Does poverty cause crime? Dennis explains why this claim is untrue and the reason oppression cannot be a valid excuse for criminal activity. This episode is sponsored by Colorado Christian University. Learn more at PragerU.com/CCU Submit a question to Fireside Chat here: https://www.prageru.com/fireside-chats/#ask-dennis
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hello, everybody I'm Dennis Prager. This is the fireside chats, that's the fireside, I'm the chat, that's the dog how's. Was he doing Otto arguably, as I have said in the past, but I should say this law and I wanted to hear a little conceded might be the best no dog in America. Today, not only America around the world. We are just look there. We got questions from all over the world, from Africa and from the Middle EAST from the Caribbean. Anyway, that's Otto, whose whose very special, but everybody thinks that Georgia Special is not the truth. I guess so it makes them. I guess everybody's doggie special. Although I'm telling you I want to do in our of radio once because I loved talk about everything. I'm I'm gonna ask people to call him if they, if they hate their pet.
I had a friend I have a friend have a dog, the east. Living? Thank God. But He hated his dog and his dog hated him loved his wife. But that they really, they really did each other's very funny. Actually, I won. How come- and that is at all in the world where people just don't like their dog or cat. Or what have you anyway. This is just you and me having chance to talk about life. What to my mind when they take questions from you and it's it's a very wonderful experience, I just want to remind you by the way that really. None of these are dated. So if you go back to episode seventeen it'll, be justice worthwhile I raise issues that are just really really worth
I believe from a lot of say that about my own ideas, but look I have to say about my own ideas. Let's, let's be honest, If I didn't think I had something important to say what might be a fool for fur. Taking up your time, anyway, you wouldn't spend the time so that that's that's the other, the other point, but anyway they are. Now wonder why just remind you before we begin. I am delighted to tell you that today's episode of fireside chats is spot you're by Colorado, Christian University, see see you on line, has partnered with Prager you'd offer adults the opportune to pursue an accredited degree taught with kids over devalues, see, see you on law and offers more than eighty academic programmes. Design specifically for adult learners classes. It see you online or only five weeks long. You can take one class, it time and still have the time for the rest of your life.
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I don't I'm not incendiary Emma thing, everybody who tweets incendiary, but I very careful with words and so Before I set out three, they want to be very careful, you're, you're, so limited in space, so you can't develop an idea. No words, it runs against in certain ways runs against my nature to do that, but I think it's important. So here is something I read in the New York Times today, so listen to this. It was The reason I read it. It was a very sad little headline it was like. Is the fish prohibition like page ten or something, and I think the headline was man shoots, waiter in in Paris or in France, because the waiter took too much time.
Which- and that really is the case- that's what happened. The guy get so angry item and also the carrying a gun. I mean which is pretty rare in in Europe, but it carrying a gun, shot the weighted dead So she got angry Adam for further what he thought was taking too long to deliver. The food so. I was interested in this case. It is just such a bizarre and said thing Then I came across this line. Listen to this an article today to two New York Times on a man who shot and killed a waiter in Paris described. Quote this: what the article describes the sand, they need a palpable more department, they, the inlet, looks like a region area. Oh how, from. These are divided on the issue skirts of we are poor. Social conditions have often
to crimes and social unrest and then Can you, with the article visual, This is one of those moments it to give away as to the left right difference in the world, the New York Times is on the left. The writer of the article takes it as a given that there is crime, it's because of poor social conditions. So I'm writing in my tweet. That, in a nutshell, is one of the major differences between the left and the right on the line They believe poverty causes crime on the right. We believe crime causes poverty. That is big when I was developing my think
One of the first things I ever ass myself- this is goes back as far as high school. Whenever I would hear anything. I would immediately myself does that make sense that was the like it was. It gets a building question since I was a child, does That makes sense. That's why I'm a big leave her in using reason why my Bible commentaries pull the rational Bible, I use reason to explain the Bible. That's why? If, even if you have no faith, I think it'll be hopefully one of the most important books you'll ever read, because it's got the so much wisdom in the Bible. Even if you're not a believer But I I I think something else to make sense. I really do
and so I remember hearing poverty causes crime. When I was a kid and so what was I remember? The first thing I thought I thought of my father's parents, reference to the United States from Russia, Russia, Poland and they were very poor essential, my father supported them. My grandfather, my I never knew he died when I was too. Unfortunately, I know my other grandparents, the other three he was a tailor. Tellers, don't make a lot of money to begin with. But he was a tailor during the depression, so he made he was unemployed. So my my father's mother, I don't know, if she work
for money. I know she did a lot of volunteer work and they were very poor and The first thing I thought of when I heard poverty causes crime. Now remember when people say poverty causes crime there from the violent crime nobody understands that if you don't have bread, you'll still bread and everybody understands it, that's acceptable. No, thinks it is, it is moral to starve to death. If, if you have access to to read that the very fact that societies letting starve to death means that there is some corruption involved, so I'm talking about I'm talking about and rape- and beatings and muggings and bank robbery, ok that's what I'm talking about. So the first thing I thought I was well of poverty causes crime.
