Wealth and Crime have to be one of those problems that are exactly the same as that of the egg and chicken – impossible to trace which one leads to the other. A lot of researchers have conducted successful studies on the relation between crime and wealth and most of them have reached a consensus on their findings. Upon close observation of the society, they have realized that most of the times the criminal found at the base of a crime has numerous issues attached with the place where he comes from, what sort of a childhood he spent, what kind of a job he got in or was turned down from and etc. The unequal distribution of wealth in any society leads to criminal activities, people from the upper class often get away with their crimes which further aggravates the situation and it cannot be improved without government intervention.
Origin of Crime
Crime, defined as an action or omission which constitutes an offense and is punishable by law, has intriguingly found a correlation of itself with the economic worth of the persons – that too a strong one (Landes). This phenomenon has succeeded in becoming the center of attraction of several analysts all over the world and many types of researches have been conducted. to enable the correct enunciation of the issue at hand.
Times have not seen criminals from only a single social class. They have come from the upper class, upper-middle-class, lower middle class, and the lower class so it is safe to say that no one social class is exempt from the credit that has to be given out for the contribution in violence and unrest. The rich embezzles whereas the poor steals but the responsibility for the crime in a community resides with the presence of individuals or groups who do not occupy a position in the social structure that is reserved for the people who are possessors of great wealth (Taylor). This phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that criminal cases filed are less for the rich and more for the poor.
One reason for this happening can be that generally there are fewer rich people and more poor ones. Greater in number but sometimes lesser in gravity, studies have shown that poor people commit crimes out of frustration. The frustration arises from the inability of a person to cater for the basic needs such as food, shelter, health facilities for of his own self and his family. The inability to avail these facilities triggers them into becoming criminals. So it can be said that the relation of crime is not as much with wealth as it is with the lack of it.
Studies conducted by the American economist Gary Becker and World Bank economists Pablo Fajnzylber, Daniel Lederman, and Norman Loayza, have all implied that poverty alleviation has a crime-reducing effect. Looking deeper into the structure of their studies shows the reason why alleviation of poverty might lead to a pacifying effect amongst the criminals. That is basically the reduction of the wealth gap between the rich of a community and the poor (Pinsker). To condense, the income inequality or the wealth gap can be appropriated as the major cause of the crime that arises. An observation in this regard is that of the U.S that ranks third in the run for the most income-unequal nations and thus has quite a large percentage of its population in prison as compared to other countries which are industrial democracies. Apart from this, another finding by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) adds to the claim that weighs down all those nations that have income inequality.
All in all, it can be safely said that it is fundamentally not the wealth that is the mother of all vices but actually it is the disparity established for some have it and the others do not. The problem of wealth inequality is known to breed frustration and to mitigate this cause and effect tremendous effort needs to be made by both governments as well as non-governmental organizations (Trello). Society is supposed to be thought of as an effect of a collective effort of all the members constituting it.
For the establishment of a prosperous community that embarks upon the road to social development and creates a better living for all its subjects, it is absolutely essential that all sorts of nuances especially that of crime are not only mitigated but also uprooted. For relieving oneself from such a huge problem, a step-by-step process is utilized and the first step in making efforts for the abolishment of this problem is attacking the root cause that is the wealth gap. It is noted and learned that it is majorly the presence of someone else’s wealth that makes poverty more significant and notable (Piorkowski). When a person has someone to compare his circumstance with, it is then that he feels for his plight more than he would have done in case he did not have a comparison right there in front of him.
Thus the need of the hour is for the government to play a strong regulating role in this conundrum. They can begin by establishing a system that ensures a fair, if not equal distribution of wealth amongst the people of the country. A stronger and more powerful tax collection system can contribute towards reversing the effect that has been brought in by pronounced income inequality. A mechanism for the redistribution of the accumulated wealth needs to be designed and implemented for quick and effective therapy of the minds who make it an eventuality to step into the criminal hood when their poor living conditions frustrate them.
Apart from the efforts of the government, all the non-governmental organizations and other powerful and well-endowed corporations should understand their responsibility towards society. They hold a strong economic position and indulge in an activity as well as a massive effort to bring peace and stability in the world that let them grow so big. Their role is crucial in the sense that there is not much a government can accomplish if it is not helped out by the rich and powerful members of its country (Trello). It is not only their monetary resources that can help them but along with that, it is their authority, their network, and the resource of knowledge which they obtained over years which they can employ for playing their much-needed role in the building of a prosperous, peaceful and content society.
No matter what words are used to give the title to a social issue, they all essentially boil down to being the same decades-old conflict that is the one between socialists and capitalists. The plight of most of the victims of any and all inequality gives rise to a generation of less impactful yet impactful and impressionable Karl Marx. Having said that, the correlation between wealth and crime is strong without a doubt, hence, finding a solution to this budding problem is necessary as well as greatly complex (Piorkowski). The responsibility for how it is shaped also needs to be accepted by all the members as well; having realized this, they need to amend their ways in which they contribute- making an effort to make it positive would, in the long run, be inexplicably beneficial not only for their own selves but also for the future generations to come.