Originally published July 31 2015
Violent crime surges in welfare cities where more money is spent on entitlements than policing
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) In case you hadn't heard, violent crime is soaring in American cities after decades of decline, in large part because cities and states are being forced to cut policing and other security measures in order to pay their entitlement and pension bills.
As reported by USA Today, the city of Milwaukee is a stellar example of what is happening all across the country. After years of falling levels of violent crime, Milwaukee had one of its lowest levels of violent crime in city history last year. But crime has skyrocketed this year; there have been 84 murders as of this writing, up from 41 at the same point a year ago.
Click here to search GoodGopher.com for articles about policing and violence.
Like other liberal progressive politicians, Milwaukee's police chief, Edward Flynn, is taking a potshot at Gov. Scott Walker, a favorite for the Republican presidential nomination. Flynn recently blamed the state of Wisconsin's "absurdly weak" gun laws as one reason for the spike in murder rates. Although, as more Americans have obtained guns, gun crimes has fallen by every single measure, according to Justice Department statistics. Gov. Scott Walker recently signed legislation loosening the state's gun laws. Flynn's logic does not explain why virtual gun-free zones (for the law-abiding, that is) in places like Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C., have such high gun-related murder rates.
But the fact is, Milwaukee is not alone.
Surge in violence tied to decreases in policing?
As USA Today further reported:
The number of murders in 2015 jumped by 33% or more in Baltimore, New Orleans and St. Louis. Meanwhile, in Chicago, the nation's third-largest city, the homicide toll climbed 19% and the number of shooting incidents increased by 21% during the first half of the year.
In all those cities, increased violence is occurring much more often, by far, in poor neighborhoods dominated by blacks and Hispanics.
Criminologists have said that the surge over the past year or so in a number of large American cities is reversing a trend of falling crime rates around the nation. In big cities, homicide rates peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the crack cocaine epidemic that destroyed a number of urban regions.
Not all cities are experiencing increases, notes Alfred Blumstein, a professor of urban systems and operations research at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Several U.S. cities – including Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego and Indianapolis – have all seen drops in murder rates this year.
Blumstein opined the current surge in murder rates in some large cities might just be an anomaly.
"It could be 2015 represents us hitting a plateau, and by the end of the year, nationally, we'll see that murder rates are flat or there is a slight bump up," Blumstein told USA Today.
However, other experts aren't so sure. They believe a rise in killings is tied to federal, state and local governments grappling with tighter budgets that don't include as much funding for policing and law enforcement.
Click here to search GoodGopher.com for articles on homicide rates.
Pension obligations are killing cities that are losing their tax bases
"Why is there a synchronicity among these cities?" Peter Scharf, an assistant professor at the LSU School of Public Health whose research focuses on crime, told the paper. "One reason may be President Obama is broke. Governors like Bobby Jindal are broke, and mayors like (New Orleans' Mitch) Landrieu are broke. You don't have the resources at any level of government to fund a proactive law enforcement."
In Baltimore, where there have been 155 murders this year so far – an increase – Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake recently fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, citing the spike in murders in the city. But Baltimore is in the throes of pension-induced poverty; in 2013, the Associated Press reported that the city faces billions in pension-related shortfalls.
And so does Chicago. And Detroit is already bankrupt and today has the fewest police officers on its streets since the 1920s.
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