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Short People Commit More Crimes

Are criminals are product of their upbringing and environment? Or are they just acting out their genetics? A new finding shows that TALL people earn more money (and thus pay more taxes), and that short, fat people commit more crimes (and they're more likely to go to jail when they're tried in court!)

But while genetics remain pretty standard (depending on who's having babies), social circumstances change. For instance, when economist Gregory N. Price studied 19th century prison records, he found that in those days, being fat was associated with a LOWER risk of committing a crime, which is just the opposite of today's statistics.

Economists have found that every inch of additional height is associated with a nearly 2% increase in earnings, and that employees rated beautiful tend to earn 5% percent more an hour than an average-looking person, while those rated as plain earn 9% percent less. Also, gaining weight can cause a woman's salary to drop. In the May 11th edition of the New York Times, Patricia Cohen quotes Price as saying, "The profession has developed a large interest in biology."

Speaking of genetics, the FDA is cracking down on companies selling test kits to help people find their genetic roots after one client was told that her son was not her own, while another was told she was black, even though the rest of her family is white.

They are calling for regulation of companies selling personal genetic tests done from saliva samples after one laboratory mixed up the results of nearly 100 clients. In the June 14th edition of the Financial Times, David Gelles quotes a company spokesperson as saying, "We fully realize the gravity of [these] incident[s]."

Gelles quotes geneticist Sharon Terry as saying, "There are always things to be ironed out in new technologies."And economist Gregory Mankiw has suggested taxing taller people at a higher rate, since someone 6 feet tall can be expected to earn over $5,000 more a year than someone who is 5-foot-5 or less. Cohen quotes him as saying, "The benefit of these weird facts is that they 'force you to think about the world in ways you didn't before.'"

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