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True story, that's how it worked in the Robert Taylor homes. The gang leaders, building managers, and police had an uneasy truce.
If someone did some stupid shit that was out of line, the gang leaders would make sure to quietly rat out the perpetrator via the building crew.
I'm pretty sure that the recent rise in random street violence is directly related to the breakup/gentrification of the project homes. It's no different from the mafia or yakuza - once the central power is broken up, there are lots of low level thugs scrambling for money/power and nobody to keep them in line.
Some sociologists hate it, but I think Gang Leader for a Day is an entertaining read that gives a nice introduction to sociology and being a being a sociologist, especially the research and fieldwork aspects. And audiobook is available if that's your preference.
Gang Leader for a Day is now on my must-read list, but it's not the book I was thinking of. This was 2003-4 that I took the class.
The cover is brighter. Like a vibrant contrast-y orange/yellow and bright lighter shade of blue.
Most of the commonly cited problems caused by "immigration" in our country are, in actuality, caused by the drug trade.
Reduce the country's reliance on drug importation, you reduce the influence of the cartels and the gangs.
As sociologists have pointed out, gangs exist, not to form some sort of mythical "hispanic/black menace", but because the gang system mirrors the McDonald's franchise model for supply and distribution (with the cartels standing at the top of the c-suite).
If Mexico is failing to "send their best", it's because of drugs. Take care of the drug problem, and you take care of most of the problems with "bad immigration" (i.e., drug mules and drug runners).
Maybe this doesn't fit, but if you're looking to learn more about it Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets provides some really great insights into the gang community and how the day-to-day is run as well as the community efforts the gang bring in an effort to deter being reported to the police
If you would seriously like to learn something of the mindset and daily life of a Chicago gang member I would recommend the book, Gang Leader for a Day.
It is basically a sociologist who spends time with a black gang on the south side of Chicago and details the environment and mindset.
Dr. Levitt, last year I read Sudhir Venkatesh's incredible book Gang Leader for a Day. Do you still maintain contact with him or with other people featured in your books and articles? Is there anyone that you've mentioned that should write a book but hasn't so far?
Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets focuses heavily on lower level dealers. Very interesting book. He used some of the info from doing this book for his work with Freakanomics (reminds me to put that book on my list).
If you're really curious about gang life in Chicago, a UofC professor basically embedded himself with Chicago gangs for seven years to observe them and wrote a book about his observations.
Check out Gang Leader for a Day.
Brilliant in-depth analysis of gang life and the poverty surrounding it. That may sound dull, but it's actually a very interesting, entertaining, and well-written book.
The co-author of that section Sudhir Venkatesh wrote an entire book on the subject -- Gang Leader for a Day. It's worth the read.
For some reason, reading this and the comments/questions below made me think of the book Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh. Some really interesting insight on the sociology of gangs in Chicago and it reads really fucking well for a non fiction book. I felt like I was just reading a story instead of some dry set of facts. I highly recommend this book.
Yes, usually when I'm flying somewhere, or randomly browsing Amazon.
This book in particular was an interesting read
There aren't as many very large, highly organized gangs as there were in the 80's and 90's. Those functioned more like a black market business. The goal was to make money, gain territory, and move up in the hierarchy.
Now that a lot of the head guys were taken down, the gangs splintered and are much smaller, and less organized. In Chicago where I live, gang territories are very small and gangs run a corner, but the whole south side or north side isn't split between the People and Folks, across the line. There is tons of infighting between cliques that are technically affiliated with the same larger group.
Gang leaders are not as often powerful black market CEOs, but more than likely an 18 or 19 year old kid running a group of 20 kids.
Dismantling the gangs in the 90's actually really increased violent crime in the city, because the focus is no longer on making money. There aren't level headed guys at the top telling people to quit it with petty violence, because body counts are bad for business.
Most homicides in Chicago are not related to the drug trade, but to some little slight or disrespect, a $20 loan, someone flirting with someone else's girl.
If you'd like to really learn what gangs today are like I'd suggest Gang Leader for A Day
To understand some more of the structures of violence and gangs I really highly recommend The Interrupters
If you want to understand what gangs were like at the height of their influence, in the 80's and 90's, there's nothing better than The Wire. But that shows a reality that no longer really exists.
The exception is the Latino gangs that are trafficking drugs into the US. They are HIGHLY organized and very disciplined in their use of violence. If you'd like a snapshot of this, I'd recommend Sin Nombre
And if I may briefly stand on my soapbox, please be aware that if you buy your (illegal) drugs from anywhere but a legal pot dispensary, it's very likely that you ARE supporting the highly organized Latino gangs that are ruthless and violent. It's difficult to harmlessly buy black market drugs, unless you personally know your grower.
