Yesterday, I was listening to NPR’s “Here and Now” piece on how the jobs debate looks to the unemployed. Putting aside the fact that the debate has been, thus far, over the deficit with precious little done for the unemployed, it was a very interesting, and sad, show. The host spoke to several men and women, of all ages, about their experiences as unemployed people. None would give their full names.
There was the 59 year old guy from Levittown PA with a college degree who can’t find anything. The woman whose full-time job was changed to a contract position, disqualifying her from unemployment benefits: today she has no home, lives on credit cards by shifting balances, and gets by as a pet sitter (which also affords her a bed to sleep in every weekend). She’s stuck in the middle: she can’t get the jobs she qualifies for because her experience means the employer would have to pay more than entry-level wages, and the jobs she doesn’t qualify for… well, you know.
It was discouraging to say the least, especially because I myself am unemployed, looking for work, and not doing so hot. But there was one thing I noticed, and maybe this was a function of the show’s call screeners: of all the things people were doing to get by, not one person mentioned “selling drugs”.
You can make a LOT of tax-free money selling drugs, especially if you have a steady clientele, because of the markup. A quarter pound of good weed, for example, can be had for about $1200: you can sell each ounce for $400 and make a $400 profit. Or you can sell it in quarter ounces at $120 a pop, and make $720 in profit.
The profits on cocaine, crack, oxycontin, and heroin are even greater, but the risk is bigger, especially if you don’t follow NWA’s rule:
To be a Dopeman, boy, you must qualify
Don’t get high, off your own supply!
I don’t know if the callers were embarrassed, worried about drawing attention to themselves, but I find it very easy to believe that a lot of people are filling the hole in their budget by selling drugs. In fact I almost recommend it: if you do it carefully, you can really make ends meet, and if you get busted and go to jail, you still get three hots and a cot, which is more than a lot of people have right now.
And why the hell not? We are ruled by criminals with no respect for the rule of law. Why should the rest of us comply with arbitrary rules no one else seems to?
[yes, this is a satirical “modest proposal”. but barely.]