The other side of this double-edged sword is the problem of inadequate jobs. Many of the jobs available to young families pay poverty level wages which has given us a generation of young parents who have no leisure time and are constantly stressed. This results in parents having to increase their hours or even take up two to three jobs. This affects the children. Children from these types of homes often turn to crime as a cry for attention.
Such youth begin with seemingly benign "gateway crimes" such as truancy, window-peeping, and graffiti. However, it is not uncommon that these activities can later progress into more serious crimes. Dutch criminologist Willem Bonger explained that "The best preventative against crime [is] to make prosperity and culture as general as possible. " He did, however, make the distinction between "prosperity" and "luxury".
Clearly he meant that while societies could or should encourage upward mobility for all individuals with the will to succeed, it is important to be aware of the fact that limited resources prevent everyone from enjoying life's most lavish luxuries and achieving their socially desirable goals. In a culture driven by capitalistic ideas, it is easy to get caught up in the consumer mentality. For many (if not most), success is determined by the number or value of possessions one has accumulated over the years.
The danger in this kind of situation is explained well in a quote from John Lea, "Relative Deprivation is the excess of expectations over opportunities". This saying illustrates how big business and marketing forces with the aid of mass media in all it's forms ( internet, TV, radio, print, etc. ) can help create an air of desperation and discontent. If society says, "Your value is equal to the sum of your assets", it is completely understandable- even if it's not condonable- why so many people who are economically disenfranchised lean towards crime.
Many preach that opportunities for gainful employment abound through education. This is good and well if you have been fortunate enough to have had good schooling. It is difficult to preach such optimism to those who through no fault of their own were born in areas with a property value too low to attract the best and brightest teachers. Far too frequently, we find that students in classrooms have no order, minimal care, and low expectations. Many such students will find themselves under the heavy allure of crime and it will be difficult to protect them from it.