“Economics is a science primarily concerned with incentives, it is also one with statistical tools to measure how people respond to those incentives” (Levitt and Dubner, 2005). After reading the book Freakonomics, I more than ever believe that virtually any subject can be picked, and somehow “fit” into economics. To once again quote Levitt and Dubner, “economics is explaining how people get what they want or need”. (Levitt and Dubner, 2005).
One of the most interesting topics the two authors of Freakonomics, broached in the book was why drug dealers still live with their mothers. The drug they specifically examined was crack cocaine, and data was obtained from a specific gang, which in my opinion, was actually more of a firm/business. To quote our authors once again, “a crack gang works pretty much like the standard capitalist enterprise: wages are about as skewed as wages in corporate America. Criminals, like everyone else, respond to incentives” (Levitt and Dubner, 2005). This gangs’, or firms’, members all operated based on the incentives that they believed existed. Most of them made very little money, and in fact, probably still lived with their mothers. But the few, “higher ups”, in the firm were making large amounts of money, and gave those below them incentive to work hard with the intention of becoming one of the “higher ups” themselves.
A gang, has a manager, “a person that directs resources to achieve a goal” (Baye and Prince, 2014). Just as with the majority
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In Policing Gangs in America, Charles Katz and Vincent Webb describes every issue in American Gangs today. The ultimate goal of this book is how the gang officers work and the different kind of atmosphere they work in. Their job isn’t like other law enforcement jobs. It’s one of the more dangerous occupation in the Criminal Justice system. These gang officers focus on how they react to public gang issues.
One of the main economic problems that many people, particularly gangs, in Robert Taylor faced was the fact that they didn’t want to trade in their status for entry-level jobs because in many cases, gang leaders made far more than they would have if they worked minimum wage jobs (72). Many of the gang leaders such as J.T. held the false belief that the drug economy was “useful for the community, since it redistributed the drug addict’s money back into the community via the gang’s philanthropy” (115). However, the drug economy is not a stable or lucrative economy compared to your average jobs because it was clearly very hard for people to get ahead in gangs, thus no one ever had a fair shot of earning more money in their life span. Nevertheless, the situation can tend to be a grey area of debate since a lot of the residents did attempt to hold blue-collar jobs but continued to get laid off (60). In this case, the underground economy of drug sales may have been the only choice for residents looking for an income. Another way the gangs play into the economic situation is when there are drive by shootings, in which case parents
Gang involvement and its associated violent crime have become a rapidly growing problem for the United States. Generally, gangs consist of young people of the same ethnic, racial, and economic background. Usually of a low socio-economic status, these gangs engage in illegal money making activities and intimidate their neighborhoods and rival gangs with violent crimes and victimization. Gang members exemplify a high value for group loyalty and sacrifice.
Gangs originated naturally during the adolescent years of a child. They started from small play groups that eventually found themselves in conflict with other small groups of youth. Due to the conflict between the two small groups of youth it became a part of a child’s mind set to come together as a gang and protect their rights and satisfy the needs that their environment and families couldn’t provide. There are about 24,500 gangs in the U.S and out of those gangs 40% of them are juveniles (Hess, Orthmann, Wright, 2013). There are numerous reason why a child would join a gang, and the
Gang crime is one of the most intriguing social phenomena’s across the world, as defining the deviancy has been difficult due to a broad range of definitions (Wood & Alleyne, 2010, pg. 101). One definition is given by David Curry and
Qualitative descriptions suggest that, for many, gang membership represents 104 Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice / May 2005an opportunity to enhance social capital as a means to cope with a multitude of problems. Although on balance gang life appears to be neither very rewarding nor satisfying (Hagedorn, 1988), identification with the gang is solidified in response to conflict—often with other gangs—as members pursue their individual and collective interests.
Alleyne, Emma & Wood, Jane L., (2011). Gang Involvement: Social and Environment Factors. Crime and Delinquency 60 (4) 547-568.
Defining gangs have been compared to packs, teams, and groups. Participants of gangs do not necessarily commit violent acts or commence in illegal matters. The National Gang Center has come to a consensus on defining gangs with the commonalities of three or more members between the ages of 12 through 24, shared identity, recognized by others as a gang or crew, has levels of organization, and usually involved in criminal activities (Shelden, Tracy, Brown, 2013). Some gangs are excluded from this definition due to not proportionate with their usual activities. Overall, we can consider gangs to be founded when members share similar characteristics and establish a symbol to represent their livelihood.
A gang is defined as a group of individuals with the same objective that are bound together by a bond of trust. The majority of gangs are
1. Chapter three, Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Moms?, expresses an intriguing thought by authors, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. The Freakonomics authors follow a courageous man, Sudhir Venkatesh, a student at the University of Chicago, in his effort to understand and research the mysterious drug dealing business. Venkatesh first approached dangerous gangs and dealers in Chicago with a simple survey to learn more about them. After stumbling upon a branch of the “Black Gangster Disciple Nation”, Venkatesh wanted to take his study further. J.T., this specific branches leader, was interested in Venkatesh’s survey and initiated him as a spectator to his group. Venkatesh was integrated with this group for six years an acquired an immense amount of information on drug and gang groups. Thankfully, J.T. kept documents on the group 's wages. By looking at these books, Venkatesh was able to identify the hierarchy of a typical drug cartel. Which is where the main question of chapter is answered. Only the people on the top of the system made good money, for example, J.T. Contrary to popular belief, lower jobs of this business like foot soldiers make only $3.30 an hour, below minimum wage. Despite the fact that the foot soldiers are the ones who physically put their life on the lines. This style is compared to major corporations such as McDonald 's for a more context comparison. However, the people that are
“Gangs have morphed from social organizations into full-fledged criminal enterprises” (Thomas, 2009, para 5). Gangs are highly sophisticated and more dangerous then ever. The number one reason to join a gang is money; and 95 percent of gangs profit comes from drug dealing
“According to statistics from the National Youth Gang Center, more than 24,500 gangs, consisting of more than 770,000 members, exist in about 3,300 cities in the U.S.” (Rank 1). Although it is not illegal to be a member of a gang, it should be noted many gangs participate in illegal activity for funding and will use the money as a way to entice new membership. The “money begins flowing, and with that comes all of the things associated with material wealth that is usually beyond the reach of these adolescents without the criminal activity of being involved in a gang” (Nawojczyk 3).