Poverty Is Not The Cause of Criminal Behavior

Crimeby Patricia L. Dickson   8/22/14
As the events in Ferguson, Missouri continue to unfold, a common excuse being offered for the riots and looting is poverty and income inequality. An article written by retired NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar outlines what he calls the reasons for a coming race war that stems from class warfare and systemic racism. The article was so full of liberal talking points and delusional distortions that I had to take a break after each paragraph. He, like others, claims that the rich are somehow holding back poor blacks in order to maintain control of their riches. He also claims the rich are hurting the poor by lobbying to cut food stamps, refusing to extend unemployment benefits and refusing to give relief to the burden of student debt.

Everything that he mentioned is something that would require government intervention. In other words, the government could fix poverty if the do-nothing politicians would just all agree. Liberals have all reached a consensus that Ferguson’s rioting and looting are the results of poverty. Blaming criminal behavior on poverty is not a new hypothesis. Sociologists and criminologists have done studies  on the topic dating back to the 1960s. According to the Heritage Foundation, the real cause of crime is the breakdown of the family:

◾Over the past thirty years, the rise in violent crime parallels the rise in families abandoned by fathers.

◾High-crime neighborhoods are characterized by high concentrations of families abandoned by fathers.

◾State-by-state analysis by Heritage scholars indicates that a 10 percent increase in the percentage of children living in single-parent homes leads typically to a 17 percent increase in juvenile crime.

◾The rate of violent teenage crime corresponds with the number of families abandoned by fathers.

◾The father’s authority and involvement in raising his children are also a great buffer against a life of crime.

Anyone raised during the mid-1970s and before can agree with the Heritage Foundation’s conclusion.  No politician or government program can replace fathers in the home. In fact, laziness and idleness contribute more to crime than anything else does.  How does the individual in Ferguson have the time to show up at a moment’s notice to protest and riot? No gainfully employed individual has the time to protest (even if he or she wanted to) and continue at it for hours.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, like all Liberals, would rather tiptoe around the real cause of crime and poverty by blaming outside forces. My friends and family were poor growing up, but we did not murder anyone or steal. If we had, our parents would have brought fire to our behinds.  Poverty is just an excuse for criminal behavior.

What is considered poverty today? As one writer here at American Thinker has already pointed out, a good number of the protesters in Ferguson could stand to miss a few meals. According to the Heritage Foundation, there is a big difference between poverty in America in the 1970s and today:

◾80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

◾92 percent of poor households have a microwave.

◾Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.

◾Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.

◾Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.

◾Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers.

◾More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.

◾43 percent have Internet access.

◾One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.

◾One-fourth have a digital video recorder system, such as a TiVo.

Instead of asking what causes crime, the better question is what is the root cause of poverty? The Bible states in Proverbs 10:4 “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth”.  There, I said it. I know it is not politically correct to call poor people lazy or to just state the facts. However, since Liberals want to use the events in Ferguson to focus on crime and poverty, I thought I would offer my analysis. Politicians and pundits have tried to invent new causes for crime and poverty. However, Ecclesiastes 1:9 states “The thing that has been—it is what will be again, and that which has been done is that which will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun.” In other words, laziness has always been and always will be the root cause of poverty.  Idle hands and fatherless homes are the root causes of crime.


PatriciaDicksonPatricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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16 Responses to Poverty Is Not The Cause of Criminal Behavior

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    The problem isn’t poverty, but envy. The poor don’t have as much as the rich, and their desire for MORE is greater than their willingness to work to earn it (in some cases; most aren’t criminals, though they happily accept welfare). But if it’s just a matter of poverty, why are so many of the Ferguson rioters from faraway places? They had to spend a good bit of money to get there. Did they see it as an investment? Or are they just (like so many troublemakers) spoiled affluent brats?

    • Sheila Hamrick says:

      You ask a great question. It is outside elements of single agent anarchy as well as professional anarchists who are always on alert for any authentically *big* event that will get the ball of *violent revolution* rolling. The old anarchists like Bill Ayers (Weather Underground), old Progressives and new ones, SLA, SDS, Red Diaper Babies, Black Liberation Army, Pan Arab, Pan African, Black Panthers, agents of Critical Theory Ideology (too many to count and list for this short post) run sometimes under the same labels but mostly run our colleges, educational curriculum designers, New & Old New Lefters known by at least a thousand names in government, in media, in arts, in and on every level of society inside and outside America…all working for the demise of America…and of course pathological local elements are, to them, always available… the lumpenproletriate created and sustained by government aid policies just for this purpose of massive blood letting revolution.
      Kinda like a used car dealership commercial: “Everything’s gotta go!”
      (not going to edit don’t have time)

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Yes, much of the rioting in Ferguson was outsiders, though many were from elsewhere in metro St. Louis or other parts of Missouri. I wonder how many were even non-white; we know the Occupiers (an interesting name, bespeaking their hostility to their own society, as I noticed from the beginning) like this sort of thing.

