If Crime Doesn’t Pay, a LOT of People are Wasting their Time

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“Crime does not pay”

That is not the dumbest thing ever said, but, if you stand next to it, you can see the dumbest thing from there. It was one of the trademark lines of the pulp-hero, The Shadow. He was a radio-age superhero who had the power to cloud men’s minds… which is what you’d need to do to convince anyone that crime does not pay…

Obviously, it pays. A lot of people commit a lot of crimes. If someone needs money and they decide to get it by collecting pine cones, they won’t be trying that a second time. There is a payoff with being a criminal or people would be less likely to do it. Is it ethical? Only situationally. And, by situationally, I mean, “It ISN’T ethical”. But, greed is good, the ends justify the means and gimme gimme gimme…

Now, I’m going to do something that most people will not. And, I’m not talking about putting sewing needles through my eyelids or selling Amway products to the Amish. I’m going to reveal to you the BENEFITS of crime. People concentrate too much on the detrimental effects that come from being a criminal. Benefits include:

Low Overhead: Crimes can be planned and even committed from any room of your very own home… or a bar, a warehouse or a cave. In fact, a cave makes a great “lair”. I recommend that criminals, after they get some cash flow, design and build a lair. Lairs are great places from which to plot. You can plan anywhere… at your kitchen table in your pajamas; but, you can only plot in lairs… or Scottish castles…

High Liquidity: Except for credit card fraud and forging great works of art, crime is a cash business. This is mostly due to the fact that you can seldom secure a business loan based upon your willingness to break the knees of people who don’t pay you protection money. The main drawback having all your wealth in cash is theft from others who similarly cannot secure loans.

High Turnover: Crime has a high turnover so it is easy to find a job; or, work for yourself as an entrepreneur. Or, if you’d rather be a member of a group of criminals and no position is available, find the criminal whose job you want and have him teach you about it. Listen respectfully, learn everything he has to teach you, then start a rumor that he’s wearing a wire…

High Customers: In most businesses, the customer is king… unless you run a cable television corporation, of course. If you sell illegal and addictive drugs, YOU make the rules. It is a capitalist’s dream. It’s a seller’s market and it’s a great excuse to grow three days of beard and wear a t-shirt with a sport’s jacket.

Benefits: The thing about work-benefits that most people don’t understand is that benefits are only a good thing for those receiving them. As a criminal, you won’t be getting any medical, retirement or dental benefits; but, maybe far less important, you won’t be giving them to anyone either.

Workplace Environment: For a criminal, the workplace can be a loud and dangerous place. The confused screaming of your victims can put your nerves on edge and make you wonder why you even bother to rob a diamond warehouse. Add police gunfire to that and you’ve got a worker’s compensation case just waiting to happen. In what way is that better than the regular 9/5 workplace? Two answers: No annual team building exercises; and, no Hawaiian shirt day.

Commuting: Gangsters tend to carpool, which saves on fuel. Just don’t be the guy in the driver’s seat if the guy who buys the cannolis steps out to take a whiz.

It’s the People, Stupid: Criminals are quirky interesting people with names like “Speed”, “Lefty” and “Governor Rick Scott”; in regular workplaces, they are decidedly less interesting and have names like “Steve” and “Linda”. There is the problem of having to work with dead-eyed sociopathic killers; but, the criminal world also has those types of people…

Related imageNow, there are drawbacks to being a criminal… I suppose. The average duration of retirement is usually the amount of time it takes a man to bleed out on the floor of some cheap waterfront dive, if Dashiell Hammett has taught us anything. Of course, there’s also prison… but aren’t normal workplaces prisons of a sort? You just have to walk further to the toilet in a normal workplace. And, in the end, aren’t we all condemned to death for the crime of being born? A depressing statement for me to make, I suppose… almost criminal…

So, I’m well on my way…

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