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Freakonomics: The Hidden Side of Everything by Steven. D. Levitt and Stephen. J. Dubner Essay (Critical Writing)

Table of Contents Executive Summary

Problem Definition

Information used



Executive Summary The authors of Freakonomics: The Hidden Side of Everything, Steven. D. Levitt and Stephen. J. Dubner, have gone out of their way to challenge conventional wisdom using simple analysis in what they term as the ‘economic’ side to reality. Though the article does not have a baseline plot, the authors lay down several ‘truths’ which they use to test conventional wisdom.

These fundamental ‘truths’ are; according to the current life we live in, a cornerstone of Incentives, conservative wisdom is at times wrong, staged effects have distant causes, professionals use their advantage in information to serve their own agenda, and finally, Knowing what to gauge and how to measure it makes the world less complex. Using these ideas, they analyze in Chapter 4, the sudden drop in crime from the late 90’s against earlier predictions that crime rates would soar.

First, the authors tear apart several opinions given for the sharp decline in crime using a realistic and sensible approach that relies on facts and statistics. They find that the reason crime reduced so drastically was because of the legalization of abortion through Roe v. Wade, and this fact has more weight than any other explanation.

Problem Definition The authors of Freakonomics begin Chapter 4: Where Have All the Criminals Gone?, with a brief summary of Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime in Romania, which they use as a reversed image of the American scenario.

While Ceausescu prohibited abortion leading to a huge population growth, the US at around the same time legalized it through Roe v. Wade. The large number of teenage youth in Romania finally led to Ceausescu’s execution in 1989. Similarly in the US, the reduced number of teenage youth led to a lower crime rate.

Through the way the authors frame their arguments, they clearly define the issues at hand. They begin by showing rising trends in crime before the early 90’s and the prediction of various criminologists such as James Alan Fox that crime would eventually spiral out of control as the years progressed.

The authors then show us the folly of experts such as criminologists, police, economists and politicians attempting to explain the decline while none had foreseen it. They then systematically analyze each of the opinions given as per the information available in the LexisNexis database and find flaws in the arguments. Finally, they show why abortion is the most logical reason for the sharp decline in crime after the 90’s.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Information used The authors rely on studies and other relevant research materials to justify their arguments. In Chapter 4, they first obtain all the expert opinion articles published on the decline of crime from the year 1991 to 2001 available from ten of the largest circulation papers in the LexisNexis database.

The authors then analyze each opinion on the probable cause of the decline is analyzed using research studies e.g. a 1977 study called On Behalf of a Moratorium on Prison Construction which the authors use to counter the opinion that increased reliance on prisons is one of the reasons for the crime decline. They also use crime statistics obtained from various police departments in the US.

Interpretation One thing that is strikingly interesting about Chapter 4, Where Have All the Criminals Gone?, is the authors’ analysis and interpretation of issues in a logical sequence. Perhaps another ingenious analysis technique is the way the authors frame the issues into a larger context without leaving room for doubt as to the sustainability of their argument.

Again, their interpretation differs from that of the so-called ‘experts’ since they approach the topic from an economic sense and not a moral one. A good example of this is the analysis of a strong economy as a good explanation for the crime drop. The authors begin by accepting that there was a significant improvement in the economy in the 1990’s.

They first show that this rationale only applies for non-violent crimes, which is true. Secondly, they rely on studies to show that a drop in unemployment rates reduces non-violent crime by a mere 1%. They kill off the rationale by comparing the scenario to the 1960’s where the economy grew at the same rate as crime.

The analysis of the impact of Roe v. Wade and how it led to a lower crime rate separates the authors’ interpretations of the issues from those of the experts. They first take statistics of the number of abortions carried out after Roe v. Wade and the impact this had in terms of lowering abortion costs, preventing unwanted children who would most likely have turned into criminals and finally, the link between causality and correlation in the issue of crime and abortion.

While other experts have preferred ‘positive’ and easily explainable explanations such as better policing and stricter gun control laws, the authors have diverted from this appealing ‘moral’ view to a more realistic solution.

We will write a custom Critical Writing on Freakonomics: The Hidden Side of Everything by Steven. D. Levitt and Stephen. J. Dubner specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Conclusion Freakonomics is well researched and analyzed but has some flaws such as its disregard of positive crime reducing measures. While the authors have ‘expertly’ analyzed the drop in crime using economic realities, they agree that the other opinions are not too far fetched.

They also do not state that the decline was as a consequence of one act, but instead, they seek to establish the most logical explanation. Their finding of the legalization of abortion as being a major cause of the crime drop though vexatious to many is shockingly accurate, judging on the convergence of statistics and the support by facts such as the corresponding years between the US and Romanian cases.

George Orwell and Animal Farm: A Critical Analysis Essay (Critical Writing)

Nursing Assignment Help George Orwell is one of the most celebrated English writers in the 20th century (George 1). Orwell’s literature is committed to telling the blatant truth about the violation of people’s freedom and the injustices against the common person (Dedria and Hall 479). Such phrases from his works such as “some animals are more equal than others” have become so popular especially in political dialogues and has shaped peoples opinions regarding the kind of society we live in (Kerala 36).

George Orwell was born as Eric Arthur Blair in India in 1903, where his British father worked as a civil servant. He had gone to school like any other normal child and graduated at Eaton. He worked in the Burma police force and later unsuccessfully tired his hand in a few business ventures but failed. He left for Spain where signed to fight in the Civil War.

His experience at the civil war de-motivated his views abut communalism so much that he decided to live a life of voluntary poverty (Dedria and Hall 479) . This was a deliberate effort to “experience want and the suffering of the oppressed.” He wanted to feel how poor people fell to help in shaping his own theories on socialism.

