In mid-December, 'Jane Galt' of Assymetrical Information posted this brief comment:
Hmmm. . .
TalkLeft links to a study arguing that the murder rate has fallen because of better access to medical care. It's one of those unobvious intuitions that make you smack yourself in the head and go "Duh!"
On the other hand, I doubt it accounts for all the variance, since other violent crime has also dropped. But I would find it interesting to know whether Britain's smaller size accounts for the difference in their crime rates, since per capita they outstrip us in everything but murder, which is also the only crime judged on the health outcome. If their victims are closer to hospitals, and thus don't die en route, that might account for it.
Two weeks later, I posted some vague but interesting information along the same lines. I haven't been able to find the TalkLeft article to which she refers, but here's something related. In the latest (February) New Criterion, Theodore Dalrymple's article "The anatomy of murder" (23-29, not on-line) includes this remark (23-24):
The murder rate has doubled since 1960, and an article in a recent issue of the learned journal Homicide Studies -- how long can it be before homicide is a university subject, study of which leads to a D. Hom.? -- suggested that, had it not been for improvements in surgical technique since 1960, the murder rate would be five times higher than it is, that is to say, ten times higher than it was in 1960: a conclusive proof, if any were needed, that technical and moral progress do not necessarily go hand in hand.
I wish he had given a precise reference. Since he's an Englishman writing in an American journal, I also wonder whether he means that the murder rate has doubled in the U.S. or the U.K. or both.Posted by Dr. Weevil at February 07, 2003 11:38 PM