Do recessions encourage crime?
Yes, says David Downes, professor of criminology at the London School of Economics. No, says Heather Mac Donald, writing a few weeks back in The Wall Street Journal. Downes also suggests that the breakdown of social cohesion – eroding working class institutions, rising inequality – encourages criminality. The conservative counterpoint – again from Mac Donald – also emphasizes cohesion as a buffer against crime, but locates the traditional two-parent family as the fulcrum for social stability.