Econ Seminar Essay #3

Econ Seminar Essay #3 - Wyatt McCallum Law and Lack of...

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Wyatt McCallum Law and Lack of Order Crime is a fact of life. We’ve all seen the law being broken before, and it’s not a stretch to say most of us have done some breaking. However, the majority of lawbreaking is done by the poor or the destitute, those who need money or drugs or have some other motive for their actions. The rest of America is composed of law-abiding citizens for the most part, and the richest of us don’t have much of a motive for committing crimes when they can buy anything they want. There is one notable exception to this correlation of wealth of crime that we can see, and that is crime among professional athletes. Of course, most athletes are law-abiding citizens as well, and one of the reasons it seems like so many athletes commit crimes is because every one of their actions is scrutinized by the media. Still, the mere presence of crime among these superstars is surprising, as well as the nature of the crimes committed. With their vast amounts of wealth, they have no monetary incentive to run illegal businesses or steal from anyone, and if they do commit crimes the costs will be even higher because they could lose their high social status as athletes. If they were to commit crimes consistent with the rest of their tax bracket, we would also expect them to be “white collar” crimes, which deal more with the falsification of accounting records than any kind of violence. Athletes go against this trend as well. From dog fighting rings to pulling guns in nightclubs, they tend to commit crimes consistent with lower classes, when the benefits associated with these crimes seem small while the costs seem huge. The reasons for this disparity aren’t readily apparent. The fact that first jumps to mind is that most athletes grew up much poorer than they are now. This means that those athletes who didn’t come from lower socioeconomic levels shouldn’t be committing crimes. Unfortunately, this also isn’t true. Athletes that didn’t have rough childhoods have also committed crimes that seem beneath them, from Josh Hamilton experimenting with drugs to O.J Simpson holding up
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2012 for the course ECON 110 taught by Professor Martinzelder during the Fall '10 term at Northwestern.

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Econ Seminar Essay #3 - Wyatt McCallum Law and Lack of...

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