  2. glenn fairman says:

    Of course I agree with the author’s thesis, but the mere presence of male chromosomes does not guarantee success. It is a male presence of a certain pedigree that is conducive to “man training.” Having a thug laying up in the house will only ensure that junior only inculcates his pathologies quicker and more fully. Having a righteous man in the house is the key. But this will never occur as long as women–who are the gatekeeper of civility, get “weak in the knees” when a long cool drink of water offers his attention. It takes two to tango; and unless rape is occurring on a grand scale, women–not just minority women, are consenting to illegitimacy and single mother hood in profound numbers. Ultimately, women are going to have to rescue civilization: not only by making sure that their children are being raised by a Godly father, but by bringing back the stigma of the bastard child that will once again raise eyebrows—— both in Gary, Indiana and in Beverly Hills.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      It takes two to tango; and unless rape is occurring on a grand scale, women–not just minority women, are consenting to illegitimacy and single mother hood in profound numbers. Ultimately, women are going to have to rescue civilization: not only by making sure that their children are being raised by a Godly father, but by bringing back the stigma of the bastard child that will once again raise eyebrows—— both in Gary, Indiana and in Beverly Hills.

      I have always been amazed at the number of women who are so free with their sexual favors and by being so, hurt and debase themselves and their children.

      I don’t know if they have bought into the lie that with this sexual freedom they have achieved “equality” with men or if it is that they simply cannot control themselves. But they must understand that they are giving away, for nothing, one of their most valuable assets.

      They are selling themselves short and helping increase the number of irresponsible young men, at the same.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Did someone say bastards?

        Surely, Mr. Kung, the main cause is that women have indeed been taught that unless they are as sexual as men then they are not achieving equality with men — which is apparently the overriding moral goal of this Progressive culture.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          That and the fact that it is no longer polite to “judge” anybody for any immoral or stupid thing they do.

          Today, it is rude to tell a female that it might be better to keep her legs closed. It is rude to tell some male that he should keep his zipper up.

          It is even ruder to tell them they have nobody to blame but themselves, when something goes wrong due to their immoral and stupid behavior. We need to invent, “conditions” over which they have no control, so they may be seen as victims.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The problem is that many women, like many men, are quite happy to engage in a little extramarital sex. It’s just that their “husband” is the welfare office in too many cases. Barry Zero’s fictional Julia had a child, but no other family was ever mentioned. The State was all the family she wanted or needed. Liberals apparently considered this an ideal situation.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        In other words, by socializing the costs of misconduct (or just careless conduct), we get more of it.

        That is one of the prime corrupting elements of socialism.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          As so many (including Reagan) have observed: if you want more of something, you subsidize it (and the welfare system has subsidized illegitimacy for decades); if you want less of something, you tax it.

  3. Sheila Hamrick says:

    Crime gives poverty a bad rap.

    • Sheila Hamrick says:

      When I was teaching in all black areas I saw many poor families, but most had honor, self-respect, a sense of duty to their children and community. As a teacher I instructed my students to avoid watching Bart Simpson (the cartoon)because he had a bad attitude and was rude to his parents. For the most part my students were wonderful, year after year. Children and teens regardless of color need a great amount of order and positive authority in their lives. If they get it at home and in schools, I tell you there will be no problems. That did not happen in this society, just the opposite. This speaks directly to the chaos in our present society…most will not be able to escape the collective violence and brutality that is presently only breathing down the neck of America. America can be saved at this point in time in our history only by the most devoted of black leaders at the local ground zero level and in conjunction with the black national leadership. Certain violent elements will have to be denounced and silenced. I fear they will not be able to carry out this most difficult task, and if not, the reprocussions will be to great to endure, to live through.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        It has often been pointed out, when people blame crime on poverty, that most poor people aren’t criminals. Obviously there is more going on that poverty (since there are also plenty of affluent criminals, especially bored and spoiled young males).

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Yes, and at heart the “poverty causes crime” paradigm is promoted by the Left because:

          1) It justifies an expanded state
          2) It is an indictment of capitalism
          3) It fits the paradigm of collective morality vs. personal responsibility
          4) The alternative to state help is religious institutions — a distasteful notion to the Left who view no power of Goodness larger than themselves.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        When I was teaching in all black areas I saw many poor families, but most had honor, self-respect, a sense of duty to their children and community.

        Sheila, I’ll never forget this one story that I read or heard related on the raido. It could have been from Glenn Beck. But it’s likely a very real story wherever it came from.

        Anyway, this anecdote was related by a black man who was head of his family somewhere in the South. And one day he was approached by a welfare worker who wanted to “assist” him in some way. This man (to his great credit and wisdom) refused, for he related to the person who got this story from him that if he took the “help,” he knew it would be the end of him and his family.

        Another form of “help” that this same fellow (or article-writer) related was how the “help” for pregnant black mother worked to very quickly destroy the black family. It made the father superfluous. As I remember reading, it was typical in that culture (perhaps of most cultures throughout time) for two people to get a little ahead of themselves and make a baby before marriage. As was related by this black person in this black culture, this was a typical occurrence, followed almost always by community and family pressure for the man to marry the woman, which nearly always then led to marriage.

        But when welfare stepped in to “help,” the father was made superfluous. Whether by design or the nature of unintended consequences, the “help” turned into harm. And no one in the “do gooder” culture wants to admit this inherent aspect to their “help.” Many have their egos invested, their view of themselves as do-gooders acting like a drug. Many simply want to protect their job. Few these days ask if their “help” is really help. Thus it was not so off-the-wall for Ann Coulter, in her recent article, to take the doctor in Africa to task for exposing his family to the Ebola virus. This particular doctor may have been an angel. But far too many “do-gooders” are only in it for their own sense of being a do-gooder — and showing off to others their do-gooderness.

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