White-on-Black Homicides Are More Likely to Be Ruled Justifiable. Here’s Why. | National Review

Source: White-on-Black Homicides Are More Likely to Be Ruled Justifiable. Here’s Why. | National Review

The New York Times and the Marshall Project report that homicides are much more likely to be ruled justifiable when a black man is killed by a white person. Racial disparities in self-defense is a topic I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about, because in 2013 I had a challenging and rewarding back-and-forth about it with John K. Roman and Shebani Rao of the Urban Institute. (Roman’s study, my response, their reply, my final comment.) There may be some bias in these decisions, but I don’t think this kind of statistic is very helpful when it comes to studying it.

Basically, when a member of one group attacks a member of another group, two things can happen that will affect homicide statistics: The aggressor can kill the victim, or the victim can kill the aggressor. The former act should be charged as a crime, the latter ruled justifiable (assuming the victim reasonably feared for life or limb). Therefore, more acts of aggression by members of a group translate to more unjustifiable homicides for that group and more justifiable homicides for the other group. As a result, if one group commits more violent crime, we’d expect that group’s homicides to be justified a lower percentage of the time.

You can follow the links above for more details on the math, but using a victimization survey by the Justice Department (which avoids the issue of racial bias in arrest statistics), a rough estimate is that there are 767,000 acts of black-on-white violence and 128,000 violent acts where the races were flipped in the U.S. annually. As I explained, if 2 percent of all victims of violence defend themselves,

128,000 acts of white-on-black violence inspire 2,500 acts of justified violence by blacks. And 767,000 acts of black-on-white violence inspire 15,000 acts of justifiable violence by whites. . . . As a result, 10 percent of white-on-black violence is justified, and only 0.3 percent of black-on-white violence is. This corresponds closely to the actual disparity from the FBI figures [regarding homicides ruled justifiable]: 11.41 percent to 1.2 percent.

I also pointed out that most justifiable homicides involve guns, and that whites report owning guns at about twice the rate of blacks.

The NYT/Marshall analysis does adjust the data to account for numerous factors, such as the relationship between the parties, the killer’s sex, the broad type of confrontation, and the weapon used, and finds that the disparity falls from to eight times to 4.7 times. But they don’t have a way of figuring out which party was actually the aggressor, and therefore they can’t tell whether prosecutors make the wrong decisions, letting off whites and/or prosecuting blacks in cases where they’d have done differently if the races were reversed. (I also find it frustrating that in most of their statistics they compare overall rates with rates for black men, combining sex and race so it’s hard to tell the role of each factor. Anyone want to guess whether man-on-woman or woman-on-man homicides are more likely to be self-defense?)

Again, I’m not claiming there’s zero bias at play here; the data are murky enough that we can’t know for sure. But the disparity documented in the report isn’t evidence of bias. It’s exactly what we’d expect to see when one group offends at a higher rate than another.

No, We Shouldn’t Remove Confederate Memorials From The Public Square

“The future is fixed. The past is always changing.”

Will Ricciardella writes:

….

What I’m having a hard time understanding is the left’s desire to scrub everything they find unseemly from the history books.  As a history major, I was always under the impression that we should learn from history rather than delete it.  And yet, everywhere you turn, the left is trying to pretend the Civil War never happened.

I keep seeing really smart people who I admire deeply like Rich Lowry saying that it’s time to listen to liberals and relegate all the Confederate memorials to museums.  I couldn’t disagree more with that if for no other reason than not being able to answer the question of where does it end? If we start scrubbing things we don’t like from our history who will decide when it stops? Antifa? MSNBC?

Thomas Jefferson and George Washington owned slaves.  Do we remove those names and statues? Tear down the Washington Monument? Democrats elected racist presidents in the 20th century like Woodrow Wilson and LBJ.  Are we scrubbing them from history?  FDR threw American citizens in prison camps simply because of their skin color.  Do we remove him from the history books?  The war in Vietnam wasn’t a good idea. Should we delete every politician involved in that? It was very mean to let all those people die after all.  The Democrat Party created and sponsored the KKK for decades.  Are we really going to let children attend a high school named after a Democrat? Tear it down!

….

Confederate generals like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson weren’t foreign crusaders from the other side of the world.  They were born in America, studied at West Point, and the generals that survived the war were Americans when they returned home.  In the case of Robert E. Lee, he was arguably one of the most brilliant military strategists in history and he personally detested the idea of slavery.  And we are worried about his statue at a park because what? Slavery hurts our feelings?

It seems like a much better solution to always remember how far we have come since those days and make sure that in 100 years, no one ever forgets the sacrifices made on both sides that ultimately ended slavery in this country.

Really, 1984 is not supposed to be an instruction book.

Neither is Fahrenheit 451.

 

CBS Still Pushing False Narrative About ‘Right-Wing’ Terror

Source: CBS Still Pushing False Narrative About ‘Right-Wing’ Terror

Fake statistics die hard, especially when they’re being pushed by the so-called “real news” cartel.

Take, for instance, CBS News host Norah O’Donnell, who claimed on Twitter earlier today that so-called “right wing” terrorism is a greater threat than Islamic terrorism:

Between the end of ’01 & Dec. ’16 there were nearly 3 times as many fatal attacks by right-wing extremists than Islamist extremists in U.S.

