Fighting the Demons in Our Heads: The Urban Crime Edition

We are a nation of pants-wetting numbskulls (boldface mine):

Most Americans, however, don’t recognize that violent crime has dropped so significantly over the past twenty years. Over that time frame the national murder rate has halved, along with non-lethal violent crime, yet half the country (50%) say that violent crime has increased since 1994, and only 22% know that it has decreased. Younger Americans are less likely to say that crime has increased since the mid-90s, while people with a household income of over $80,000 are the only group that tends to know that violent crime has dropped.

What’s interesting is how this breaks down by age:

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Some of this is probably just ‘old dogs-new tricks.’ But I’m also going to blame cable news, where the median viewer age for MSNBC in May 2014 was 62.5, for CNN it was 62.8, and for Fox News it was 68.8. While fear of cities is common, the television watching demographic seems infected with it the most. Fox News (and other cable news orgs) have successfully terrorized their target demographic. Victory!

Nonetheless, we’re told that kids aren’t learning today like they used to. Moving right along…

The real problem here is that we’ve had significant successes, but as long as we don’t even recognize them, we’ll never be able to figure out how to continue making things better.

And the congregation responds: this is yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.

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