Letters from the Lunar Outpost

True dignity is never gained by place, and never lost when honors are withdrawn.
- Philip Massinger, English Dramatist (1583-1640)

Indicating the sleet that clicked against the window, Father Bill said, “I don’t remember an October quite as cold as this.”

John nodded. “They say it’s be a short autumn, early winter.”

“I suppose weather doesn’t make a difference in your business.”

“Homicide, you mean? The murder rate rises slightly in extreme heat, diminishes slightly in extreme cold. At the end of the year, we’ve been as busy as ever.”

“And busier in hard times like these.”

“Actually, the homicide rate usually falls significantly during hard times, then rises when prosperity returns.”

Frowning, Father Bill said, “That seems counterintuitive.”

“It stumps everyone from the theorists to guys like me in the trenches. But that’s how it is.”

“What the Night Knows” – Dean Koontz, 2010

This passage caught my attention because just a couple days earlier, I had heard it on the news that Los Angeles’ murder rate had dropped to a four decade low.

Did a little googling and found that sure enough, across the entire nation, crime was down during this prolonged recession for the third year in a row.

Tough times, less crime? It does indeed seem counterintuitive, but definitely something to be thankful for.

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