This paper will first summarize the major arguments; lines of thoughts, as well as the recommendations made by the authors of “ Where have all the Criminals Gone?” during their analysis of the diminishing rates of crime in the United States. The paper will then introduce briefly some of the methods of critical thinking laid down by Wolcott and then use his critical thinking method to analyze Dubner’s and Levitt’s argument about crime rates. Finally, the paper will wind up with a conclusion on the whole issue.
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Framing the Problem
The two authors initially talk about the history of abortion in Romania. In this European country, a dictator by the name of Nicoale Ceausescu purposefully enacted a ban on the practice of abortion so to increase the population of his country. However, by doing this, he was essentially denying teenage mothers who at that time may not have been able to support children their rights. The actions of Ceausescu consequently resulted in the emergence of an entire generation comprising of unwanted children born to mothers who may not have cared for them or nurtured them adequately. This is simply because they were forced to give birth to these children against their will. There was a high probability that they would end up as criminals. The authors use this scenario to compare with the situation in the United States. For many years, violent crimes prevalence in America was relatively stable. However, in the 1990’s, the rate of violent crimes in the US seriously plummeted. No logical reason could be given for this aspect and researchers could only attribute this to several explanations but not one single factor. In their chapter, however, Dubner and Levitt propose several theories that explain this massive decline in crime rates. They also suggest their own theory, and this is the legalization of abortion in America at this period. American women had a choice of whether or not to give birth to children that they would not have been able to care for adequately. These children might have grown up in poor neighborhoods where they would have led impoverished lives and consequently resulted to a life of crime.
In this chapter, the authors, present comprehensively the causes of the problem at hand and then summarize their importance and the extent of their impact on crime rates. While the chapter was intriguing, the two authors did not delve much in explaining how the proposed causes applicability in their importance. In addition, while this chapter clarified some reasons immensely, some were mentioned just briefly. In the end, the authors argue that a close relationship exists between abortion and crime rates. In America, the states with the highest abortion rates exhibited the largest decline in rates of crime.
Using Relevant Information
This section will primarily analyze the argument about crime rates put forward by the two authors using the Wolcott’s critical thinking model. The steps in this model will be used to analyze the author’s argument. The first step in Wolcott’s model is problem or issue identification, the information applicable as well as other discrepancies. In this particular scenario, the major problem is the declining crime rates and the increasing abortion rates in America. Dubner and Levitt used an example of the situation in Romania where abortion was purposefully banned. The correlation forwarded by the authors between the declining crime rates and the high abortion rates was significantly relevant. The authors also presented solid evidence that affirmed this behaviour. However, some situations rendered this correlation irrelevant. There is not an appropriate or a direct solution to the issue of crime rates because in itself, abortion is hugely a controversial issue and may considered to be a crime itself.
The next step in Wolcott’s critical thinking model is the exploration of connections and explanations. The strong correlation that exists between high abortion rates and declining crime rates presents a scenario that would very easily convince any investigator that abortion is indeed the solution to crime. However, this is hugely biased because abortion does not directly contribute to the lowering of criminal activities; it simply aids this trend or process. Another assumption that may render the argument biased is that abortion is procured strictly due to ensuing financial difficulties.
Evaluating Alternative solutions
The following step is prioritizing the different available options and then applying conclusions. In regards to the two variables, the one of criminal activity should be given a higher priority than the abortion one. Crime is something that directs affects every human being in the global context and, therefore, reducing it or eliminating it altogether will be hugely beneficial. In the same sense, abortion is also a global issue. However, it is only applicable to one class of human beings, pregnant women and not all of humanity. In spite of this, abortion still remains a personal choice and its priority is, therefore, low. Decreasing crime will require a multifaceted approach or model that will cover both social and economical solutions. Some of the economical solutions that can significantly lower crime rates include; decreasing unemployment rates, increasing the size of law enforcement agencies and the amount of police officers and stabilizing the economy. Some of the social solutions that could work include the initiation of police reforms to incorporate better strategies of policing, eliminating drug and trafficking cartels. However, it should be noted that increasing the number of police officers would essentially lead to into increased law enforcement but in many cases, this increase may be prompted by a political decision and not to address safety issues. Some politicians in the search of political mileage may choose to increase the number of police officers as a bluff to their supporters that he cares about their safety. It should, however, also be noted this political bluff does not, however , change the fact that increased law enforcement leads to less criminal activities. Economical solutions may prove to be difficult to implement because of political interference that may amend or distort the initial proposed solution. Gaining sufficient funds to execute some of these recommendations may also be quite difficult. The recommended transformation of some current working cultures, for example, the police may be met with apprehension and resistance.
The two authors correctly tackled their proposal of the existence of a casual correlation between abortion and criminal activity. However, taking abortion as a tool that can be utilized to deter criminal activities is hugely illogical. Via the process of critical thinking, it is possible for one to perceive the major issues, the different assumptions, arrange the available alternatives into levels of urgency and finally execute the most fitting solution. In the Romanian dictator case, it was through critical thinking that the conclusion was established and this was that a population explosion resulting from the ban of abortion and birth control would only lead to the lowering of standards of living, which would translate to increased crime patterns.