Yesterday, a facebook acquaintance whose circle of friends, I believe, is almost entirely comprised of people who think the same politically, informed me that, as Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani was “a joke”.

I responded by saying:

How can I take you seriously when you tell me that a Republican elected mayor twice in a vastly Democrat city is seen as a joke by the Democrats who twice elected him? If you want to talk facts instead of ridiculous slogans, I suggest you look at the crime statistics, and economic health of NYC before Giuliani took office versus after he left. Especially the murder rate.

As you can see, I didn’t even bother trying to educate this person on Mr. Giuliani’s performance after 9/11.  You cannot reason with people who do nothing but recite talking points they exchange, while nodding agreement with each other, on issues they don’t have to think about anymore (no need to think about what everyone is nodding agreement with).

But for people who do think, it occurred to me that they might want to see those statistics.  So here they are:

  • 50% drop in overall crime
  • 70% drop in murder
  • 23.4% drop in rape
  • 29.9% drop in felony assault
  • 54.6% drop in robbery
  • 53.2% drop in burglary
  • 40.0% drop in grand larceny
  • 61.2% drop in car thefts
  • The City’s homicide rate is at its lowest level since 1964.
  • According to FBI statistics, between 1993 and 1997, NYC crime reduction accounted for a full 25 percent of the nation’s drop in crime.

Impressive?  Obviously yes.  But what about the possibility that, as great as those numbers look, they might be just part and parcel of an overall national trend at the time.  In other words, crime might have been down everywhere, with New York, under Giuliani, just coming along for the ride.

In answer, let me point out that FBI statistics show, during Rudy Giuliani’s first term in office, New York City, with its population of about 8 million out of about 265 million at that time,  accounted for 25% of the total national drop in crime.

Less than 3% of the country’s population, but 25% of the crime reduction.

If that is a joke, it’s a damn good one.

Rudy Giuliani must be one helluva comic.

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