The first clue that you’re being manipulated? O’Donnell begins counting terror incidents AFTER the 9/11 attacks, the most lethal terror attack in modern history. Understandably, people grinding an agenda to push “right wing” terrorism as some great threat to Americans HAVE TO exclude 9/11 to make such a point.

Also, note that O’Donnell refers only to the number of incidents — not how lethal they were.

Why is that? Because Norah O’Donnell is trying to avoid having to say this: Since 9/11, Islamic terrorists have killed CONSIDERABLY MORE than “right wing” terrorists.

Jihadist: 95 killed.

“Far Right Wing”: 67 killed.

The only way to conjure up a “right wing” terrorism bogeyman is to count “by fatal incident,” and not by the actual number of people killed.

That being said, as I noted here at PJ Media more than a year ago, there are serious issues with how New American counts acts of terrorism:

Since when are bank robberies acts of terrorism? They aren’t, unless you’re trying to inflate your “right wing” terror stats to mislead the public for political motives.

I also noted that — in addition to 9/11 — several Islamic terror attacks are simply left out of their count, such as the D.C. sniper case.

….

 

Conflicting Visions – Walter E. Williams

Source: Conflicting Visions – Walter E. Williams

Let’s look at a policy pushed by advocacy groups, politicians and poorly trained, perhaps dishonest, economists — mandated increases in the minimum wage. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman claimed in a 2014 interview with Business Insider that there is actually not much risk of significantly higher wages hurting workers. He argued that low-wage workers are in non-tradable industries for which production cannot be moved overseas and are in industries in which labor cannot be easily replaced by technology. Krugman’s vision is one that my George Mason University colleagues and I try to correct.

Those who argue that the price of something can be raised without people having a response to it have what economists call a zero-elasticity vision of the world. For them, labor prices can rise and employers will employ just as much labor after the price increase as before. There is no evidence anywhere that people have no response to the change in price of anything. Plus, the longer a price change remains in effect the greater the response to it.

Let’s examine Krugman’s assertion that low-skilled labor cannot be easily replaced by technology. Momentum Machines has built a robot that can “slice toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.” The robot is “more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce about 360 hamburgers per hour.” Let’s Pizza is a pizza-making vending machine from Europe that can make four different kinds of pizza in about 2 1/2 minutes.

Kay S. Hymowitz’s recent article “The Mother of All Disruptions,” in a special issue of City Journal, gives numerous examples of jobs loss through technology. According to The New York Times, 89,000 workers in general merchandise lost their jobs between the beginning of November 2016 and the end of March. And it’s not just the U.S. where robots are replacing labor. Foxconn’s iPhone-making facility in China has replaced 60,000 workers with robots.

The economic phenomenon that people who call for higher minimum wages ignore is that when the price of anything rises, people seek substitutes. We see it with anything. When the price of oil rose, people sought ways to use less of it through purchasing more insulation for their homes and fuel-efficient cars. When the price of beef rose, people sought cheaper substitutes such as pork and chicken. The substitution effect of price changes is omnipresent, but do-gooders and politicians seem to suggest that labor markets are an exception. It’s bad enough when do-gooders and politicians have that vision, but it is utterly disgusting and inexcusable for a trained economist to buy into that zero-elasticity vision.

Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage May Hurt Mentally Disabled

Source: Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage May Hurt Mentally Disabled

Let’s be clear for a moment — many disabled workers will be unaffected. Physical disabilities may require accommodations, but many of those workers are making well above minimum wage as it is. Those that aren’t do have the potential to learn valuable skills that would make them employable otherwise.

No, this pretty much impacts only the mentally disabled.

At $15 per hour, employers are going to require more from their workers, especially with it being such a huge jump in wages. They’re going to expect people to take on more tasks than those normally associated with minimum wage work.

“But the Americans With Disabilities Act says … “

Doesn’t matter. If the work requires ability that mentally disabled workers can’t provide, the ADA doesn’t mean squat. The ADA calls for “reasonable accommodations” for disabled workers, but if the job requires something that the worker can’t do and there’s no accommodation possible, the ADA allows the person to not be hired.

Seattle thinks it’s doing wonderful things for all workers by refusing to permit employers to dip below the mandated minimum wage. But now the mentally disabled who only want to work, who only want a sense of independence, are out of luck.

‘Free lunches’ like the $15 minimum wage may hurt the people they’re meant to help – The Washington Post

Source: ‘Free lunches’ like the $15 minimum wage may hurt the people they’re meant to help – The Washington Post

On this and other labor issues, says Michael Strain, director of economic policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, “We need to be debating whether a cost-benefit test is passed, something on which reasonable people can disagree.” Instead, Strain says, a lot of thoughtful, well-meaning people on the left seem to be looking for a free lunch — that is, for policies with all winners, no losers and no costs. (Kinda like the right’s attitude toward tax cuts, I might add.)

Here I confess that I’ve been guilty of this. I’m often drawn to studies and stories about pro-labor policies that “pay for themselves.” And while there often is a pro-business or macroeconomic case to be made for policies that help workers, I pledge to be more mindful about potential unintended costs as well.

Readers, I hope you’ll hold me to this. And anyone else peddling free lunches, too.