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Crime & Punishment
When crime increases, people often demand harsher punishments, and governments sometimes deliver.|
But, of course, all research on the topic has shown that harsher punishments do absolutely nothing to decrease crime. Quite simply, people who commit crime have either convinced themselves that what they are doing is somehow "right" -- or that the won't get caught. So no amount of punishment acts as a deterrent.
The root causes of crime are the same in every society and culture:
1. Lack of economic options
2. Lack of social support for children
3. "Putting temptation in the way of people" -- eg. lax accounting standards (an example of "white collar" crime), or easily defrauded insurance systems.
So, governments and people, when seeking to combat crime, need to look to the provision of good social services, need to look to supporting society's poorest members, and need to look to increasing the rule of law for corporations and individuals.
Stopping crime, like pretty much everything else in life, is never a matter of "getting tough", but rather a matter of "getting smart".