Surpising information . . . in a good way . . .
Experts are scratching their heads over why crime has ebbed during this recession, making it different from other economic downturns of the past half-century. Early guesses include jobless folks at home keeping closer watch for thieves, or extra benefits keeping people from resorting to crime.
My opinion? The experts are probably correct. People commit crimes when their present situation seems hopeless. They lose hope when their opportunities become limited, and/or there’s no way out of a bad predicament. Here, the government’s extension of unemployment benefits gives hope to many jobless Americans. They may think, “I’ll get a job when the country’s economic situation improves,” and take shelter with unemployment extensions. These same Americans might otherwise commit crimes if the government didn’t step in and assist.