This is one of those things that deserves so much more attention from the press…
Basically, we are experiencing a huge decline in burglaries on United States in the last 30 years. Since 1980 burglary rates are down by almost half.
Just to give an idea of how significant this is: The drop in property crimes — which outnumber violent crimes by 7 to 1 — has been so large that the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and Canada now have overall crime rates as high as that in the United States, and just as many criminals per capita.
Now of course, no one is 100% sure why this is happening. Some say things like neighborhood watches and new house security systems are making the difference. I tend to believe in another explanation: prosperity. Manufactured items are so cheaper and accessible that now it is really not worth it to break and enter a home to rob a TV, DVD or whatever.
That just shows how this whole debate on poverty and inequality is bogus. Wealth and quality of life have been increasing tremendously in many ways that are hard to measure. A poor person today has a much more comfortable life than a poor person in the 70s, and there is no easy way to measure that.
Thieves know better.