Good news is sidelined by media panic, and recently by disinterest in giving credit to the Trump Administration. Who wants good news, after all, when a Chinese coronavirus can be pinned on the White House? Like it or not – here is unreported good news. The flipside of Trump’s record economic growth, low unemployment, and rising labor participation rate is plummeting crime.
The latest numbers reveal that, as the Administration continues to open opportunities for legitimate employment, trade and labor growth, hiring and disposable incomes rise. In consequence, personal and property crime are falling. Buttressed by respect for law enforcement, deterrence also grows.
Numbers just released by the FBI, most of whom are career not political, tell a remarkable story. Semiannual crime statistics always lag by six months, but the trend is clear – Americans are safer.
While crime is high in pockets, including “sanctuary cities” – which refuse cooperation with federal law enforcement – and in hubs for use of addictive (formerly illegal) drugs, most of the country is experiencing a renaissance in public safety.
Specifically, the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report details “overall declines” in violent and property crime, year-over-year for the first half of 2019. Based on data from 14,273 law enforcement agencies, positive results are pouring in.
As Trump’s faith in individual enterprise – as opposed to tax and spend government – continues apace, Americans are not only working and earning more – but violent crime is falling. Incredibly, “all four of the offenses in the violent crime category—robbery, rape, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, and aggravated assault—show decreases” in 2019.
Thus, crime by crime, “the number of robbery offenses decreased 7.4 percent, rape offenses dropped 7.3 percent, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses fell 3.9 percent, and aggravated assault offenses were down 0.3 percent.” That one of these categories might be down would be positive; for all four to be in retrograde is significant.
Even more interesting, “the overall number of violent crimes decreased in all city population groups,” although homeless numbers shot up in “sanctuary cities,” with associated civil and criminal burdens.
Putting aside sanctuary outliers, “law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 50,000 to 99,999 reported the largest decrease, 4.8 percent.”
Overall, “violent crime decreased 4.5 percent in non-metropolitan counties,” and fell a full 3.5 percent in metropolitan counties. Adding more good news – if you can bear it – “violent crime decreased in all four of the nation’s regions,” down five percent in the West, 4.4 percent in Midwest, 2.6 percent in Northeast, and 1.2 percent in the South.
Reasoning backward from rising economic security to lower crime, reduced crime flows from economic growth just as increased crime tends to follow an economic downturn. Noted economists have long validated the tieback, at least since economist Gary Becker won the Noble Prize in 1968 for related work. In short, lower crime rates do reflect Trump’s swiftly expanding economy.
Nor is this limited to a drop in personal crime; not surprisingly, property crimes also fall as opportunities for employment rise – as they have across every measured demographic under Trump.
Thus, overall property crimes fell in first-half 2019 by 5.6 percent, including a drop in burglaries by 11.1 percent, motor vehicle thefts by 6.7 percent, and larceny-thefts by 4.2 percent. Again, the news crosscuts all regions and states, corroborating the notion that good economic news in these same regions is reflected in rising public safety.
Notably, “the overall number of property crimes decreased in all city population groups,” although smaller cities saw a larger drop in property crime. Cities under 25,000 people saw an 8.1 percent drop in property crime, while non-metropolitan counties saw a 9.9 percent drop.
As with violent personal crimes, property crimes fell in all regions, biggest drops in the Northeast and Midwest, both seeing more than a seven percent falloff. Meantime, property crimes fell 6.2 percent in the West, four percent across the South.
Of special note, the Trump Justice Department has targeted crime against elders. In early 2018, the Justice Department initiated “the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history,” seeking and prosecuting “more than 250 defendants from around the globe who victimized more than a million Americans, most of whom were elderly.”
What should average Americans make of this? In short – a lot. This is not small news, even if the mainstream media remain consumed by the chance to spread fear, assign blame, and fan panic over a relatively mild Chinese coronavirus.
Mainstream media seem unable to credit the Trump White House with sound policy leadership – namely, reducing federal regulations, taxes, and government intrusion – which has produced record growth, low unemployment, rising labor participation, productivity, wages, income, and trade equity.
No wonder the media and Democrats will not credit this White House with second- and third-order effects. Still, impartial observers will see the link clearly. Like it or not, Trump’s economic bounty is reducing crime and elevating public safety – more good news.