Op-Ed: The 'Old-School Mafia' Could Get the Volatile Economy on the March

An interesting opinion piece on the old Mafia and current economic mess by Jeff Edelstein - trentonian.com:

I have a feeling by the end of this thought exercise, it’s going to seem like I am advocating for a return to the bad old days of cops on the take, the mob running protection scams, and all manner of vice readily available behind a few closed doors.

Well, maybe I am. Desperate times, right?

Dig it: In the last two years, average income in America has fallen 6.7 percent, and since 2007, it’s fallen a total of 9.8 percent, according to a study released this week by Sentier Research.

So if think you’ve been feeling poorer, like an old woman in a shoe, congratulations: You’re right. And you’re probably as tired of it as I am.

And the more I think about it, the more I take a moment to listen to the base message at the heart of Occupy Wall Street, the more I realize what I’m most tired of: politicians and the corporations they’re in bed with not doing anything about anything. (And by “in bed with,” I don’t mean “lying next to each other, maybe watching CNN before falling asleep.” I mean “meeting each other at a seedy juke joint earlier in the evening, renting out an hourly motel for the night, and doing things to each other that are illegal in 14 states and 70 countries, and then when they’re done, lighting a cigarette and asking each other if there’s any coke left.” That’s what I mean by “in bed.” Just to be clear.)

And while I’m not going to lay out, exactly, how these two loose-moraled entities are in bed together (mostly because I really don’t know), this much is clear: Huge tax breaks to big business. Record profits for big business. The stock market steady as she goes. People like me and you digging through our car for change so we can buy a McDonald’s sausage biscuit, and don’t pretend like you haven’t.

In short, money is not flowing to us. If anything, as our income drops, the net result is we’re actually sending more money to the government and corporations. And what is the government and corporations doing with that money? Mostly paying off bad debt, engaging in crony capitalism, and making Wall Street wealthier.

And the longer that happens — the longer the flow of money at the little people level, the local level, is sparse, the longer this craphole of an economy is going to last.

Any economist can tell you keeping money flowing is a surefire way to keep an economy humming. And the mob — I’m talking the real mob, the old timers, the Lucky Luciano’s and the Meyer Lansky’s — they knew the key to any successful operation was keeping the money moving. Buy, sell, reinvest.

Which is why it seems an old-style, block-by-block gangster economy — while certainly a terrible idea — might actually be better than what we’ve got. In short, corporations and the government are doing such a lousy job of keeping money circulating in local economies, providing jobs, providing hope, it’s not such a stretch to think we’d all be doing better financially — and maybe even spiritually — if honest-to-goodness crooks ran things locally.

To read the full article, click here: EDELSTEIN: The old-school Mafia would do a better job getting us out this economic mess than government and Big Business - trentonian.com