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The Institute for Economics and Peace’s second annual United States Peace Index ranks Missouri number 45 in terms of its five measures of violence: number of homicides, number of violent crimes, incarceration rate, number of police, and the availability of small arms.

So what’s going on in Missouri that would account for this dismal status?  USA Today notes that:

The survey, once again, notes a strong correlation between peace and economic opportunity, health, education and social capital.

As I remember, Missouri ranks low in most of those correlates – but it does have low corporate taxes and a legislature determined to lower them even more while gutting education, social services and worker protections. Do you think that the Index just might indicate that kissing up to “job creators” at all costs isn’t really the way to go.

Actually, violence costs all of us – not just the victims – and in dollar and cents terms as well:

According to the Index, if all the states in the U.S. had the same level of peacefulness as the most peaceful state of Maine, $274 billion worth of extra economic activity could be generated. This additional economic activity would be enough to generate over 1.7 million jobs.

But don’t worry – our leaders in Jefferson City are on the case. They’ve given us concealed carry – in spite of our wishes to the contrary – and, last year, lowered the age at which one can pack heat from 23 to 21.  Now they’re working on getting us St. Louisians to carry our guns on the Metro. Nothing like a state full of armed vigilantes to forestall violence.

Afterthought:  In case you’re wondering, out of 61 metro areas in the rankings, Kansas City ranks 46 and St. Louis ranks 37. In Missouri the big population areas aren’t the whole story – outstate areas must be doing their part as well.