Is Crime That Bad, or Are the Vibes Just Off?

Produced by ‘The Argument’

From New York to San Francisco, there’s a sense that crime is on the rise in American cities. And in some ways, that’s true: Violent crime has risen. Murders are up nearly 40 percent since 2019. But property crime has fallen for years. And how we define crime, and what’s causing its increase, is a complicated issue — as is what we should do about it.

So on today’s episode of “The Argument,” Jane Coaston is joined by Rafael Mangual and Alex Kingsbury to debate what’s really going on with crime rates and why people feel so unsafe.

[You can listen to this episode of “The Argument” on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, or Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

Mangual is a senior fellow and the head of research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative at the Manhattan Institute. “I do think this is more than just a bad-vibes moment in a lot of places. It really is as bad as it’s ever been or close to it,” Mangual says. Alex, an editor at large at New York Times Opinion, thinks we need to first change the narrative of how we understand crime. “Crime as a general term is just really broad,” Alex says, adding, “Where you sit determines what you see.”

Mentioned in this episode:

  • Rafael Mangual’s book, “Criminal (In)Justice”

  • “The Argument” police reform round table episode: “Policing Is Not Broken. It’s ‘Literally Designed to Work in This Way.’”

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Credit…D-Keine/Getty Images

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“The Argument” is produced by Phoebe Lett, Elisa Gutierrez and Vishakha Darbha. Edited by Alison Bruzek and Anabel Bacon. With original music by Isaac Jones and Pat McCusker. Mixing by Pat McCusker. Fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta with editorial support from Kristina Samulewski. Our executive producer is Irene Noguchi.

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