Which one is worst: street crime, white collar crime, or green collar crime? Why?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is something to be said for each of these as the worst kind of crime.

First, we can argue that street crime is the worst because it has the greatest physical and emotional impact on its victims.  A person who has been mugged or assaulted is harmed physically and psychologically.  They cannot be made whole by monetary restitution.  They cannot move away to escape the impact of the crime.  They have the memory of being physically harmed as well as any injuries incurred.  This makes this the worst kind of crime.

Second, we can argue that white collar crime is the worst.  This kind of crime affects many more people than a street crime ever could.  When a white collar criminal steals money, the crime can affect thousands.  For example, the crimes of Enron executives deprived huge numbers of people of the value of the Enron stock that they had bought.  The overall impact on society in terms of money can be huge.  Their crimes (insider trading is an example) can also help to make our entire system less fair.  This is more impact than any street crime could have.

Finally, we can argue that green collar crime is the worst.  It, like white collar crime, has an impact on more people.  Green collar crime harms the environment, which, by definition, harms all the people in that particular area.  Green collar crime can harm or even destroy an entire community.  This is something that is not true of either of the other kinds of crime.

Thus, an argument can be made that each of these is the worst.