Different phenomena in human life have attracted explanations from experts and other observers, which unfortunately, have become to be regarded as the conventional truth even when they seem to fail. This paper seeks to analyze an article that describes the different explanations advanced for changing trends in crime, politics and other social factors in the American society.
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The article is termed freakanomics, the authors (Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner) analyze different social aspects of the daily life in the most dazzling way that defies conventional wisdom. The article mainly dwells on the changing trends of crime in the American society. It also uses other social indices such politics and professionalism to underscore the misconceptions that lead to erroneous explanations for different phenomena in the United States and the world at large.
This article mainly intends to show that some of the expert views which are often held as conventional may be sometimes, if not always false.
The article begins by citing the soaring levels of crime that were witnessed in the 1990’s. The level of crime was rising at rates that had never been witnessed before.
The rising trends in crime got experts forecasting a more chaotic future. For instance, the article cites that in 1995, a criminologist named James Alan Fox produced a report that pointed to a sharp rise in cases of teenage homicide over a decade. Similar sentiments were being propelled from different quarters such as other criminologists, political scientists and other learned forecasters.
As time went by, it became apparent that the exact opposite of what had been forecasted was taking place. Instead of soaring levels of crime, the country was experiencing unpredicted decrease in crime levels. The sharp fall which peaked in the year 2000 was much more baffling than the later days when crime was the order of the day. False predictions were giving way to false explanations by the same experts.
According to the article, the sharp decrease in crime levels had everything to do factors such as tough gun controls, strong economy, and innovative police strategies, increase in the number of police, increase in the use of capital punishment, change in the crack and other drug markets, and finally the aging population factor. The authors shrugged off this type of explanation as cheap as all these efforts when were in place when the same experts predicted a sharp rise in crime.
According to the authors, the real cause of the drop in crime was the legalization of abortion across the United States. The legalization of abortion which had happened in the 1970 has lead to a significance drop in crime in the late 90s. The major step was towards countrywide legalization of abortion was initiated by a woman, Norma McCorvey.
She was from Dallas and had already given up two kids for adoption. She was not in a position to raise a child, she was uneducated, poor, unskilled, an alcoholic and other drugs abuser. This kind of characteristics would create unfavorable conditions for child up bringing. This increases the chances of raising a spoilt, frustrated child who may end up in the streets as a criminal.
The initial laws had restricted abortion thus creating a scenario whereby it was expensive to procure an illegal abortion or worse still, confer to unfit women the role of mothers.
As the authors quote, the forced child raising may lead to a distressful future and further impart a psychological harm to the child. It was argued that a woman who decides not to have a child has a good reason for that, for instance she might be too poor, unmarried or in a bad marriage.
This article cites other examples to show how conventional wisdom leads to false conclusions that mislead the masses. For instance, the power wielded by practitioners in different professional fields may be exploited at times to take advantage of a situation. The article cites, among others, a real estate agent who exploits their client’s inability to understand real estate matters.
The authors also point out the same flawed beliefs in the political arena, whereby rich politicians or politicians who spent more money during campaigns are almost certain of wining.
The authors claim that the electorate must have an inner connection with a certain candidate in order to vote for him. The authors do not however sound convincing with this example as indeed money plays a major role in gaining votes, especially in unjust systems where corruption and voter bribery are the order of the day.
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This paper sought to analyze the article freakanomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. The article is supposed to explore the bad side or everything, that’s according to the subheading. However, as much as it touches on other matters, it’s more seen to revolve around the crime, its causes and how abortion legalization has helped reduce rates of crime. The article uses other examples to show that what is often regarded as conventional wisdom or expert views may be sometimes false.