I\’ve read the Mother Jones piece that George bases this piece on.
At first it seemed preposterous. The hypothesis was so exotic that I laughed. The rise and fall of violent crime during the second half of the 20th century and first years of the 21st were caused, it proposed, not by changes in policing or imprisonment, single parenthood, recession, crack cocaine or the legalisation of abortion, but mainly by … lead.
I am convinced: although that should mean nothing to anyone else. I\’m not competent to judge the background studies that it is based upon. But if they do indeed sway what it is said they say then yes, OK, tetraethyl lead did indeed cause the great 20th century crime wave.
But a little bit of advice to the various lefties who are likely to leap upon this as evidence of the perfidy of whatever it is they want to blame. Capitalism, Statism, transport, whatever.
Do note that this entirely obviates your usual claim that crime is caused by poverty or inequality. If you do accept this lead as the cause of crime then you\’ve got to abandon your previous insistence that it\’s all about wealth and tax rates.
It\’ll be interesting to see how many heads explode if this ever sinks in…..