Property Grunt

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Crime Time

It could get this dramatic.

Real estate and crime are always connected. A high crime rate can lower real estate values and a low crime rate usually raises it. Depending on who you are and what your objectives are, that could a good or bad thing. For instance, if you your trying to sell and your neighborhood is considered the closest thing to the Gaza strip, it is going to be a hard to close a deal. However, if you are an investor in distressed properties and you see indications that a neighborhood with a really high crime rate is about enter the initial phase of gentrification, then it would be to your advantage to buy the property while prices are low.

It would not be an exaggeration to state that there is a possible return to the bad old days the 70’s. Already bank robberies have gone up, a there have also been a series of high profile muggings in the West Village.

I have been in the process of putting together a series of entries on dealing with crime and have decided to use comments from my reader, Miserly Bastard who presented his opinions on Vincent Who. Feel free to read them if you want.

He makes some very important points about safety that I think that people should take heed especially during these times. I don’t agree with all of them but I think they are of merit and I would like to elaborate on them.

Unfortunately there are nearly an infinite amount of topics one can cover with crime. However, for this particular series, please keep the following two factors in mind.

One of my favorite writers on self-defense is a gentleman by the name Marc "Animal" MacYoung. He does not hold any degrees from Harvard, nor is he someone you see on the talk shows. He is what I call the Eric Hoffer of self-defense because he is an autodidactic and he has alifetime of experience dealing with violent situations. As far as I know, he is who he is. The online martial arts community is extremely meticulous to the point of fanatical when it comes to the due diligence of martial arts experts and so far he has passed muster.

What I really enjoy about Macyoung's work is that he takes a very scientific approach on the principles of self-defense. On his website he presents information on the legal and the psychological aspects of self-defense. Self defense is not just knowing how to physically defeat an attacker, but when to employ that technique and understanding the other issues that are associated with self-defense which Macyoung covers with great detail. He is not trying selling his particular brand of self neither defense techniques nor is he promoting that one needs to kick ass and take names in order to survive on street. In fact he is a person who promotes avoidance of violent confrontations when possible. And yes. I will be quoting him through out this series.

One of the topics he recently covered was on stress violence and the economy.

Economy and Stress Violence
It is a simple truth that when the economy is bad, crime goes up.
On the surface one would think: Economic hard times = more robberies and burglaries. Except that isn't the whole picture. In fact, that's just a small percentage of bad economy = more crimes. While 'For-Profit Crimes' (what we call criminal violence) do go up, what goes through the roof are behaviors -- that while illegal -- are not necessarily criminal in intent.

In these economic hard times, you're going to see a lot more of what we call 'stress violence.'

Violence become more common as people's stress level go up. Fights, homicides, rapes, drunk driving, road rage, assaults, domestic violence, ALL go up as people with poor coping skills come under more and more stress. And economic hard times are very stressful.

I do concur with this. Right now people are stressed out their f**King minds and it sure isn’t going to get any better. In fact all indicators show that 2009 is going to be the worse for all of us. Stress violence is unfortunately going top play a key role in our lives.

The New York Times recently an article on teaching children manners and the consequences of not doing so when these children become adults, below are some experts.

Making Room for Miss Manners Is a Parenting Basic

It’s always popular — and easy — to bewail the deterioration of manners; there is an often quoted (and often disputed) story about Socrates’ complaining that the young Athenians have “bad manners, contempt for authority.” Sure, certain social rubrics have broken down or blurred, and sure, electronic communication seems to have given adults as well as children new ways to be rude. But the age-old parental job remains.
And that job is to start with a being who has no thought for the feelings of others, no code of behavior beyond its own needs and comforts — and, guided by love and duty, to do your best to transform that being into what your grandmother (or Socrates) might call a mensch. To use a term that has fallen out of favor, your assignment is to “civilize” the object of your affections.

And of course, one of the long-term consequences of being a rude child is being a rude adult — even a rude doctor. There are bullies on the playground and bullies in the workplace; it can be quite disconcerting to encounter a mature adult with 20 or so years of education under his belt who still sees the world only in terms of his own wants, needs and emotions: I want that so give it to me; I am angry so I need to hit; I am wounded so I must howl.

This type of bulls**t is what New York City particularly Manhattan is well known for. And in the next coming years it is going to be coming out in spades. A lot more people are going to demand “What about me?” “What about my needs?” There is going to more of a “F**k you” attitude going around.

Growing up, I have had more than my fair share of self-entitled douchebags who felt they could do and say what they want because of mommy and daddy’s money. These types of individuals are going to have a lot of company because everyone are hurting right now and these self-entitled individuals are going see that the world does not give a damn about them.

So don’t be surprised about fights breaking out because of the inconsiderate acts of one person or someone getting stabbed for being an a**hole. The sad fact is that the selfish nature of human beings is going to be rearing its ugly head during these times. Add a little stress violence to the mix and things start to get really interesting.