Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

Jumping to Conclusions

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on February 13, 2007

I’m not going to claim that crime isn’t a problem in Trinidad, but this article in today’s Express really irked me. The article explains that there has been an increase (40 percent is the claim) in Trinidadians leaving the country during the Carnival weekend. Without any real analysis, the article immediately concludes that this is solely due to an increase in crime. Of course, thinking about the issue for a few seconds yields a few key problems with this thesis:

  • Crime didn’t actually increase much in 2006, according to the government’s figures. In fact, murders actually declined slightly. Kidnappings, of course, were way down from their peak in 2005. Point being, if crime is the big cause, shouldn’t more people have left last year, after the murderous 2005? Certainly, nothing in the numbers would drive a 40 percent jump.
  • Given the speedy growth in Trinidad’s economy, economic conditions could easily be a bigger driver of increased travel.
  • Given the high inflation in Trinidad, a vacation abroad seems relatively more attractive. (This is probably not a big factor, since the inflation is mostly driven by an explosion in food prices, rather than, say, clothing or electronics, which people night be tempted to travel to purchase.)

My point is just that there are many factors that contribute to increased travel, and moreover, increased travel is ultimately a good thing. Crime is a serious problem, but the Express undermines the effectiveness of its criticisms by running crap like this story.

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