Want to eat? Go to work

I have lived my life near or in 15 cities or towns. During this time, I have come to the opinion that most of the reported crime in these cities and towns happened in the poorer sections.

Reports and studies performed for the U.S. Department of Justice ‘s Bureau of Justice Statistics support my opinions. One such study performed for the period 2008-12 came to the following conclusions:

· Persons in poor households at or below the Federal Poverty Level had more than double the rate of violent victimization (39.8 per 1,000) as persons in high-income households (16.9 per 1,000).

· Persons in poor households had a higher rate of violence involving a firearm (3.5 per 1,000) compared to persons above the FPL (0.8–2.5 per 1,000).

· The overall pattern of poor persons having the highest rates of violent victimization was consistent for both whites and blacks.

· Poor urban blacks (51.3 per 1,000) had rates of violence similar to poor urban whites (56.4 per 1,000).

· As income rises the violent crime rate declines.

A report from the Vittana.org on 26 poverty and crime statistics further confirms the DOJ’s BJS study. Those that live in poverty commit more crimes and are victims of more crimes than those not in poverty. One point that Vittana.org made was that the poor are more likely to report crime than those not in poverty.

When you look at the poverty rates for the USA they have been between 11 and 15 percent since 1966. We have spent trillions trying to eliminate poverty. All that has happened with those trillions is that we have stabilized poverty. By stabilizing poverty, we are keeping many of our citizens in poverty. Each year at the federal level we spend approximately $700 billion on 90 poverty programs keeping many of our citizens in poverty.

If you wish to reduce crime in the USA then we are going to have to eliminate government-funded entitlement programs such as welfare, food stamps programs, etc. At the very least fraud MUST be prosecuted and their funding stopped.

Caring for the needy and poor, wealth redistribution, is not a function of government. It is a function that should be and must be taken care by the citizens in the area where the poor, needy, and physically disabled live.

As many of us have been taught we should work if we want to eat.

Ray Shamlin

Rocky Mount