Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Recession = crime
Some people hope that the recession will make us a less materialistic, more sharing nation. It won't. If anything, it will make us nastier and meaner. For most people, the main effect of recession is not to cause poverty, but insecurity [about jobs & homes]. And when people are insecure and anxious, they care less for others. As Adam Smith said: “Before we can feel much for others, we must in some measure be at ease ourselves.” Recessions mean that we are not at ease - and, as Smith recognised, more selfish as a result. Recessions also make us meaner in another way - some of us turn to crime. In September a leaked Home Office report said that a recession could lead to a rise in burglaries. It might have added that the Pope is Catholic. There is worse. Recessions can also increase racism.