Murder Rates Are Declining For the Second Year in a Row

Jeff Asher of the New York Times takes a look at 2018 murder rates in big cities and extrapolates a likely decline of about 5 percent nationwide. If that pans out, the US murder rate will look like this:

So murder rates rose for two years (2015 and 2016) and have now declined for two years (2017 and 2018). The initial increase was quite large, and still unexplained as far as I know. However, if I had to guess, I’d say it was most likely drug related: murder rates increased as the opioid crisis finally got out of control, and the decline starting last year is a sign that perhaps the opioid crisis has peaked and is now starting to fade. This would be consistent with previous episodes of drug use, which have always been episodic and faddish, with a lifetime of around ten years or so (heroin —> crack —> marijuana —> meth —> opioids).

My prediction: murder rates will continue to decrease as the opioid epidemic finally burns out and will then plateau at around 4.0. Stay tuned.

 

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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