Check out: Gang Leader for a Day: https://www.amazon.com/Gang-Leader-Day-Sociologist-Streets/dp/014311493X -- the dealers don't make much money at all. They are kickin' the money to people up the food chain.
This sort of related to your ask: Gang Leader for a Day - https://www.amazon.com/Gang-Leader-Day-Sociologist-Streets/dp/014311493X
While not focused on your question, it does show the impact that poor urban designs can have on the poor.
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If I recall correctly, Sudhir claims that 54% of users he observed in the South Side of Chicago back in the 1980's were actually functioning. https://www.amazon.com/Gang-Leader-Day-Sociologist-Streets/dp/014311493X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Sudhir+Venkatesh+gang+leader+for+a+day&qid=1571162955&sr=8-1
> The likes of George Washington Carver and the Tuskegee institute are examples of success in the face of greater prejudice than today. Most cases of institutionalized racism is illegal today, and there are hiring standards and acceptance standards for universities that promote African American participation.
Absolutely. And I don't deny those improvements. We've made huge progressive strides towards removing that racial prejudice from our culture. To that effect, we've also seen some improvements in the livelihoods of black Americans. Not at quite the rate of progress you'd hope to see- but things are generally trending in the right direction. But clearly we could be doing more, because there are still some glaring problems with crime and poverty.
So what can we do? Like I said, prison reform and drug legalization would personally be my first move. I think it's the easiest, most bipartisan issue that we can act on. After that, things admittedly get a little more murky.
> The problem seems to be that a lot of inner city kids struggle to get to that point, with Chicago Public Schools being quite terrible. There are kids who go to community college from there that didn’t recognize 1/10 was 0.1. CPS teachers are paid more than the Chicago Community College professors, so it does not seem entirely a money issue. These school, which are probably what most inner city kids have access to, are most likely a significant factor. The dangerous nature of their neighborhoods and the amount of bad family situations further hinder educational improvement.
This is something that I can actually speak to personally- because I grew up going to a Chicago public school. Obviously that also makes me biased, so take everything I say with a grain of salt- but it does give me some insight into some of the problems people are facing. Gangs are a huge problem, as I'm sure you have read about in the news. Kids join gangs as early as middle school.
People have a hard time understanding why people join gangs. It seems like such an insane decision to choose to be in a gang, especially when you grow up only hearing about the worst part of gangs. A lot of people don't hear about how the gangs host events, they donate to charities and churches, they pay people's legal fees when they're arrested for bullshit drug charges.
Obviously none of these things justify murdering somebody or committing violent crimes. Gangs do that too. But when you grow up in those communities, you see both sides. You also see the money. You see the opportunity to escape the terrible poverty that surrounds you. You see jewelry and cars. Your dad probably left, so you see gangs as male role models.
There's actually this really amazing book, Gang Leader for a Day, that follows an Indian grad-student at U of Chicago who gets involved with a gang accidentally. It's extremely insightful if you are interested in learning more about this kind of thing.
So how do we break the spell and keep kids from going to the dark side? That's a tricky one. Money for schools is important I think. Personally in my experience at school- the best thing was after-school activities and programs. Sports, auto-shop classes, scene-shop classes- basically things that got kids involved in communities outside of gangs, and gave them skills to make money that didn't involve selling drugs. So money for teachers is great- but I would love to see more money going to funding those programs that keep kids busy and off the streets after school.
Då kan jag rekommendera denna
Visst att det är skillnad på Malmö och Chicago men intressant bok
Thanks for your elaborate and fairly reasoned response. I won't respond to all of it, but will respond to some of it.
>There is no evidence that the quality of care would decline. If you point to the fact that fewer people would become doctors because it is not profitable, then you have no idea what it takes to be a doctor. Essentially 10 years of ridiculous working conditions and debt before you even start to make decent money. Additionally, anyone who becomes a doctor for the money is probably a shitty doctor.
I made it to my senior year as a biology/pre-med major before I completed my econ degree much later in life. I'm fully aware of the challenges of becoming a doctor, as well as the fact that even after you get your freshly minted M.D., you still have your residency period during which you are working 80+ hours and making pitiful wages (it was $36-40k when I was pre-med, but that was the 90s, not sure what is today).
>Universal health care would allow doctors and medical practitioners to spend less time in reactive care as people will be able to afford preventative care under the new system. This would drastically lower the costs of long-term care, improve cancer diagnoses, etc.
Maybe. Lots of people can afford medical care, but simply chose not to go to the doctor until they are defecating blood. Like I alluded to earlier, we have a wider cultural and behavioral problem that adds to our medical costs that isn't as simply as "privatized bad, socialized good".
