Answering Ben Stein’s Question

Ben Stein published a pretty awful editorial defending Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF head arrested for sexual assault. Now, I don’t disagree with him about the presumption of innocence, but the rest of the article effectively argues that smart, rich people simply don’t commit crimes. In particular, he says this:

In life, events tend to follow patterns. People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes?

On a whim, I just did a little research, and couldn’t believe what I found.  Guess who holds an economics degree?

Paul Bernardo.

For those not familiar with the case, Bernardo is one of the nastiest serial killers in history. He and his wife drugged, raped, and tortured to death a number of schoolgirls in the late 80′s and early 90′s. The story is the stuff of nightmares.

I’ll leave the debate over the rest of Mr. Stein’s article to others. But as for his suggestion that studying economics precludes becoming a violent sex criminal, it seems history provides one hell of a counterexample.

Edit: James Urbaniak has a list of some other economists involved in sex crimes.

299 thoughts on “Answering Ben Stein’s Question

  1. I was surprised to find out that Ben Stein was a conservative, I heard him speak in 2004. Not saying that’s a bad thing.

  2. Ben was talking in general. If you took all of the people in jail. The majority of them would be poorer people. Kinda like your serial killer mention where as the majority of them are white 30 to 40 years old

  3. The disproportionate number of poor people in jail has little to do with who commits crime. It’s mostly a product of competent representation at multiple levels (political and legal). Of course, there are some crimes much more likely to be committed by the poor, but it isn’t a divide of violent versus non-violent. Also, I would guess that better educated and wealthier people are less likely to get caught.

  4. another to add
    Burger, 37, a former Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. employee who graduated from Princeton University with a degree in economics, avoided a jury trial by taking the plea deal offered by the state and pleading guilty to a lesser felony charge.

  5. ay is, perhaps, the best western movie about Budhism.
    He is born, lives and dies everyday, over and over untill ove

  6. For those not familiar with the case, Bernardo is one of the nastiest serial killers in history. He and his wife drugged, raped, and tortured to death a number of schoolgirls in the late 80′s and early 90′s. The story is the stuff of nightmares.

  7. I intended to draft you this bit of remark in order to say thank you once again for the pretty guidelines you’ve documented here. It is quite strangely open-handed of you to present unhampered precisely what a lot of people could have made available as an electronic book to generate some cash for themselves, and in particular now that you could have tried it if you decided…

  8. The other outfits is still up in the air. I’ll keep it begin for the next One 7 days or two, and if you want to provide me a aspect of fashionable and easily-executed. Download drivers

  9. Regional supplier Tonar Sectors (www.tonar.com) is advertising new items from Cornell Dubilier. The maker extended its line of SPCX and SPSX surface-mount metal polymer capacitors. check this site out

  10. Add to that Burton’s unparalleled imagination in juxtaposing scenes among the living and scenes among the dead. As many other reviews note these wipers do miss a spot on the lower right passenger side but it is not a big issue. The instructions said to insert the bit until it bottoms out and then pull it out about 1/8” and tighten down. My former kettle developed a short in the on/off switch. He develops a friendship with Capote and lets him interview the killers. My missing part was at my door in 4 days. I can’t eat popcorn anymore, for example. The information is compelling, and if research is done, you’ll find a great many things are made clear. The problem with the powerrods is that they are not equivalent to lifting weights in terms of force. I’m a pretty skinny guy, I have always been so gaining weight has been challenging for a couple of reasons.

  11. Now LDL is routinely measured every time someone gets a complete physical, and dietary changes or prescription medication is recommended to high risk individuals long before they have a heart attack. I can’t imagine why it’s this long. Its like fanning lavender air freshner in your face. all of these for sale

  12. This is the technique IRC applications and forums usually take. You allocate a few ‘good’ individuals who can deal with interference as it happens, by muting, tossing, barring, or changing content as need be. http://cheapestflights.to/london/

  13. A good informative post that you have shared and appreciate your work for sharing the information. Got some interesting information and would like to give it a try. Appreciate your work and keep sharing your information.

  14. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  15. The End of Development is probably the most important info of the season. What do we do? We place landscapes, notify our kids to lawn, support low-income people to gardenMany of us are more familiar with what’s on TV than with what’s sneaking. her explanation

  16. Un buon messaggio informativo che avete condiviso e apprezzare il vostro lavoro per la condivisione delle informazioni.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>