$16.00 an hour req'd in order to avoid a life of crime?





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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: $16.00 an hour req'd in order to avoid a life of crime?
By Songman (Songman) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 11:49 am: Edit

Just heard on NPR a fact that is interesting. A group of gang memers in Roanoke,VA were asked what it would take to get the inner city kids to stop dealing drugs,fighting,stealing and all that. The reply(from a street gang of inner city kids, " a $16.00 an hour job" That is $33,000 a year! So the street has learned how to keep pace with inflation, how come the politicians and society have not figured this out? Can society/government/business create enough jobs that will pay 16.00 an hour? Also what do the kids in New York or LA need to earn to keep pace with living costs there? I throw it our for discussion if anyone cares....?

By Foreignboy (Foreignboy) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 01:06 pm: Edit

All the main gang members should just be shot/hauled to jail. The kids should be put in school where they belong.
Problem solved.

By Seleucus26 (Seleucus26) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 01:20 pm: Edit

glad u put so much thought into that. u start on the putting the kids in school.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 01:35 pm: Edit

Poverty = crime

It's quite simple. If you want to decrease crime, do things like give them ownership (then they have a personal stake in it) and improve wages. I'm not saying that only poor people commit crime by the way so don't get angry. I'm just saying the circumstances surrounding impoverished people make them more likely to be pushed toward crime.

By Songman (Songman) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 01:50 pm: Edit

Craig k- I agree! Maybe the numbers were always lopsided. In other words Crime always paid more than the average worker earns? However,putting kids in school does not solve the problem. Many just do not attend and the school districts cannot keep up with it. No reinforcement from home either to lay down the law that one must go to school.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 02:02 pm: Edit

Rich people = better people with no crime???

I do not think so.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 02:04 pm: Edit

That's NOT what I said and you know it.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 02:04 pm: Edit

Legalize drugs. It would take the profitable black market away from the streets. Many gangs and mobs grew a lot during alcohol prohibition. Now that alcohol is legal, it is not sold on the streets for over priced prices.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 02:05 pm: Edit

no but the majority of crime comes from the poverty level... white collar crime vs blue collar crime

the majority of white collar crime is a joke, if found guilty they are sentenced to a country club... how terrible

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 02:09 pm: Edit

I agree with that ... but you are dealing with symptoms not the cause which is a situation in which people feel like they have to commit crime in order to survive. That's the problem. So if you want to reduce crime, solve that.

I did not say that rich people were better people. I said that rich people are not pushed towards crime -- that doesn't make them better people, it just means they don't have the same pressures.

Instead of looking at this from a moral viewpoint solely, look at it realistically. It's people trying to provide for themselves (and in some cases their family) in any way possible. So wouldn't a solution be making it easier to provide for themselves without crime?

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 02:10 pm: Edit

a tough conservative calling for the legalization of drugs :)

unfortunately i dont think that is a realistic solution... legalizing drugs gives the sense that it is okay to use them... not good. (ie. you are far more likely to drink alcohol than smoke a rock of crack)

I really don't know if there is a solution. There will always be inner city poverty. It is one of the inherent consequences of capitalism

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 02:13 pm: Edit

That's because it's more difficult to get and because people know that alcohol is not as bad for you.

I don't think legalization gives that impression -- I know plenty of people who smoke marijuana but wouldn't touch a cigarette.

I agree with the capitalism comment though you and I will probably be called Commies in a matter of minutes.

By Onnihs (Onnihs) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 02:14 pm: Edit

All gangmembers should be branded as domestic terrorists, and be prosecuted accordingly.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 02:26 pm: Edit

under that logic, all criminals are terrorists since all crime incites some degree of terror one way or another.

Before I said there may be no solution, I'm going to ammend that slightly. I think there is no solution that will solve the issue completely. However you can pacify it to some degree. It all starts at youth. Very pivital age for these kids. You need to give them the opportunities, resources, even activities and entertainment to steer them away from gangs. Kerry seems committed to this; one of the reasons why I like him.

However the first step to a solution is stop being so ignorant and placing 100% blame on these kids (many of you have already made comments doing so). Yes it was their choice to be in a gang, but a lot of them were not presented with any other options.

For most, the environment shapes them, not nature. In a way they are no different than me and you. This is a website of highly intelligent future collegians. To the suprise of many, some of these kids in gangs are just as if not more intelligent than me and you. If they were not raised in a crack house, but rather in a cozy 5 bedroom, on the beach in Orange County, would they be where they are today? Lost potential.

You can be apathetic as you wish and blame them all you want, but what good does that do? Instead why not help them?

By Songman (Songman) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 04:27 pm: Edit

Scuba said: "For most, the environment shapes them, not nature. You can be apathetic as you wish and blame them all you want, but what good does that do? Instead why not help them? " very true!

I would like to add though we help them financially -entitlements,transfer payments,redistribution of income,taxes upon taxes, etc. Then the politicians (both dems and GOP) brag about it,but never do anything else.

Throwing money at the problem is not the solution. We need to help them emotionally and they need parents and love. I am afraid society is not willing to pay that price. Therefore,we have abandoned them to the inner city streets. What separates the fact that an immigrant family who comes to the USA with nothing on their back become a success in less than five years: a strong family support system and a high work ethic!

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 04:57 pm: Edit

scubsteve, in my view, legalization of drugs is the conservative approach.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 05:20 pm: Edit

And tax the hell out of them (though only to the point where the black market is still non-existant).

By Gidget (Gidget) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 09:14 am: Edit

Hey, we could always be like Britain and ship them off to another country... make them work till their are 18 and give them land..... oh wait... no that didn't work out so well....

By Songman (Songman) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 01:06 pm: Edit

At minimum why shouldn't marijuana be legalized and taxed to the hilt? People will pay the taxes cheerfully! The tax will be put on the user not everyone else and marijuana would be available for medical purposes legally. In addtion, it would be regulated and safer to use and many people could be employed in regulating,processing,growing etc. A win win no?

I fear that would not solve inner city crime issue. Isn't it true that most of the drugs being sold in the inner city are more powerful than marijuana?

By Drake (Drake) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 06:59 pm: Edit

Also, making marijuna illegal and taxed heavily will still give the gangs a black market (smuggling untaxed drugs).
Good idea at first though.

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 07:22 pm: Edit

I once saw a very intelligent man on a documentary on PBS. He was an African American judge who strongly denounced the notion that people commmit crimes because they're poor. He grew up poor and knew lots of poor people that did not break the law. To him, equating poverty with crime meant that morals were for sale. He defied the notion that poor people were unable to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps." Or worse that they were prevented from doing so if they what they desired was to be more educated and a valuable part of society. He would not excuse convicted criminals of their offense during sentencing. He had a compelling point of view. I also believe that morals are something anyone can posess if desired, and income level is irrelevant in their acquisition.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 07:27 pm: Edit

I don't think anyone believes that being poor makes you commit crimes. What people are saying is that being in poverty increases the pressures to commit a crime. It becomes more difficult not to. Personally, I don't have to go sell drugs to live a good life and I don't. Don't you think there are more pressures on the poor inner city guy trying to get the good life and thus more likely?

By Joseancer (Joseancer) on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 07:33 pm: Edit

'He defied the notion that poor people were unable to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps."'


Anecdotes shouldn't be used to determine general policy. There will always be people who defy the general social trend, but that doesn't mean you shape decisions that apply to the whole group around just them.


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