Jack Kemp

The Cure for Big City Crime & Poverty

Why We Need Law & Order Solutions to Address the Crime Wave in America’s Big Cities

In recent times, America’s big cities have witnessed a surge in crime rates, from petty thefts to grave offenses such as homicide. This uptick poses a threat to the very fabric of our communities, jeopardizing the safety of residents, undermining economic growth, and deteriorating trust in public institutions. Addressing this requires not only comprehensive law and order solutions but also a reinvigoration of policies like Jack Kemp’s Enterprise Zones. Together, these initiatives can play a significant role in combating the crime wave and rebuilding our urban centers.

1. Ensuring Safety and Security:
Safety is a fundamental right. Without a strong and effective law enforcement presence, cities become breeding grounds for criminal activities. It’s essential to ensure that residents can go about their daily lives without the fear of being victimized. When people feel unsafe, they are less likely to engage in outdoor activities, invest in their neighborhoods, or even start businesses. This fear, if unchecked, can lead to a decline in community cohesion, further fueling distrust and isolation.

2. The Economic Impact of Crime:
Crime, especially in urban areas, has direct and indirect economic implications. Direct costs include losses from theft or damages, while indirect costs can range from decreased property values to reduced business investments due to perceived risks. High crime rates deter potential investors and entrepreneurs from venturing into affected areas, leading to stagnation and economic decline.

3. Restoring Trust in Institutions:
Public trust in law enforcement and government institutions is paramount. When crimes go unpunished or are inadequately addressed, faith in the justice system wanes. Strong policing, if done with fairness and transparency, can restore this trust. A community that believes in its institutions will be more inclined to collaborate, leading to more efficient crime-solving and prevention.

4. Deterrence through Swift and Effective Action:
Addressing crimes, irrespective of their nature, with swift and decisive action serves as a deterrent. By cracking down on everything from shoplifting to homicide, we send a clear message that criminal activities, no matter how minor, have consequences. This discourages potential offenders and showcases the government’s commitment to preserving order.

Jack Kemp’s Enterprise Zones: A Potential Solution

One of the ways to address crime, particularly in economically challenged urban areas, is by implementing and expanding on Jack Kemp’s idea of Enterprise Zones. These zones, initially proposed in the 1980s, were designed to stimulate economic growth in depressed urban and rural areas by providing tax incentives and regulatory relief to businesses that invest and create jobs within the zones.

1. Economic Revitalization Reduces Crime:
A direct relationship exists between economic prosperity and reduced crime rates. When individuals have access to stable jobs and opportunities, they are less likely to resort to criminal activities. Enterprise Zones, by encouraging business investments, can act as catalysts for job creation and economic growth in crime-ridden areas.

2. Encouraging Local Entrepreneurship:
Enterprise Zones aren’t just about attracting big corporations. By offering tax breaks and reducing regulations, these zones can be instrumental in nurturing local entrepreneurs. This not only diversifies the economic landscape but also fosters community pride and ownership.

3. Making Communities More Resilient:
Investment in infrastructure, education, and community development often accompanies economic growth. This holistic approach to development ensures that as communities grow economically, they also become more resilient to socio-economic shocks that can lead to spikes in crime.

4. A Win-Win for Governments and Businesses:
While businesses benefit from the incentives provided within Enterprise Zones, governments also stand to gain. The initial loss in tax revenue is offset by the broader economic activities that these zones stimulate, from increased property values to higher overall tax collection from flourishing businesses and communities.


America’s big cities, with their vibrant culture and potential for growth, shouldn’t be marred by rising crime rates. Implementing strong law and order solutions ensures that our urban centers remain safe and prosperous. Meanwhile, economic policies, like Jack Kemp’s Enterprise Zones, offer an innovative approach to address the root causes of crime, making cities not only safer but also more economically resilient.

By merging stringent policing with smart economic policies, we can lay the foundation for cities that are not only free from the grip of crime but are also engines of growth and prosperity. It’s time to rejuvenate our urban centers, ensuring that they remain the beating heart of America’s future.