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NCJ Number: 69301 Find in a Library
Title: EFFECTS OF A REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH ON PROPERTY CRIME
Journal: CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:23  Issue:3  Dated:(JULY 1977)  Pages:272-289
Author(s): C R CHESTER
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 18
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN ADMITTEDLY INTERVENTIONIST STRATEGY FOR REDUCING THE PHENOMENON OF PROPERTY CRIME IS PROPOSED IN THE FORM OF REDISTRIBUTION OF INHERITED WEALTH TO FINANCE SUBSTANTIAL BASE INCOME GRANTS TO INDIVIDUALS.
Abstract: STRUCTURED AROUND THE SOCIALIST THEORIES OF REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH AS A PANACEA FOR ELIMINATING CRIME, THIS ARTICLE ATTACKS THE ALLEGEDLY WASTEFUL EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS ON PRESENT CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRAMS. IT SUGGESTS THAT PERCEIVED RELATIVE DEPRIVATION (REGARDED BY RADICAL CRIMINOLOGISTS AS A BASIC CRIMINOGENIC FACTOR) BE ELIMINATED BY A GUARANTEED INCOME FOR EVERY INDIVIDUAL. IT ASSERTS THAT BOLD, UNTRIED MEASURES ARE REQUIRED TO CHANGE THE SOCIOECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT THAT CAUSES CRIME BY CHANGING THE VALUE STRUCTURE OF THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM, THEREBY ATTACKING THE PROBLEM OF CRIME AT ITS SOURCE. ACCORDING TO THE THEORETICAL ASSUMPTIONS OF THIS STUDY, THE BOURGEOISIE SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO GIVE UP AFFLUENCE AND CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION IN ORDER TO PROVIDE THE LOWER CLASSES WITH A GUARANTEED COMFORTABLE INCOME THROUGH THE TRANSFER OF INHERITED WEALTH TO FINANCE THIS ARRANGEMENT. BY TAXING HEAVILY OR EVEN CONFISCATING ALL INDIVIDUAL INHERITANCES ABOVE A CERTAIN NET VALUE (E.G., $75,000), THE GOVERNMENT COULD REDISTRIBUTE THESE FUNDS TO INDIVIDUALS, GUARANTEEING THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE COMFORTABLY REGARDLESS OF THE JOB MARKET SITUATION. THE POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF THE COMBINED WEALTH TAX AND BASE INCOME PROGRAM ARE EXAMINED IN TERMS OF SUPPOSED INCREASED INCENTIVES FOR THE LOWER CLASSES TO DEVELOP THEIR TALENTS AND ACHIEVE SELF-FULFILLMENT. OTHER EXPECTED BENEFITS OF THIS CRIME-SOLVING SCHEME WOULD BE THE STRENGHTENING OF THE FAMILY STRUCTURE AND CONSEQUENT REDUCTION OF DELINQUENCY CAUSED BY FAMILY INSTABILITY, WITHOUT SUBSTANTIALLY DECREASING THE LABORER'S OVERALL INCENTIVE TO WORK. IN CONCLUSION, IT IS POSTULATED THAT A SOCIAL SYSTEM RENDERED MORE JUST BY INCREASED EQUAL ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY WILL EXHIBIT LOWER LEVELS OF PERCEIVED RELATIVE DEPRIVATION AND THUS OF PROPERTY CRIME. NUMEROUS FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Capitalism; Economic influences; Home environment; Property crimes; Socialism; Socioeconomic causes of delinquency
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69301

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