Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime

Author: Michael Woodiwiss
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About This Book

We know all about organized crime. Blockbuster movies and books, and thousands of news stories continually tell an eager public that organized crime is what gangsters do. Closely knit, ethnically distinct, and ruthlessly efficient, these mafias control the drugs trade, people trafficking and other serious crimes. If only states would take the threat seriously and recognize the global nature of modern organized crime, the FBI's success against the New York mafias could be replicated throughout the world. The wicked trade in addictive drugs could be halted.

The trouble is, as Michael Woodiwiss demonstrates in shocking and surprising detail, what everyone knows is pretty much completely wrong. Organized crime is dominated by employees of multinational companies, politicians and bureaucrats. Gangsters are a problem, but they are minor players when compared with the intelligence and law enforcement agencies that selectively enforce drugs prohibition and profit from it. The position of large corporations in the global economy provides the most mouth-watering opportunities for illegal profits.

Woodiwiss shows how respectable businessmen and revered statesmen have seized these opportunities in an orgy of fraud and illegal violence that would leave the most hardened Mafioso speechless with admiration.


by e12e   2020-08-13
You might also find Michael Woodiwiss' "Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime" interesting.

by e12e   2019-06-08
I don't think that's true, we have serious issues pricing externalities correctly, and making sure the correct party pays for them. Way too often the bill for risk and cleanup lands on the (local) goverment/public - sometimes long after the profit has been made.

Common and extreme cases are pollution of the type we see on Nigeria where global conglomerates are "allowed" to ignore safety standards by a corrupt government. Eg:

See also:

Michael Woodiwiss Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime

Ed: and another example of problematic incetives is allowing power production for profit. We generally agree we need to use less energy, and yet have businesses that make more money when they can sell more energy... Sure, it might be a benefit to relatively sell more "green" energy - but really, the ideal energy company would make the most money when it got its customers to buy less energy....

by e12e   2017-10-05
Or maybe start with Michael Woodiwiss: "Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime" for a depressing look at the bleak history of corporate criminal behaviour...

by e12e   2017-08-19
I'm against a free market precisely because the governments of Europe have a great track record in the periods they've adhered to "true" labour/socialist values. Universal healthcare, universal access to education, help with housing, regulations on the labour market - all things that have greatly improved lives of consumers.

Centralised power generally means a departure from direct democracy, and that's one reason why I'm not a fan of the EU.

For a great view into why a regulated market might just be better than an unregulated one, have read of: