Criminologists have known for decades that income inequality is the best predictor of the local homicide rate, but why this is so has eluded them. There is a simple, compelling answer: most homicides are the dénouements of competitive interactions between men, and where desired goods are distributed relatively inequitably and competition for those goods is severe, dangerous tactics of competition are relatively appealing. A high homicide rate is just one of many unfortunate consequences. Killing the Competition is about this relationship between economic inequality and lethal interpersonal violence.
Suggesting that economic inequality is a cause of social problems and violence elicits fierce opposition from inequality’s beneficiaries. Three main arguments have been presented by those who wish to acquit inequality of the charges against it: that “absolute” poverty is the real problem and inequality is just an incidental correlate; that “primitive” egalitarian societies have surprisingly high homicide rates; and that inequality and homicide rates do not change in synchrony and are therefore mutually irrelevant. Killing the Competition dispels all three arguments.
US$ 24.95 Soft Cover
US$ 64.95 Hard Cover
Canadian Distributor: UBC Press
Cdn$ 26.95 Soft Cover