In a recent blog piece, the otherwise reasonable Reason magazine got the Chicago violence story wrong.
In short, Reason was saying that things in Chicago are not bad … compared to other horrible places … and that violence is a lot less than at it’s peak.
The problem with this … errrr … reasoning is that by any measure, Chicago violence is off the charts and not doing as well as the nation. This first chart shows the trends. You notice that the rest of America is much safer than Chicago, and had I the time I could run the same series for other major metro areas and get similar results.
More to the point, most of Chicago’s “progress” echoes national trends (the second chart put the U.S. on a different axis so we can see trend tracked together). This means whatever minor good if happening in Chicago is likely unrelated to anything Chicago is doing.
The fact is that criminals still own much of Chicago, including much of City Hall. Until gangland mentality is roped or enough thugs go to jail for extended stays, it won’t get better.