Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On Correlation, unemployment

Want to open a restaurant in Racine? Before doing so, understand that our elected officials think you will be contributing to Racine's crime problem in doing so. So to dampen your entreprenurial ambitions, and to counteract the harm you will bring to our community, they will tax you $10,000.

The issue here is liquor licenses. The city voted last night to reintroduce the $10,000 tax, or more accurately, to discontinue the $9,500 rebate that they had been issuing for the licenses.

According to a brief JT article, Alderman Aron Wisneski said it will help the city in that "people say the crime rate is too high and there is a direct correlation between alcohol and crime."

There may well be a correlation between alcohol and crime and if so, then there is also a correlation between criminals and alcohol consumption. Since alcohol will still be sold in Racine, criminals who wish to drink before their crime binges will still have every opportunity to do so. Reducing criminal activity will be accomplished by locking up criminals, not by discouraging business start ups with oppressive taxes.

On a positive note, it is good that Alderman Wisneski is interested in correlation. My suggestion would be to look into any correlation between policies that discourage entrepreneurship and unemployment rates.


Anonymous said...

We were at Salute's the other night. We had a wonderful dinner but made the mistake of having a glass of red wine with dinner so we ended up going to Target, bought ski masks and robbed a convemience store.

BradK said...

Here's an interesting thought...

If there is in fact a direct correlation between alcohol and crime - and lets for a moment concede that Ald. Wisneski meant the "consumption of alcoholic beverages" so that we can reasonably exclude the rubbing alcohol infused in the wet-nap I use to wipe my face after a delicious Bar-B-Q chicken wing at Famous Dave's - could you then extrapolate that a concentration of people consuming alcohol directly correlates to a higher rate of crime in and around said concentration.

Following this thought - then if we have fewer bars / alcohol-serving restaurants, then the people who go out and drink are concentrated in less places. If they are in less places, then the concentration is likely higher than if they were spread out across more bars / alcohol-serving restaurants, thus increasing the likelihood of a higher crime rate in and around those establishments.

To sum up, if we had MORE bars and alcohol-serving restaurants, then the corollary would suggest consumption would be more spread out (seeing as we have to assume demand is pretty constant... the number of bars in an area does not affect the number of people that want to drink) then - following Ald. Wisneski's logic - the number of crimes would not be affected, but the rate of crime in any given area would be lessened due to smaller numbers of people-per-alcohol-serving-establishment.

So, increase number of bars, reduce rate of crime in a given area, and you get the bonus of reducing customers per bar and affecting local bar owner livelyhood! It's a win-win-win for all... or is that a lose-lose-lose... or maybe a win-lose-win... or is it...


Denis Navratil said...

It is not the wine that caused the crime anon, it's the ski mask. I propose a ban on the sale of ski masks.

Denis Navratil said...

Brad, your comments reminded me of my bafflement at the attempts to close down the bars who's patrons commit crimes. Isn't it helpful for law enforcement if they know in advance where the crimes will occur. Instead, they punish the innocent proprieter and send the criminals hither and yon to torment other establishments.

BradK said...


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