Why can I not imagine my group parents, or particularly since mostly it's me, involving violence, it was in she to me that, grandfather the. Why didn't meet him. It was still inconceivable to me that he would. A bank or the woman or or a shoot somebody or what have you it was. It was inconceivable to me. And I thought I saw them. I said to myself: well Why is it inconceivable to me Dennis wisely? people to you, and then I can. With the answer that has stayed with me since I came up with the answer in my own mind in high school, because whose values it Shiva, that my grandfather would. It would have committed a violent crime because his values? Would not permit him to do so, and then I
I realise the obvious Cosette. Obvious people who hurt people, do so because of a values problem, not because of a financial problem. The notion that poverty causes crime is based. The marxist materialist view of life that Man materialist as in matter that that economic determines human behaviour that That is the essence of the left wing worldview economic determines behaviour, not values, That's why, if you actually to this day in America and I'm sure in Europe The blame murderers, especially if their a minority majority terms of race, ethnicity, if you blame them.
Then you are sort of blaming the victim is if the murderer is the victim of the murdered that's what you here all the time all your blaming the victim. But what are they pick them up? oh racism and poverty I don't. I don't understand that either again as a Jew. I thought about, while the racism, ok, well, the most enduring hatred in human history is Anti Semitism. If you want I wrote a book on a cold. Why the Jews, its imprinting, you can order it just. Translated last week into Hungarian and This is the most enduring hatred and history. Jews went through the most systematic oppression in the history of the world in the Holocaust One out of every three juice in Europe was sent to be to be murdered, including babies that there is
there have been all the horrors. Believe me. I document all these other horrors, I've a whole video on unwell. We want. We hate communism as much as not system, but there there- something unique about a modern just realized society taking people, From their homes and shipping them to death, it's, we really don't have quite such a parallel. Anything quite like industrialized murder? and so I was thinking Well- repression. Racism man makes causes you to commit crimes. Why didn't you go around murdering people after the Holocaust? That would That's the most obvious example. I mean they didn't. Even do even go run, shooting Germans. What once the Holocaust ended.
And then the answer is values. If you you, don't you dont murder, the that, you were oppressed, doesn't give you excuse to be a bad person. Any more than than your financial state. But here it is today's New York Times. Where am I put that she be? This: is today's New York Times in an article, in a throwaway line. That's the beauty of it. This is an opinion, peace, its news, peace, It happened on the outskirts of Paris, where poor social conditions of often let the crimes that it poorest Should the writer of this peace undoubtedly went to college with University overwhelmingly went to graduate school? That's what you learn.
Imagine, if can you imagine it wouldn't have even been printed in the New York Times on the outskirts of Paris, where lousy values have often lead to crimes. It will bear that. The editor, what a shit! What what are you nuts? What what? What are you right wing? That's what the editor at the New York Times would have written if the guy to written the truth where people. Crappy values heard other people It's about. It's is astonishing to me that that is controversial. That values determine the way you treat people not your financial state its, it's baseless, the assumption is baseless and, as I wrote with the poverty causes crimes specifically crying causes. Poverty.
Where there was a lot of crime. You get poverty, that's way it works and where people work hard and dont commit crimes that Community rises above poverty there, poverty, that's it act decently,. Treat your fellow human being honestly and decently. Get me before you have a child go to work, do an honest day's work. You will leave poverty. It is a guarantor it's, it's aggravating that the antithesis of truth is told as truth at the universities of the western world. Why do these people? I don't know what neighborhood? That is, I've, no idea! I don't know what it is ethnically I don't care, I don't care. If it's white, I don't care. If it's Muslim Otto CARE, whatever it is.
Whenever I just said is true and yes, crime, that's cause poverty, obvious reason: people don't want open stores. Where there's a lot of crime open stores you're, not gonna, have a thriving community right. Would you open store and in a crime written community notes of the community gets even poorer because What, if, tomorrow with every criminal and in it in a bad section of Amerika, any country they show. You know what we a lot of Prager you videos and we read the Bible and we decided that the we're gonna try to be good people. Place would believe poverty in ten years business This would move in banks would open it be a different world. This is what they believe at the New York Times. The well educated sex
or believe nonsense, truly nonsense and I The high school is, I knew my grandparents would never mug, never rape, never murder, etc. I just knew it and they were poor. Ok question: All right, first, one decision is our first for Mozambique. Good Milton twenty one years old, Maputo Mozambique high Dennis. I Milton. You know I gotta to it some of a high. Still, I don't it's it's a gift of my nature from either go, our genes, I never lose getting excited. I'm never jaded our rapid jaded bone in my body.