>I addressed this in my previous response, but if you insist that only a small portion of the population receives minimum wage then it stands to reason that costs would not rise that much as we won't have to pay that many people more money (btw, this statistic does not include those who earn more than minimum wage but less than $15/hour). There are far more workers in every industry than those who would now make more money, so based purely on math, the price of goods would increase at a lower rate than the buying power increase.
Ah, I didn't realize we were talking about a $15/hr increase...I was assuming a more modest minimum wage increase than a de-facto doubling. A doubling will obviously raise more people's wages, but will likewise have a more disruptive effect on the labor market and costs of goods.
>This point was about cost-benefit analysis. For many people, working under the table, selling drugs, stealing is a much more cost-effective use of their time than slaving at a dead-end job for $7.50 an hour. Tell someone in a low socioeconomic background that they could make $255/week after taxes while working 40 hours a week, or make $1000+/week selling drugs, then it's no surprise when you get some who choose the latter.
That's the assumption, but the reality is a little different.
I think Sudhir Venkatesh looked at the economics of the street level dealer in http://www.amazon.com/Gang-Leader-Day-Sociologist-Streets/dp/014311493X and found that the average one doesn't make much more than minimum wage.
Same thing is true for the sicarios in Mexico. Economic analysis has shown that the average killer in Mexico makes a very small premium over legitimate menial jobs (and certainly not a high enough premium to compensate for their much higher death rate), but they get non-monetary compensation (e.g., status and the power of life and death over people). Said another way, it's not the money and the demands of paying bills that gets people into the criminal lifestyle.
I'm listening to Robert Greene's "48 Laws of Power" on audio right now. It's pretty good. I remember starting it before finding TRP and it didn't click at all, but it makes more sense now.
I listened to a lot of Stephan Molyneux's podcasts when I started into TRP. He has a lot of political/financial/anarchy stuff doesn't interest me as much, but he also runs a neat call-in show. The great call-in episodes are where he'll dig into someone's relationship problem, analyse it from a very Men's Rights'/ TRP perspective, and give the caller hell for making bad decisions. Notable episodes (you can find on youtube) are "Trapping Men in Fallopian Tubes", "Estrogen-based Parasites", and "The Dangers of Dating a Single mom".
If you're looking for inspiration in the career/goals sense, I used to have a set of Brian Tracy CDs (maybe tapes? it was a long time ago!) which were geared toward selling/sales but had a lot of general goal-setting and motivational stuff.
Two other audiobooks that I recall enjoying the hell out of were "Gang Leader for a Day" and "The Disaster Diaries". The latter is an interestng account of a guy who learns all kinds of manly survivalist stuff - kind of hokey in parts but the stories of his experiences were pretty cool.
It actually isn't too dense, if you want to check out the original. He also wrote a book more geared to the general public called Gang Leader for a Day that is a neat read.
Your post is full of many, many inaccuracies and misconstructions, so I'm not really going to address it, as it is well below me.
Related, I think you'd learn a lot from this book, by Prof. Sudhir Venkatesh:
It's about him as a young (Indian-American) researcher who spent time studying a criminal drug dealing gang that took over a public housing project (now removed, thank goodness) in Chicago, and used it as a base of operations for their drug dealing and ensuing petty and violent crime.
More importantly it's an interesting look at the economics of gangs, and it becomes very clear how public housing so readily fosters gang activity.
I definitely think that you'd learn a lot.
Gangs, at least in urban areas, are overwhelmingly people of color. The history and reasons behind gang membership and activity is a long and complex sociological and anthropological story, written about in various books and research journals.
Take a look at 'Gang Leader for a Day' by Sudhir Venkatesh. It's set right here in Chicago.
Do they sell crack there? I read a book about a chicago housing where some crack gang did their biz.
Edit: This is the book im referring to: Gang Leader for a day
I realize the Wikipedia article isn't terribly helpful, which is why I linked the story about the NYPD case. I, and many many others (unsurprisingly!) find that case to be extremely disturbing. And of course, there is the infamous Rampart Scandal in the LAPD, involving over 70 officers accused of some form of misconduct (and many felonies), with several cases still being unsolved today. I also read a book many years ago called <em>Gang Leader For A Day</em>, where a U of Chicago graduate student embeds himself within a gang of drug dealers in the local projects, and witnesses rampant police brutality (including instances of robbery and unwarranted searches and beatings).
Of course, I'm sure you can come up with excuses as to why these examples don't worry you (NYPD/LAPD cases were exception, the book is just anecdotal and probably full of lies to sell more copies or whatever). And that's fine, I can't change your mentality. But I think it is important for LEOs to understand that these narratives are out there, that they are very convincing to the general population, and that they're not going to go away.