Why Would We Want to Be Red Staters?

Here’s an interesting observation from Talking points memo:

The oddity of this Red State moralism argument emerges most clearly when you look at statistics for virtually every form of quantifiable social dysfunction. Divorce, out-of-wedlock birth, poverty, murder, incidence of preventable disease — go down the list and you’ll see that they are all highest in the reddest states and lowest in the bluest…

Commonsense would probably tell most of us that big cities have higher murder rates than suburbs and small towns. And that’s true. But not everywhere. In the North and in much of Blue State America, for instance, big cities have higher rates of homicide. But in the South the pattern is turned on its head. The murder rate is highest in the small towns and rural areas.

Digging deeper still we find another difference — though here the evidence becomes a bit murkier and less definitive. In the North, where murder rates are higher in urban centers, they tend to track with the commission of felonies.

In other words, people get killed by people who are in the process of committing felonies — whether those be drug sales, muggings, robberies gone bad, organized crime, or something else. But in the Southern states, where murder rates are higher in small towns and rural areas, this isn’t the case. Rather than happening in the process of committing other crimes, these murders tend to be rooted in what are best described as violations of honor, personal slights that escalate into violence or in the simplest sense, rage…..

The Mad Biologist: and now they’re running everything.

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