Wednesday, November 23, 2005

 

Economist Articles

As usual, the online version of the economist has some pretty interesting articles.

On Crime in Britain. Specifically on the practices of mugging and how it has changed over time. "These days, muggers are distinguished by their youth. Home Office research in 2003 showed that 71% of muggers were under the age of 21, while 17% were under 16. Part of the explanation, police officers reckon, is that mugging is a short step from many of the things that teenage louts get up to anyway, like playground bullying and menacing people who stray into their neighbourhoods. But teenagers have not just swelled the ranks of muggers; they have also changed the nature of the crime.
Today's muggers are more discerning in their choice of victims and goods. Three-quarters of their victims are men, which is novel: a large study of street robbery in 1987 found that 57% of victims were women. Young muggers look down on drug-addled practitioners, generally in their early 20s, who go after softer targets and will steal anything. Simon Holdaway, who has interviewed young robbers in Sheffield, finds that they occasionally beat up their elders.
“Many of these robbers are funding a lifestyle, not a drug habit,” says Mr Pountain. Although poor, they are driven not by need but by aspiration and desire—for the latest gadget, or for something that can be used to finance its purchase. Engels might have regarded that as a sign of progress. "

Another article on GM's woes.

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