Crime Statistics and The Village
By Bryan Caplan
[Warning: Spoilers for a 2004 movie].
At the end of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, we discover a bizarre conspiracy: In the 1970s, a group of people whose loved ones were murdered move to the middle of nowhere in order to recreate a simpler, safer time. Under the guidance of a history professor/billionaire, they pretend they’re in the 19th-century, and raise a new generation with the Big Lie that they are in the 19th-century.
The irony is that the historian’s history was way off. Here’s Alex Tabarrok on U.S. homicide since 1650. Murder rates used to be much higher than they are today. Take a look: The 1870s actually look worse than the 1970s: