Please answer the questions to the following articles from students.
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Crime and Crime Control Analysis
In the article “Crime and Crime Control,” Hee-Jong Joo looks at the overall crime rates and crime control practices in Korea for the past thirty years. Joo also compared the findings with Japan and the United States to get a picture of how Korea performed compared to other countries. The study revealed that crime and crime rates have generally fluctuated in Korea from 1970 until 1999. Joo looked at the major offenses in Korea, which are the Criminal Code Offenses (CCOs), property crimes, and the violation of special laws with a focus on the Act Concerning Punishment for Violent offenses (APVO). The analysis then considered the response to these crimes, which include: the rates of arrest by the authorities, prosecution rates, conviction rates, and finally, the incarceration rates.
The analysis of data revealed an overall increase in the number of criminal code offenses in the 1970s and a significant decrease in the 1980s. The crimes then increased from 1990. Incidences of robbery and rape were noticeably high during the early years and also declined in the 1980s. The property crimes increased during the 1990s, with the incidences of fraud becoming more prevalent in the years after 1995. The violation of the special laws has also increased since the 1970s. For instance, the APVO crime rates increased 1.5 times from 1990 to 1999. This data, when compared with figures from Japan and America, revealed that the crime rate in Korea was generally lower than the two countries. Year by year comparison showed that the U.S. crime rate had declined from 1990 while Korea’s had risen. The rates were lower for Korea before 1992 and then surpassed Japan in 1993. Joo also discovered that crime control efforts increased over the same period. There were high conviction and incarceration rates between 1972 and 1973 but declined until the early 90s. The conviction and incarceration for the APVO crimes have generally declined over the years.
One of the key concepts in this article is the reasoning behind the crime trends in Korea. Joo believes that the crimes increased in the country in the 1970s due to the rapid urbanization of Korea that changed the value systems. Before this shift, the country was mostly agrarian, and people valued each other hence crimes were few. Industrialization led to social disorganization, and people moved away from strict moral codes. The decline of crime in the 1980s was due to an authoritarian leader, Doo-Whan Chun, who had a tough approach to crime. The people, seeking to stay out of trouble, did not commit as many crimes. Once the dictatorial president left office, the crime rates increased in Korea, as seen in the data from the 1990s. The arrest rates also increased during this time, which shows an attempt to control the situation. Overall, the analysis shows a relationship between the political situation in the country and the crime rates and control efforts.
Property crimes have increased with an improvement in economic growth in Korea. The people had more money, and therefore, incidences of fraud also increased. Joo explained this phenomenon as a shift in society towards materialism. People were willing to commit crimes to increase their wealth. There were many people to choose from as targets for property crime. The many options increased the incidences of these crimes.
The data revealed that, on average, there were more special laws violations than criminal code offenses. The article explained that Korea had been continuously revising and improving its special laws, and therefore, many people were possibly caught off-guard. These changes meant that they were casting the net wide with these regulations. For instance, if the Road Traffic Act kept changing all the time, the people would not be aware of the changes and find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Concerning the special laws, the author notes that the conviction and incarceration rates for the APOV crimes have significantly declined over the years studied. These statistics lead to the observation that although people get arrested for these crimes, they do not get convicted or incarcerated. Could it be that Korea needs to reconsider these laws? The offenders do not get convicted, an aspect that might imply a lack of sufficient evidence to make this possible. Alternatively, it could imply that the offenses are minor, and these people get off with a warning. These special laws are an area for discussion because it does not make sense to have high arrest rates and low conviction or incarceration rates for laws that keep changing.
Another point of discussion is examining the link between democracy and crime. Does democracy increase crime? Korea in the 1980s had low crime rates due to the authoritarian regime. There was an increase in crime when a more democratic ruler took over in the 1990s with violent ones such as rape peaking in 1993. There is a need to have an in-depth discussion on this matter and see if having a tough ruler is one of the ways to control crime.
Social Indicators Research; Apr 2003; 62, 1; Social Science Premium Collection pg. 239
1. The falling crime rates in the 1980s are attributed to an authoritarian leader, Doo-Whan Chun, whose tough stance on lawbreaking prompted people to avoid crime. Is Doo-Whan Chun’s approach the ideal governance framework to actualize a generally law-abiding citizenry?
2. After a new administration took over, crime rates increased. Is it possible to broaden individual rights and freedoms and concurrently control crime rates?
3. Due to low incidences of convictions and incarcerations, how can Korea discourage crime?
In this article, the study conducted explains how crime enforcement can backfire in the Philippines as their government applies a customs reform bill. The customs reform was created to crackdown on duty avoidance. Duty avoidance is also known as tax fraud. Although the government thought a customs reform bill would reduce duty avoidance, the hypothesis/conclusion showed that people are not completely effective. With the reform in place, people started finding new ways to continue duty avoidance. This is also known as Alternative methods. There were two specific methods used as a way to avoid paying taxes. Corruption in the enforcement agencies, specifically customs agents, made it a little easier to tax evasion to occur. This was possible as some agents took bribes to overlook some shipments. Importers may have avoided taxes but they still had to pay the officers willing to look over their shipment which could have cost them possibly just as much as paying taxes. If a government official felt that doing so was extremely risky, they would ask for more bribery money and raise the price. Importers then started to look at their options. There were two options that importers would choose from. To determine which method to use, they viewed their profit. (A clearer explanation of how profits were calculated explained by the Yang can be found on page 3) During this “crackdown” on duty avoidance, the government chose a couple of subsets. The reasoning for a select amount of subsets chosen was due to an experiment known as the Quasi Experiment. This experiment took place in 1990. Using this method showed no major impact on the effectiveness of decreasing tax evasion as buyers were able to find a way to use the countries that were not inspected under the new pre shipment inspections of imports procedure. This report was important because it was a key factor in preventing tax evasion, but as I stated before, not all enforcers acknowledged the reports. Between 1989 and 1992, 9 countries required PSI reports but soon after ALL countries required PSI reports unless its value was under $5,000. This is important because smugglers started to use this as a way to avoid duties. The way they would do this was by splitting the shipments up, so they would not exceed the $5,000 limit. By the end of 1990, the government lowered this number to $250, making this extremely difficult. This would not only take more time but it can possibly cost more as importers would then have to pay more for packing. This article was an empirical evidence study. The data collected came from the National Statistical office of the Philippines. After several researchers studied and have written articles about this issue; it concluded that “Displacement was greater for products with higher tariffs rates and import volumes consistent with the existence of fixed costs of switching to alternative duty avoidance methods.” Stopping Smuggling and customs corruption is important because it greatly affects the government financially as the taxes that are paid contribute to the salaries of our government workers and civil servants.
To summarize this conclusion, tax evasion which is also called duty avoidance is a huge issue in the Philippines. With a customs bill and prevention methods, the results are very slim. As importers do not want to pay taxes or more than they wish, they find other ways to avoid taxes. According to the Yang, the reduction of threshold causes displacement encouraging importers to legally find ways to avoid duty. One way is by using an export processing zone. To answer the question “Can Enforcement Backfire?”, I would say absolutely according to this study. It may cause a slight displacement but it does not stop the problem completely as there will always be ways/ alternative methods. Also, while tax evasion is a crime, tax avoidance is not.
What are the two alternative methods used for duty avoidance ?
Why would tax evasion be considered a crime and not tax avoidance ?
If you had a suggestion about how to make this reform more effective , what would it be ?