To sit here and my home and talk to people in Mozambique and Jamaica and France in Serbia and Uruguay and Australia, and and for that matter, five five streets for me is is. Is it is a wonderful thing? It's it's a blessing. I am I I really do appreciate it high Dennis considering countries like Singapore and China that are thriving economically, but a political systems that are far from the democracy of the. U S. Would you agree that a good dictatorship? with its leaders doing well in leaving their countries is better than a bad democracy where people can choose poorly the fate of their own countries thanks. My question: while this is a very age old question, Milton a benevolent democracy
then an inefficient democracy is it is. I did. I say Evelyn democracy, not benevolent dictatorship, is a benevolent. Dictatorship better than a poorly, shining democracy. It can be if you a truly terrific, a leader who is not democratic. Then good work for a period of time that I mean to deny that to deny reality, but I'm am opposed to it. Because it still not free. I don't we value the material, I vow. You freedom. I ran or be free and poor, then rich and on free- It's like all these years. They thought the left this it was extolling the cuban Revolution and why the things that they site
oh yeah. Well Castro withdrew its not of its not a free country but there's a percent literacy rate, attire illiteracy, literacy rate than even in America. And I remember saying from the beginning- I rather be illiterate and free than literate and the communist country- can't read anything I want role. I could read out the works of marks and Lenin and and and Castro it's it's but this this goes to my point: people don't value. Liberty live. I've said this now, four years, people value being taken care of more than a value freedom, liberty is a value, not an instinct being taken care of is an instinct.
So yes, a theoretically the trains could run on time and you know something This thrive Communist China is a better example that Singapore, Singapore, I freer than the Communist China there's no comparison, but yes, by the way over the long run, it's not gonna work. If that even the economy of China is not going to work at end, it rooted in so much corruption, both in China and internationally? I am not optimistic for China. The events of Hong Kong, which I ought to talk to one of these times, is very very important. But that's the answer. Look Churchill set of Churchill said a vision. It's a very famous quote. What is it that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others? That's true.
And by the way democracy can in fact create the sea. Of its own destruction and Tell you one one reason, and, what I fear for the United States on this issue, other quote honour knows not Churchill, but I don't remember who it is, but it and I'm not getting it right, but this is on paraphrasing the day, people somebody so this a long time ago, the day people realise that they could vote. Into power people. We'll give them money. The end of society, that's what happening in the United States, an end to a certain extent in Europe. Certainly. That's never forget when the George W Bush was running for president yet public forum. It was on television. I was watching it, some woman got up and she said Mr Bush, if you elected
What will you do for me? It was so painful that question. First of all, I realized boy in America deteriorated. I was little boy when John Kennedy was elected in- and I remember him saying, the famous words asked not watch it. We can do for you asked what you could do for your country and every I thought it was. A great line now it's ask what your country can do for you In fact? No shame by the way. I thought, as always think this. How would I answer? why were running for office? Sorry, member of the tide faking, this is what I would say MA am nothing. I will do nothing for you. I will do a great deal for America, but I will do nothing For you, I know I lost your vote
You know where I stand. That's what I would say. I think a lot of people would appreciate that, but a lot of people wouldn't. So democracy is a real problem because that's what that's what the left is vote for us will give you money, simple? As that. Give you more and more and more and more bore more benefits. What was I just reading was. Is it? Is it the Atlantic region or which city they now give all Kids in school breakfast and. I am totally opposed to that totally parents have to give their children food. If a parent can't feed their child, then We have to figure out. Why me they're very ill and they need to be helped. Maybe there On drugs, which case the kids might have He raised elsewhere,
I don't know why that is a rather basic parental obligation to feed your own children. It is now up the societies obligation to feed your children Is yours and you can feed your children for really really cheap. For very little money. It is not. It is incredible. How cheap food is. In the United States, laugh at it, but you can in fact be helpfully Mcdonalds very little money don't get a big MAC, get get the girl get grill chicken and don't let the bun you'll be doing fine, get the Berger, don't don't get the bun, don't don't get it stack tie up with the with mayonnaise and stuff. And it's really inexpensive. If you can't afford a feud course per meal. The thing is awry. We gotta figure out what it is, but the school should not be doing what
Does it undermines parents and that's terrible all right? There was the democracy question Jacob twenty or Wings Mills Maryland. I then I'm a huge fan of your show. Thank you open continues for a long time. What's the plan My question is: do you have any opinions that are not rational? I don't think so. I have tastes there. Completely irrational, why I prefer lets a tie food too to chinese food them at that, but they are there. That's that's, that's not rational. I acknowledge, of course not. There's a whole realm o in. Why why refer this
