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Why do Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Moms
Transcript of Why do Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Moms
Went to school in Chicago and was interested in social growth (more specifically interested in how society views and effects the transition from boyhood to manhood). Surveyed African Americans in the "ghetto" with the question, "How do you feel about being black and poor?"(with understandably negative feedback). Met J.T. and decided to change his study
- Instead of social transitions, he decided he would study the inner workings of crack gangs.
- During his time with J.T.'s gang, a man dubbed "Booty" gave him the gang's detailed financial records of the previous 4 years JT 3 Officers Street Level Salesmen Rank and File Enforcer Treasurer Runner Head of the Gang ensured the gang members' safety watched over the gang's liquid assets transported large quantities of drugs and money to and from the supplier 25-75 at a time who's goal was to one day become an officer Paid dues for gang protection and to one day become a foot soldier $66/hour $7/hour $3.30/hour paid dues What Do They Do?
Deal directly with "crackheads."
Not allowed to use the product.
Risk arrest and violence
1 in 4 chance of being killed.
In comparison to a death row inmate who has a 1 in 20 chance of being executed. Why Do They Do It?
Dream job to kids growing up in the projects.
More people wanting jobs than jobs are available so the pay ends up being low and relatively lackluster. Crack Cocaine and Nylon Stockings Once the drug of choice for the elite
then came "Crack" cocaine that was cheap and easy to make
Brought "class to the masses" Once expensive because they had to be made of silk
"brought class to the masses" Cocaine- detriment to society Before Crack
Black-white income gap was shrinking
Black-white child test score gap was shrinking
Black infancy mortality rate was cut in half since 1964
By 1980s all facets of life in the black community was improving After Crack
Did not just affect the black community but it hit the black community the hardest
Infant mortality, low birth weight, and parent abandonment increased dramatically
Homicide rate among young blacks quadrupled Freakonomics
- Logical Fallacies - Over Generalizations, Forced Hypotheses, and Begging the Question
Upon our critical review and research we found that
Though their take on the growth of cocaine sales in the 1980s is accurate
The crack dealers in general made more than minimum wage
Crack dealers make $7-$30/hour
Freakonomics only looks at the goings on of ONE gang
Didn't actually do hourly wages* Venkatesh graduated in 1990, around the same time that he received the "blue notebooks" with the financial records of the gang from the previous 4 years Comparison
Street level salesman's pay rate We found 3 different sources that contradict Levitt and Venkatesh's argument ^courtesy of a quick google search Money from Crime Foot soldiers worked maybe once a week (viii)
Only 3 in 8 reported they sold on a daily basis (viii) From the article: Freakonomics: suggested foot soldiers worked everyday for an "hourly rate"
Profits show how much they sold NOT how long they worked. Entrepreneurs From the article: Multiple types of "street-level" drug dealers
Some made up to 50% of the profit
People who make the least amount are the "spot drug dealers"
Street corner drug dealers only retain 3% of the revenue Freakonomics implied that ALL street-level dealers were only allowed to make below minimum wage Chicago Tribune From the Article: Average drug dealer made $7.00/hour and $30.00 during peak seasons
Minimum wage in 1990s was $3.80 Freakonomics: Compares their pay with today's minimum wage
Doesn't take into account of inflation ($3-$4 was considered minimum wage) Not knowing what to do with those records, venkatesh kept them.A few years later he met an econimist named Levitt and they went through those detailed records and made a discovery- Crack gangs are like well run businesses Works cited:
Caulkins, Jonathan P., et al. What Drug Dealers Tell Us
About Their Costs of Doing Business. Heinz
Research, 1998. Print.
Reuter, Peter. Money from Crime. Santa Monica: RAND,
Ridder, Knight. "Average Drug Dealer Income: $24,000 A
Year." Chicago Tribune 1990. Print.