During the crack cocaine boom of the 1990s, the image of the millionaire crack dealer implanted itself on the public consciousness. But anyone who spent time around the Crips or Bloods or any other crack-selling gang might have noticed something odd: A great many crack dealers still lived at home with their moms. Why was that?
Sudhir Venkatesh, a University of Chicago graduate student at the time, discovered the answer.
As it turned out, the gang worked a lot like most American businesses, though perhaps none more so than McDonald's. If you were to hold a McDonald's organizational chart and the crack gang's organizational chart side by side, you could hardly tell the difference.
So the top 120 men on the pyramid were paid very well. But the pyramid they sat atop was gigantic. Using J. T.'s franchise as a yardstick — three officers and roughly 50 foot soldiers — there were about 5,300 other men working for those 120 bosses. Then there were the 20,000 unpaid rank-and-file members, many of whom wanted nothing more than a chance to become a foot soldier. And how well did that dream job pay? About $3.30 an hour.
Steven D. Levitt author of "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, talks about Sudhir's finding at TED click here to see him
No television show ever captured the dispair of the drug life better than the 4th Season of the wire, you literally forget that what's before your eyes is fiction
The new fourth season has already prompted resounding critical praise. The New York Times said the show "is the closest that moving pictures have come so far to the depth and nuance of the novel." Daily Variety observed, "When television history is written, little else will rival The Wire," hailing the show for its "extraordinary depth and ambition." Entertainment Weekly called the series "a staggering achievement," while the Washington Post described it as "electrifying and disturbing...a gripping saga," and the New York Post termed it "the single finest piece of work ever produced for American TV."
Unfortunaley Levett and the Wire are able to accuratley capture the problem but offer no solutions, That the book and HBO series I really want to see