he should music to that piece of music. I have tremendous number of of, if you will. Ok I'll use opinions, but on on issues I do believe I have any that are not rational. That is why, if you can show me where I dont meet the criteria of reason, I may change my mind. Reason is not enough. However. People think that reason is enough and therefore you don't need God or by your values, reason reason is reason is indispensable, but not sufficient It is reasonable, a purely rational purely rational grounds. It is reasonable not to and a lot of money on a nineteen year old who were sick justice, but there but there there infinitely valuable a ninety year old Human, so
spend the money if we, if we drop, all public assistance. The economy could be booming, but it's not moral. There has to be some public assistance by the we. Every conservative knows that there has to be some public assistance, but we don't believe in free breakfast and lunches. Marco twenty Belgrade, Serbia, I was Belgrade when it was Yugoslavia before you were born when Stuck in a rut, how do you climb out of it and pull yourself back together? It's a toughie. It's very easy to get into a run. Iran is a bad habit, is fair to say that more or less anonymous right. I don't
does he mean emotional wrought or run of of lousy behaviour Means emotional right, ok! Well! This is what. This is what I do when I get unhappy, and I wrote a book Happiness Roy, I am lecture nominal lot. It's very important subject the first thing that I do am blessed I'm. Essentially I worked on it in my nature, is towards the happy. But whenever I ve gotten unhappy whenever even still in a bad mood, I ask myself immediately. Why am I in in this rod? Why am I in this bad mood and I will not rest until I figure out why
I I have two choices: do something about it or accept that it is part of life or am I can change the famous twelve step thing Oh God give me the wisdom to distinguish between what I can change in what I can't change and when I can't change enable me to accept. But if you can't change first, you have to figure out why you're in IRAN that it otherwise is no way out. Now, by the way, in some cases it might be biochemical and you will need in oh Anne antidepressant if that's what you're? Referring to I why original response was wrought is just a series of recurring destructive behaviour that so I'll deal with that, maybe another time but number.
One is. You must figure out why and I'm a big behaviorist if you start acting a if you start acting happy, you will be happier if you start acting good. You will be happier if you I can't believe that people are happier watching a lot of video. The rich video games, or television or internet fun is good in. Small doses in big doses, it doesn't make people happier so very interesting thing. It sort of like salt. A little salt on food is fantastic. A lot of salt on food is awful. So that's how I look at fund have other views on financing.
Both happiness is a serious problem. Chad forties how we do it on time. That's thirty! Ok,. All right well, then, in light of that so many good ones. I want to end up with this Abdulla Do Lilla ICE Abdullah, I guess that's out twenty two with a mom Saudi Arabia, Ireland was silent. Mister, Denis I'm a muslim person. Have you ever. The Holy Koran, why or why not Actually, you will be surprised to know I studied Islam. Am I studied Arabic? and while very slowly. I can. I can read a well clearly printed version of it. Run or of allow for that matter. I dont understand most of it. I admit it my vocabulary. Never developing.
I did study for three years arabic Am I read much? I didn't read all of the Koran. I'm read much of it and it's it's totally interesting question that you posed. Does she probably want to know my reaction? I don't think he's just asking that I read it and I know that a lot of us I believe that if a non Muslim reads the Koran, they will almost inevitably become a Muslim, and I appreciate your love and reverence for the Koran. But I dont assume that I have read the new testament and I'm not a Christian. Their people of red, the old testament than a jewish people can deeply appreciate others wholly texts and not necessarily become a member of that religion, but I will tell you one thing that you'll find of interest a woman
or by radio show many many years ago, and she said- Dennis I'm a Muslim, and I would like to know why aren't you a Muslim. And I told her- I really am touched that she would ask us. It means that she thinks I think these things through, and I Complemented by the question actually, Does the answer that I gave her, I said I can answer you in a nutshell. Islam in Arabic means submit to God, I'm a Jew, Israel, the name of my people, Religiously, Israel means struggle with God I the struggle with God, then submit to God. And she said thank you as a good answer. She was very touched by
because it makes sense to her and And it makes it I would still stand by that by that answer. In many many ways obvious. In the final analysis I submit the God, but I spend a much of my time also ongoing lies are so much suffering. Maybe I should talk about that want to be good good topic. Anyway, I began with this issue of of this poverty or bad values, cause crime. It's a very two, very big so what can I remind you if you want to Know- by the way where I'm luxury I lecture in a lot of places, go to where's Dennis at Dennisprager dot com- and I know I wanted Montreal coming up on happiness. Interesting Lee enough- might want to check that out of a big evening with Ravi Zacharias coming up in Colorado springs.
So there's a lot of stuff coming up and I do wonder remind you that. My my my major work that I'm involved in his way. Rational Bible, too, of the five volumes of come out Genesis an exodus. I think your love whatever your religion, so until next time on behalf of Otto and everybody the Prager household. Thank you so much for watching see them.
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Transcript generated on 2020-04-24.