Essay On Levitt And Dubner's Freakonomics

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What is utilitarianism? Utilitarianism is the belief that the best moral action is one that focuses on overall happiness of the group rather than happiness of individuals. In the chapter “Where Have All the Criminals Gone?” in Levitt & Dubner’s book “Freakonomics”, adopts a utilitarian tone whilst taking at look the drastic drop in crime in the 1990’s. This tone is reflected most heavily while topics of an increased police force, gun regulations, and abortion are discussed. One of the explanations for the crime rate drop in the 1990’s is an increase in the number of police officers. Levitt and Dubner show that this was an effective stratagem by looking at crime rates in locations where the police force increased as opposed to cities where …show more content…

Staring in the 1900’s abortion in the US was outlawed. Levitt and Dubner state that less fortunate parents raising children were likely to raise children that have higher chances of becoming criminals. Abortion was legalized in the 1970’s, meaning that children more likely to grow into criminals were less likely to be born. This translates to the 1990’s when problem children would have been born in the 70’s should be prime age for criminal activity. By never being born, crime rated dropped. However, this option is not utilitarian. This is shown when Levitt and Dubner write “Even for someone who considers a fetus to be worth only one one-hundredth of a human being, the trade-off between higher abortion and lower crime is, by an economist’s reckoning, terribly inefficient” (144). The loss of those fetuses greatly outweighs benefits of lower crime rates making it a non-utilitarian answer to crime. In their book, Levitt and Dubner take a utilitarian tone while discussing topics of increased police numbers, gun restriction, the legalization of abortion and the role they play in reducing crime rates in the 1990’s. Should utilitarianism be implemented in more government

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