Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Prison and Poverty

It’s a well known fact that much of crime is driven by and comes from poverty. Have not’s take it from the have’s. The equation is simple, as people are in need of things they don’t have, they take these things from people who do have them. There is a portion of crime which is done out of passion, but this pales to the number of crimes committed for the former reason. Considering how much of tax payer money goes into crime fighting and prevention: Is it reasonable to eliminate poverty  in order to deter crime?

It seems to me that most Americans believe it to be very reasonable to contribute their tax dollars to fighting crime and keeping criminals in prison. However, I believe most would not find it reasonable to use their tax dollars to eradicate poverty by giving everyone comparable living conditions occupation if available. Despite that by eliminating poverty, the crime rate will fall dramatically- an effect sure to benefit society many times over. Yet people would see this as making a whole segment of the population unmotivated. Even if that becomes the case, I think its better then having a segment of the population starving and willing to do anything to survive and feel a sense of economic security.

It is easy to assume that criminals do what they do because they feel no other option to survive. Their options or occupations are usually not there to begin with, or would make them under funded for life’s expensive (leading them to take on debt they usually can‘t pay off). Therefore, its plain to see how providing the poor with the living conditions necessary would deter the incentive for crime by leaving people with the thought “do I really want to risk this” instead of thinking “if I don’t do this I cant go on”.  

I think many people  aren’t hesitant to support prisons, even though the tax dollars that go into maintaining each inmate is much more then a living yearly wage. It’s also well known that the poor make up most of the prison population. Therefore, if we already pay for the poor after they get in trouble, why not pay to prevent them to get in trouble?

Poverty should be eliminated as it would benefit society by reducing crime and allowing a part of society that is usually a breeding ground for crime and violence, to become something that can eventually give back to the whole. This may have socialistic overtones, but prisons itself is a socialist endeavor. Its well known that preventive medicine is always better then proactive medicine; the same goes with poverty: rather then paying for it in the form of crime, joblessness, and hunger, we can pay for it directly so that part of public can give back to society, rather then just sucking from it.