Ill-gotten gains...why even bother?

I recently recalled the section on Dave Barry Hits Below The Beltway where he explains all the weirdness that happens in his state. Specifically, this low-paid government employee (or whatever) who was arrested with six million dollars of drug money in his attic. Which, of course, immediately reminded me of all the other headlines where this or that respectable character was arrested with fistfuls of drug money, smuggling money, or some other huge illicit windfall.

Which begs an obvious question…why bother making millions and millions of dollars in any activity if YOU NEVER GET TO <<SPEND>> ANY OF IT?

If I had six million dollars in my home that I could never spend, that wouldn’t be great…it’d be torture! Even more so knowing that I’d lose everything in a heartbeat if I ever got caught. I mean, making a fortune and squandering it with a newly extravagant lifestyle is pretty lousy, but at least you get a taste of the good life before being getting cleaned out. What joy is there in making a huge score and having to live the same dreary life you always have…which, of course, gets even worse behind bars?

While I’m at it…how about organized crime, something I’m shocked still exists. Geez, you talk about a no-win situation. How many people in the entire history of this peverse scam have lived a full, happy, healthy life in comfort? Hey, I don’t care how well they pay, because I know that somewhere along the line, I’ll get arrested, or killed, or thrown into some crazy turf war, or get sued and lose everything in a thousandth of the time it took me to make it. And the rules, mustn’t forget the rules. I have enough hassles in my life without having to memorize the code of the underworld or follow every petty command issued by some don. Especially since breaking even the smallest rule carries repercussions. Really bad repercussions.

In all, the criminal life sounds pretty damn miserable to me. What’s the appeal?

Whoever said crime doesn’t pay was probably a poor criminal. For every schmuck you hear about who gets busted, there are hundreds living the life of Riley and laughing in your 40hr/week face. (Hint: Never work with a partner. They will always rat you out) You don’t hear about the successful ones, like you never hear about the dead body that is never found!

Just a thought. :wink:

Fagjunk Theology: Not just for sodomite propagandists anymore.

I gotta agree,DKW . In my experience, the hard part is getting away with it. But you have to KEEP getting away with it. The stuff I know of personally is just penny ante:
Synopsis A) Petty thief steals my (deceased) grandmother’s coat, which she left me. From my car. Now, everyone in my family & several family friends know this person. Someone in the family/friends circle will see her at least once a day. Why would she steal something she will NEVER be able to use?
Synopsis B) Firstborn Male Child gets $10 lunch money on Tuesday from dad. Firstborn Male Child gets $10 lunch money on Wednesday from Mom. Then $5 lunch money on Friday. Does he think Mom and Dad will not find out when he suddenly comes home Friday afternoon from 7-11 with bags full of loot?

forgot to say: lunch is $1.75. Breakfast is $1.00

What, you want to know how we successful ones do it? I am not telling :stuck_out_tongue:

I believe this is one of the buried themes of movies as diverse as Menace II Society and * Carlito’s Way*

While I was a crime reporter, a cop told me that if criminals were smart, they wouldn’t be criminals. Does that answer your question? For a great many of them, it’s just all they know. They become criminals for the same reason that so many residents of Detroit go into the car business, or residents of Oregon (used to) go into logging; they look at their options and figure there’s just nothing else out there for them to do. For some, crime offers the only way to get either money or respect, and the downside isn’t very apparent. Goodfellas is one of the few films that illustrates a criminals life from every angle to make this point.

Lizard’s cop friend probably hit it right on the head… they’re dumb! A guy collects six million in drug money, then realizes he has no clue what to do with it.

He probably just saw the opportunity and took it, without doing any kind of advance planning. Maybe he’d figure out something later on, but he was too stupid to cover his tracks, so he got caught before he could find a way to take advantage of his money.

There are tons of smart criminals. But many criminals are very narcissistic, which makes the dumb one’s think they’re clever and the clever ones think they’re nigh unto Gods.

[quoote]In all, the criminal life sounds pretty damn miserable to me. What’s the appeal?
IANA crook, but I’m guessing that the excitement is part of the appeal. Think of the adrenaline rush you’d get from making off with 6 MILLION DOLLARS. It’d be intense.

From what I’ve been able to gather (mostly through movies and articles, so probably not the most accurate), life is pretty good for mobsters until they get whacked. It’s a trade off…instead of 70 years of safe, honest, hard work, they get 35 years of fun, games and comfort.

And to quote my administration of justice professor, “we don’t catch the smart ones”

Of course, it’s possible that someone would have a load of money, and launder it off bit by bit, so would have a lot left if they were caught.