At this time, he had changed his name to P.S. Burton. His first novel Down and out in Paris was published as a response to his life in voluntary poverty. This was soon followed by Burmese Days and several other essays that questioned the capitalist state. His best novel so far is The Road to Wigan Pier which was published in 1937. It highlighted the pathetic life of the poor.

By this time, he had started gaining prominence as a writer and his works were starting to draw attention. He continued his writing with such other publications as Keep Aspidistra Flying and Coming up for Air followed in 1936 and 1939 respectively. His novel The Animal Farm is his most popular. It is a satirical piece that portrays a society that fully embraces totalitarian rules, much to the chagrin of those who want “individual freedom” (Kerala 36).

All of George Orwell’s novels seem to defend one main theme: socialism. Socialism is a means of production whereby everything is owned communally or by the government. Every one has equal opportunities to everything. The kind of socialism that George Orwell’s socialism advocates for has real life significance as it portrays “revolutionary idealism experienced in Russia and other countries which was betrayed by the revolutionaries themselves, who continue to pat lip service to revolutionary ideas” (Pierce para 6).

His novel then Animal Farm brilliantly employs satire in highlighting shameless betrayal by leaders who promised change (Dedria and Sharon 479). Orwell continues to portray authoritarianism as an enemy to individual freedoms.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More There were concerted efforts to bring in a revolution that would save the people but always the new leaders upon tasting power, would betray this revolution. The new leaders would start to dictate what the same people whom they were fighting to save would do, or not do. Such betrayal was the end of socialism in the 20th century. In this light, this paper will analyze one of his prized novels The Animal Farm.

The story begins in Mr. Jones’ farmhouse one night. Old major, a fatherly and respected pig, gathers the animals and informs them that they had endured deplorable conditions for a long period under the leadership of human beings and therefore a rebellion was necessary. Unfortunately, Old Major succumbs to old age. This leaves the other pigs to lead the fights for animal rights (Darell Para 1).

Two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball lead a successful revolution and after Mr. Jones and his family is driven out, Manor Farm is renamed The Animal Farm (para 2). Other farm owners try to attack the Animal Farm but Snowball lead a successful defense in the battle of the Cowshed and gains much worship amongst the animals (para 4). This is the beginning of his downfall. False rumors are spread by Squealer about him and when the conflict heightens he chased off the farm by Napoleons’ guard dogs (para 6).

Squealer is adopted as Napoleons spokes animal, and proposes the construction of a windmill, an idea that Napoleon takes credit for. Unfortunately the windmill is destroyed in a storm but Napoleon blames Snowball and sentences him to death, together with his sympathizers (para 6). Napoleon and the other pigs begin engaging in anti animalism behavior, such as doing business with men and drinking whiskey. To add to this, the food rations to other animals are reduced significantly (para 6).

To concur with his message that new and old leadership is alike; pigs begin to walk on two feet just like humans. They also start claiming, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” The novel culminates in the farm being renamed The Animal Farm while napoleon and other pigs initiate friendship with the human owners of the neighboring farm, and they become just like humans (para 8). It portrays the betrayal of the initial comradeship, and the pessimism of revolutionary movements (Hall and Poupard 348).

George Orwell creates characters carefully to fit in the roles that he needs them to play. Some characters play a major role in this novel. Mr. Jones is a tyrant who represents the old corrupt order. In the real world George Orwell model 20th century dictators such as Stalin in Mr. Jones (Novelguide para 1).

Snowball and Napoleon are the two pigs who lead a successful revolution. They were ambitious of leadership and courageously fought Mr. Jones out of the farm (NovelGuide para 7-12). The pigs are symbolic of the calculating leaders who benefit from tyrannical leadership. They are opportunists who do not spare any chance afforded to them to exploit their advantaged position in the society (Hall and Poupard, 348).

We will write a custom Critical Writing on George Orwell and Animal Farm: A Critical Analysis specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Squealer is Napoleons manipulative tool in the farm. The dogs are a symbol security only that this security is used negatively. They are also another group of loyalist who are misused by the system to gain advantage over the common person (NovelGuide para 20- 22). However, other characters only play minor roles. Old major represents the good father figure in the society who can be relied upon to give concrete advice. He is respected by other animals who take to his advice without question (NovelGuide para 4).

Boxer and Clover in contrast are dedicated workers who spent all their life serving the society (They are also foolishly gullible in that they believe in all the propaganda spread by Squealer who is a “manipulative and persuasive figure” (Hall and Poupard 348). Just like Squealer, Moses is another manipulative and cunning character in the novel (NovelGuide para 7, 8; 13, 14). Benjamin is an enigmatic character who continues to do his work without care of what is happening (NovelGuide para 17).

The Animal Farm is a classic example of how governments exploit and deny citizens of their basic rights. At the beginning of the novel, the animals are united under the banner of exploitation by Mr. Jones. They manage to fight and install their own leaders in Napoleon.

However, Napoleon turns to be worse that Mr. Jones and “perverts the first commandments he helped make” (Pierce para 7). For example, he reduced food rations for the other animals other than the fellow pigs. Some animals as Boxer worked so hard, believing in their leaders but instead of being rewarded, were exploited for the benefit of the same leaders they served (Grade saver para 15-17). These governments use totalitarian rules, to stay in power and subvert justice.

The pigs lead a revolution against Mr. Jones totalitarian rule, but ends up worse. They not only “end up in Mr. Jones House and position but also in his clothes.” Some critics have used this evidence to explain that The Animal Farm is another successful attempt by the society to kill dissent (Hall