🔢 Key Takeaways
- The world has become a more peaceful place despite the use of mechanized weapons. Violence continues to decline as even compared to the past centuries. We must acknowledge and appreciate the progress made towards a more peaceful global society.
- Despite common perceptions, crime rates in the United States have been steadily decreasing over the past two decades. This can be attributed to various factors such as increased prison populations, more police officers, and the impact of drug markets. Additionally, factors such as the legalization of abortion have played a role in reducing crime. Rather than worrying about crime rates, we should be focusing on other issues such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
📝 Podcast Notes
Why Crime and Violence are Decreasing Globally
Contrary to popular belief, crime has gone down significantly and the world is a more peaceful place today than at any time in history. Steven Pinker's book Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined argues that violent deaths have decreased from an average of 15% in tribal societies to 3% in the 20th century (excluding natural deaths). The use of mechanized weapons in the 20th century made killing easier, yet violence continues to decline. Even compared to the 16th and 17th century England, where public executions were a daily routine, violence has declined profusely. Therefore, we must understand the impact of such progress on our global society.
Understanding Crime Trends in the United States
Crime in the U.S. has fallen by half over the last two decades. This can be attributed to three factors - the dramatic increase in the prison population, hiring of more police, and the rise and fall of the crack cocaine markets. Additionally, the legalization of abortion in the '70s prevented many people who were at risk for crime from being born. Contrary to popular belief, a bad economy does not lead to a rise in crime. People tend to overestimate dramatic risks, and hence believe that crime is getting worse year after year, when in reality it is not. Factors such as eating unhealthy food pose a more significant threat to our everyday lives.