Here’s George Will back in 2008:
Listening to political talk requires a third ear that hears what is not said. Today’s near silence about crime probably is evidence of social improvement. For many reasons, including better policing and more incarceration, Americans feel, and are, safer. The New York Times has not recently repeated such amusing headlines as “Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling” (1997), “Prison Population Growing Although Crime Rate Drops” (1998), “Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction” (2000) and “More Inmates, Despite Slight Drop in Crime” (2003).
George Will spoke too soon. If it’s really a blind spot with progressives then they won’t be able to stop even if they try to, because they aren’t even aware of what they are doing. Tyler Cowen directs us to another example from the New York Times:
What is happening in America today is both unprecedented in our history, and virtually unique among Western democratic nations. The share of our labor force devoted to guard labor has risen fivefold since 1890 — a year when, in case you were wondering, the homicide rate was much higher than today.
Yup. I was wondering was life was like before we had lots of guards. Thanks for telling me.