Reid on why we need a jobs bill: “Men, when they’re out of work, tend to become abusive”
posted at 8:51 pm on February 22, 2010 by Allahpundit
Via Drudge and the Hill, no wonder they’re calling it a rescue package. For once, there’s actually some truth to one of this tool’s talking points. Some studies do show a link between rising unemployment and domestic violence, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Boston Globe:
Economic stresses often lead to more frequent abuse, more violent abuse, and more dangerous abuse when domestic violence already exists. Domestic violence programs report that victims experience an increase in abuse in part because out-of-work abusers have more opportunity to batter. Rhode Island, for example, has recently seen a 25 percent increase in felony-level domestic violence crimes. Victims end up with fewer opportunities to contact programs for help, attend support groups, or get away from the batterer.
Compounding the problem, domestic violence programs face a trio of economic factors – cuts in federal funding, increased demand for services, and decreased private donations as people lose their jobs or see a downturn in their personal finances. These budget constraints make it more difficult for local programs to meet the needs of their communities.
Anecdotal reports last year from shelters and crisis centers claim a surge in victims, and needless to say, the problem isn’t confined to America. Where Dingy goes off the rails is in his trademark rhetorical sloppiness: Some men “tend to become abusive” under the strain of job loss but “men” generally do not, as far as I know, unless he wants to show us data claiming that the number of batterers exceeds 50 percent. Also, while abusive men are more dangerous than women, I’m not sure he’s right that the former outnumber the latter. According to Cathy Young, “A review of hundreds of studies, published in 2000 by British psychologist John Archer of the University of Central Lancashire, found that women are as likely to initiate partner violence as men…” If recession-related stress and money woes are shortening men’s tempers, they’re probably shortening women’s too — which, ironically, only improves Reid’s argument about the jobs bill, although he’s too captive to identity politics to try to make that point.
But never mind all that; there’ll be plenty of time to discuss it further in the next few days as the inevitable round of angry op-eds and blog posts debating domestic violence stats gets going in full swing. Here’s the real question: If passing a jobs bill is needed to rescue women (and men) in distress, then why didn’t this moron and his caucus get to work on it earlier instead of focusing on ObamaCare to the exclusion of all else?