelf" as well?
I certainly do. I will have to add this one to it! I am getting over whelmed!
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kikiek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I know. I think I have a problem. Books.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. lol! As Martha would say...
It's a good thing. :)
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. "When I get a little money ...

...I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes."

-- Desiderius Erasmus

I understand your problem well. :-)

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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I'm reading it now, and it's got its ups and downs
he looks at the world through the lens of economic statistics, attempting to explain the "unexplainable" via econometrics

so take it for what it's worth

most of what I've read so far seems to shore up a RW POV, but he has vignettes in there about a bagel guy who finds that his honor system-based distribution breaks down the most at the top-executive level: they're the ones who stiff him the worst. his point about that is pretty amusing
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Don't expect too much.
Some of the chapters are pretty entertaining, and the guy is a compelling storyteller when relating anecdotes, but there's nothing too profound in its pages.

It's a fun, quick read though.
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cantstandbush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. If corporate corruption, political corruption, bank fraud,
contract fraud, embezzlement and kidnapping were counted as "crimes" I think that the numbers might show somehting different. Also, the increase in meth use and related crimes I am sure was not factored into the equation nor was the fact that whites arrested or stopped for observed criminal acts are most likely not going to be charged. So it is a matter of economic status as to the kinds of crimes that are committed, booked and charged. If you only have the opportunity to break into a convenience store because you live in a poor neighborhood and you don't have the opportunity to embezzle money from a bank because you are not a banker...well, what can I say?
And how much of "organized crime" is counted against non-African-American population? There seems to be something glamorous and acceptable about "organized crime" in our culture but crimes committed by poor and minorities are much more "immoral" by conservative standards.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. thanks for that. this is the sort of stuff that this guy, from the Uof
Chicago school of Econ, FWIW, seems to have ignored in what I've read, including what he wrote (what I've read so far, anyway) in the book about the abortion/crime rate question

he does touch a bit on white collar crime, and DOES mention that part of the problem is that so much of it is undetected/unreported, as opposed to violent crime. But he hasn't dealt with your points, which, if he doesn't, constitutes a real weakness in his presentation
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cantstandbush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. How much more "violent" than kidnapping, child abuse, pedophila
mass murder, etc. does he (the writer) want for God's sake?
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. he's generally too busy patting himself on the back for finding
statistical reasons for Whitebread explanations for the problems of the pasty world to get into that sort of nastiness

Chicago School and all that
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triguy46 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
12. Wow! We need more of this!! What an answer!! More!!! n/t
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