Lastly, we all know that there are negative consequences to living in a society with many people who may be starving or freezing to death or living perilously close to it. Such people have nothing to lose by fomenting revolution, organizing into criminal gangs or engaging in sabotage of basic services such as the water and power supply that everyone depends upon.
There are many countries like this. Even the moderately well to do must live behind walled communities and travel only with bodyguards, ever fearful of assassination and kidnapping. No American wants to live that way.
In the long term, violent crime in the United States has been in decline since colonial times. However, during the early 20th century, crime rates in the United States were higher compared to parts of Western Europe. For example, 198 homicides were recorded in the American city of Chicago in 1916, a city of slightly over 2 million at the time. This level of crime was not exceptional when compared to other American cities such as New York, but was much higher relative to European cities, such as London, which then had three times the population but recorded only 45 homicides in the same year.