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Jordan Peterson - Does Poverty Cause Crime? The answer may surprise you.

[Professor Jordan Peterson] "So there's this interesting phenomena that's very characteristic of societies, I believe pretty much everywhere it's been studied. Now, you can calculate an index called the Gini coefficient. And the Gini coefficient is a number that represents how much inequality there is in income distribution in a given geographical area. So you could calculate the Gini coefficient for a street, or an area in a city, or a city, or a state, or a country, you can do it at all those levels. And what you find is, you know, you always hear this idea that poverty causes crime, that's a classic left-wing idea. But it's wrong. Seriously wrong, and it's importantly wrong, and it's definitively wrong, not only that. So there's no argument about this, it's already been established. What causes crime, especially aggressive crime, is relative poverty. And relative poverty is not the same thing as poverty at all, it's seriously not the same thing. Poverty is when you don't have enough to eat, relative poverty is when they guy next door has a much better car than you. So, there's lots of relative poverty in the United States, and there's some absolute poverty, but even the absolute poverty in the US is nothing like the absolute poverty in places like India or Sub-Saharan Africa where absolute poverty means you have nothing. Now what's really interesting about the Gini coefficient is that if you go to places where everyone, roughly speaking, is poor, say by national standards, I think South Dakota was often used as an example, or maybe one of the Maritime provinces like Newfoundland, where there's low average income, but it's pretty flat distribution, there's almost no crime. And if you go to places where everyone's rich, then there's almost no crime. But if you go to places where there are poor people, and moderately well-off people and rich people, and the distribution is really steep, then the rate of aggressive behavior among young men, and it's usually within their own ethnic group, starts to skyrocket out of control. And the reason for that seems to be that if the dominance hierarchy is too steep, then the young men have no likelihood of climbing to a dominant position while playing the standard social game, and so what they do is turn to aggression to make their mark on the world. And it works too, that's the other thing, make no mistake about it, if you're looking for status in a place where status is hard to achieve, and you're the meanest, toughest guy around, then, and around a bunch of people who, like you, don't have much money, then you're going to benefit from that status. It works, yeah."

Jordan Peterson - Does Poverty Cause Crime?!SUPPORT PROFESSOR JORDAN B. PETERSON: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jordanbpeterson Self Authoring: http://selfauthoring.com/ Jordan Peterson Website: htt...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8EwIyb3x44
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Mazes avatar Countries & Places
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Not surprising at all.

'Liberals' typically don't say that poverty causes crime, they often say that inequity encourages crime. Which is why they tend to support redistribution programs - to level the playing field.

@VicZinc Not surprising at all. 'Liberals' typically don't say that poverty causes crime, they often say that inequity...

True, theft and gang activity can take many forms. And yet, whether it's street crime or officially sanctioned theft, the underlying cause is the same - having people of vastly different economic status rubbing elbows with each other. Science tells us that it's better to have rich areas and poor areas than to try to group everyone together artificially. Normally it happens organically, poor people can't afford to live in the same places as rich people and rich people don't want to live where there's lots of poor people. This is seen by certain ideologues as a situation that has to be rectified, but that's a fatally flawed idea that leads to crime, as the research shows.

@Maze True, theft and gang activity can take many forms. And yet, whether it's street crime or officially sanctioned...

Only assuming that the rich won't share freely.

There are examples of people with lots of money living and working among the poor who don't get robbed because they don't believe in 'ownership'. What's mine is yours, help yourself to anything you want. The result is people sharing what little they have and everyone is happy. I have seen poor and homeless come to the open doors of the wealthiest man in town baring gifts of hand made trinkets and fresh baked treats and wanting nothing in return, because they know if they need anything at all that man will open his home, his heart and his wallet to them.

But I understand that very few people think that way. Most want to keep what they have. So they prefer to live among other who also have.

I don't agree it is 'fatally flawed' - it is what it is because those who try to live among the poor still want to 'own' their shit. Try living there and offering openly whatever they want, you'd be surprised how little they ask for.

@VicZinc Only assuming that the rich won't share freely. There are examples of people with lots of money living and...

That's a nice sentiment, but it's total bullshit. If you really gave completely freely, you'd end up with nothing, because desire knows no limits. One single person's desire could wipe you out if you truly offered openly whatever people wanted.

@Maze That's a nice sentiment, but it's total bullshit. If you really gave completely freely, you'd end up with nothing...

Disagreed. I have seen it with my own life. People do not ask for more than the minimal and they feel shame when they ask for that, they return the favor ten-fold. Recent a women asked for $5. I did not see her for over a month because she was ashamed that she could not pay it back. I caught her in the middle of the night tending my gardens in silence. That's shit happens all the time to me. I want for nothing.

@VicZinc Only assuming that the rich won't share freely. There are examples of people with lots of money living and...

Don't get me wrong Vic, charity is a great thing and I encourage everyone, no matter what their means, but especially those with lots of money, to share their wealth and help the poor. Not only do people get help they need, being generous feels good. You know, it's not true that money can't buy happiness, it can, all you have to do is spend it unselfishly.

But that's not the same thing as income redistribution.

So you are saying: tough, aggressive lower-middle class people benefit from crime...

Drug addiction causes crime

Jaxxis avatar Jaxxi Disagree +1Reply

No it doesn't, during the war (and it's hard not to hear uncle off Only Fools and Horses when I say that), people lived off rations, they didn't steal from each other, even now many people in social housing do not commit crime but work honestly to afford a living. This is rich elite rubbish which says the abolishment of poverty will solve the problems off the poor, whilst being the only set of people who have enough money to protect it legally in offshore bank accounts without paying tax. You want to see real crime look to the rich, they've created class systems that keep land ownership and private shares in banks in their corner, whilst creating a debt and credit system, where the only people that can get credit are people who have been in debt. Rich people don't want to abolish poverty because who would continuely keep them in the lifestyle they are accustomed if not the taxpayer? There's the real crime, one law for us and one law for them.

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