Monday, January 31, 2011

"Anybody know the murder rate in, say, Berlin?"

We know. Strange title. We'll explain.

It isn't uncommon for boneheads to challenge us to debates and claim, when we don't take the bait, that it's because we can't refute their arguments. They fail to realize that on issues of history, for example, there is no debate. They could argue the Holocaust didn't happen until their blue in the face; they might as well argue that the world is actually flat, or that the tides are caused by a giant getting in and out of the ocean while taking a bath. Objective, verifiable truth. Sorry, you lost the debate even if you refuse to acknowledge it.

Of course, the go to refutation of the boneheads who read this blog is usually to ask a variation of the rhetorical question, "why are you so gay?"

Well, we could poll the members of the collective who are gay, but we suspect that the reason why they're gay, without going into detail, is because they are attracted to members of the same sex. Easy.

Still, we sometimes feel that we should at least engage our bonehead readers when they stumble on what is as close to a legitimate question as they can come up with. Such is the case when Tom Winnicki posted the following on VNN:

This isn't a a question without an agenda. It has been Winnicki's contention that Toronto is a festering, crime infested hell-hole, primarily because of the ethnic diversity of the city. The UN actually once named Toronto as the most ethnically diverse city on the planet, so the likes of Winnicki would like nothing more than to prove that a "White Nationalist" government would end "ethnic crime" once and for all, as evidenced by these posts:

We assume that he chose Berlin, in large part, because he believes that the city is much less diverse than Toronto and thus has a much lower murder rate (he uses homicide as his prime indicator). So, out of curiosity, we decided to try and answer Winnicki's question form him.

Unfortunately, given our limited German, we were unable to find the most recent numbers, but we were able to find numbers from 2007. During that year, the city of Berlin had a murder rate of 2.05 murders /100,000 people. While not diminishing the murders that did occur (a single murder is one too many), this is indeed a very low murder rate for a city of Berlin's size. So, how does Toronto compare?

We decided that it would be best to compare apples and apples, so we looked at the Statistics Canada numbers from 2007 for our comparison:

Yep, in 2007, the Toronto murder rate, for all intents and purposes, was the same as Berlin's, although the rate had been lower in 2006 and the 1996 - 2006 average was lower yet. And if our readers believe that the 2007 numbers represented a trend upwards, it actually appears to be the anomaly when examining the 2008 and 2009 numbers:

Yep, in 2009, the Toronto murder rate, that hotbed of ethnic violence, had a murder rate of 1.61 murders / 100,000 people. In fact, it may very well be that the 2010 numbers will be even lower. Despite Toronto growing by more than 100,000 people last year, there was actually a decline in the total number of homicides (Winnicki himself notes that there were 60 murders in 2010).

Actually, looking at other numbers, there have been times when the Canada wide murder rate has been less than that of Germany's and other European countries as well:

To be fair though, the next year Canada's murder rate had increased slightly while the German murder rate declined to being less than that of Canada's. However the objective reality is that in economically strong democratic states with secure social safety nets, crimes such as murder really do tend to be relatively low, in spite of the media attention payed to the relatively infrequent (though no less tragic) cases that do occur annually. Still, it is a bit of a nail in the coffin for Winnicki to argue that diversity = high murder rates.

Or, is it? Berlin is actually fairly ethnically diverse as well, though not as much as Toronto. Perhaps Winnicki will attempt to argue the more homogeneous states of Eastern Europe, such as his mother country Poland, Russia or the Baltic states will be better off, as they are composed primarily of "White" Europeans. Craig Cobb seems to have thought so, which is one of the reasons he moved to Estonia (another reason was to find an Estonian bride; sadly for Cobb, Estonian's seem to have a more refined taste in men and don't seem to go for, "bat fucking insane"). It's not uncommon for Winnicki to praise the White Nationalist movement in Eastern Europe which he believes, for all intents and purposes, has already helped to create White Nationalist homelands.

So, how does Eastern Europe stand up?

Not so well, as the following graphs indicate:

So, although Winnicki believes that homogeneous states and cities will have less crime (as evidenced by the homicide rate) than ethnically diverse states and cities, the opposite appears to be true.

Interesting, though we would point out that there are many other factors that lead to higher, or lower, crime and homicide rates than the ethnic diversity of a community (the evidence suggests that ethnic diversity is, in fact, a non-issue).

Will this stop Winnicki from making this argument? Hell no! As with Holocaust denial, he won't let minor details like facts get in the way of his hatred.

UPDATE: Well, it certainly didn't take long for the boneheads to try and rehabilitate Winnicki's argument. Get a load of this:
But how much bigger is Toronto than Berlin? If Berlin was made up of, for example, 300,000 people and has a rate of 2/100,000 then that would be 6 murders a year. But if Toronto has 1,000,000 and 1.5/100,000 it would be 15 murders, over twice the amount.  
So just because a place has more of a murder rate, doesn't mean it has more murders and trying to discard Winniki's information didn't necessarily work out.
Yeah. Berlin isn't 300,000 people. As of March 2010, Berlin's metro population was roughly 5,000,000 people and the city was 3,440,441. By comparison, Toronto's population was 2,503,281 as per the last census (with a metro population of 5,113,149, though we imagine the 2010 numbers will push the metro numbers to around 5.6 million).

You obviously use the Internet. Did it occur to you to perhaps do a simple web search before deciding to leap into the fray?

As for the rest of your argument, well, we'll leave our readers to make fun of you because you made it way, way too easy.


Mr.Cobb said...

But how much bigger is Toronto than Berlin? If Berlin was made up of, for example, 300,000 people and has a rate of 2/100,000 then that would be 6 murders a year. But if Toronto has 1,000,000 and 1.5/100,000 it would be 15 murders, over twice the amount.
So just because a place has more of a murder rate, doesn't mean it has more murders and trying to discard Winniki's information didn't necessarily work out.

Tomaz said...

Wow, you guys just have too much time on your hands. Guess working for a livin' just isn't neo-communist enough. Don't worry, hard working Nazi's will support you as you stumble through what you call life.

Oh, you ever get your useless kids back? Didn't think so, shitheads.

Anonymous said...

Oh Winnicki, you're such a clever little elf (in your own mind). Too bad the opposite sex doesn't see it that way.

Anonymous said...

Well Mr Cobb, Berlin has a population of 3.4 million and Toronto's is around 2.7 million. So to answer your question Toronto is not bigger than Berlin at all. So Toronto's murder rate is smaller both in terms of per capita and overall. That does pose some problems for your defense of Winnicki's position.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore Mr. Cobb I think you have an at best shaky grasp of how statistics work. They look at things like crime rates in a per capita way so as to determine the likelihood of something happening regardless of the population. You take an overall rate and divide it by the population to determine the chances of something happening to an individual.

In simple terms if you lived somewhere where there is a population of 5 people and one is going to get killed vs a place with 100 people where 2 are going to get killed where are you more likely to get killed? Sure twice as many people are going to die in the bigger place but there's only a 2% chance of being one of those people versus a 20% chance of being the lone person killed in the smaller population.

Yet you seem to be arguing that you're safer in the smaller place just because the overall number of murder victims is larger in the larger population. This in spite of the fact that you are 10 times as likely to be the murder victim in the smaller place. That makes no sense at all.