Since 1960, per capita crime rates have more than tripled, while violent crime rates have nearly quintupled. By any measure, we live in a nation much less safe than that in which our parents grew up.
This simply cries out for an explanation. What in our modern society could possibly account for the sudden and explosive growth in force, fraud, and coercion?
Babies will starve, modern Chicken Littles warn, because teenage mothers will be deprived of "their" food stamps. Little children in schools will go hungry, because the new Scrooges on Capitol Hill will rob them of "their" school lunches. The elderly will lose "their" Medicare and Social Security. Opera enthusiasts will lose taxsubsidized encounters with Wagner and Puccini, and pre-schoolers the daily inspiration of Barney the Dinosaur, all because of plans to close down "their" local public broadcasting stations.
As I write, the President is publicly jousting with congressional Democratic rivals, and with Republican opponents, over competing initiatives to shrink government, cut spending, and reduce taxes. The current argument among politicians is no longer if such cuts are necessary, but where and how much to cut.
Treating criminals as victims undermined justice and began to bias the criminal justice system on their behalf. "Reforms" helpful to criminals included new courtroom rules excluding certain voluntary criminal confessions and factual evidence; lenient bail and release-on-recognizance practices; and routine sentence- reduction and release policies, such as plea bargaining, probation, parole, and insanity defenses.