Friday, June 22, 2012

Crime Rates and Demographics

Some of you may remember way back a brilliant book by one David Foot called "Boom, Bust and Echo".  It chronicled the birth rate since the 1950s and correlated various demographic trends accordingly.

One trend to keep an eye on is crime.

Baby boomers were from large families. The boomers themselves had very small families (the bust), but because there were so many boomers, their total offspring, once in adulthood, produced a bulge (the echo).

Most crimes are committed by young people. We hear a lot from leftards about the crime rate going down, so there's no need to build or renovate prisons.

Well, crime rate in absolute terms, perhaps. But, there is still a "Boom, bust and echo" demographic at play

Canada in the midst of a mini baby boom.
"StatsCan claims the number of babies and toddlers under the age of four was up 11 per cent from 2006. That's the biggest growth in the category since the actual "Baby Boom" following the Second World War."
One should pay careful attention to the ongoing Boom, Bust and Echo phenomena before going on half-cocked about crime rates going down.

That last article is interesting on another front, one which I think it's time we had a national conversation on, namely the policy issues regarding universities. Note David Foot's remarks:
"Foot says the peak of the echo births happened in 1991.

"They're now 21.
There's the reason right there for the drop in the crime rate. By and large, youth leave the criminal life behind them as they mature.

But back to Foot's remarks:
"You have your first kid, on average, around age 30," he said, meaning that, over the next decade, there will be increasing numbers of babies born as the echo generation moves into their prime reproductive years.

That could have important implications for how money is allocated within schools and hospitals, Foot said. "A logical society would take money away from colleges and universities and allocate it to day care," he said."
Hear! Hear! The number of universities expanded as the original baby boom neared university age and it hasn't shrunk since then.

Yet, our universities are producing ever more useless programs whose only purpose is to indoctrinate. All the while, our technical schools cannot produce enough skilled trades-people. Time to scale back university funding and up funding to post-secondary programs that actually have an economic payback for the tax payer. Federal (and provincial) funding of post secondary institutions ought to be targeted toward the achievement of goals, such as the production of a skilled population. Ya' think? We do not need as many universities as we have.

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