I wish I had written this. An old link but still worth reading.
The canard that “poverty causes crime” is the product of lazy correlation. We associate crime with poverty because criminals are so often poor. However, the association is an inversion – people don’t become drug-addicted thieves because they’re poor – they’re poor because they’re drug-addicted thieves.
If poverty were a root cause of crime, the six-figure executive wouldn’t embezzle, the limo-driven politician wouldn’t defraud. There’d be an income threshold at which crime was no longer “necessary” for survival. Poverty and ruin are simply possible consequences when high-risk, high-return windfall economics trump morality, honesty and the work ethic.
What the white-collar criminal and inner-city gang member have in common is something quite different, and it’s unrelated to birthright or economic misfortune.
What they share is a sense of entitlement. They have convinced themselves (through varying measures of rationalization and socialization) that they are entitled to our money, our property, our lives.