Sunday, January 31, 2016

10 Pounds in a 5 Pound Bag

I went to hear a talk by visiting professor (from Mexico) on violence and rights violations in Mexico. He led off by saying that about 150,000 Mexican civilians had been killed or disappeared over a recent ten year span. That was the only quantitative or substantive thing he had to say. The rest of the one hour lecture was devoted to vague and unsubstantiated claims that the violence was the result of US policies, the Mexican establishment, and inherent in the capitalist system. In short, it was the kind of dumb leftist bullshit that gives progressives a bad name.

Mexico has a high murder rate, 18.9/100,000 per year. Compare for example, such moderately violent countries as India (3.5) and the US (3.9), or relatively safe countries like Japan (0.3) or Switzerland (0.6). But even Mexico is hardly extreme compared to Puerto Rico (26.5), Jamaica (39.3) Venezuela (53.7) or our champion, Honduras at 84.3. Nearly all the high murder rate countries are significantly impacted by the drug trade, but our professor mentioned that only by blaming the war on drugs.