with Chris Hedges
RT America on Nov 20, 2021
On the show, Chris Hedges discusses the business secrets of drug dealing with the investigative journalist, Matt Taibbi.
No one knows exactly how big the underground or illegal economy is in the United States, but most estimates say it is huge, 11 or 12 percent of the U.S Gross Domestic Product or GDP, meaning it is well over $2 trillion. The underground economy, which is designed to avoid taxation and government oversight, has its own set of rules, one of them being that it deals exclusively in cash.
The 2008 global financial meltdown, and the economic fallout from the pandemic, have, by most estimates, seen the illegal economy where people make a living off the books expand. The IRS estimates it lost $441 billion in taxes between 2011 and 2013 due to unreported wages. There is a cost to flying under the radar. Not only are those that work in the underground economy bereft of benefits, health insurance and worker’s compensation, but they have no legal recourse when they are cheated or exploited. Disputes are often settled with violence.
Matt Taibbi in his new book The Business Secrets of Drug Dealing, which he describes as “an almost true account,” chronicles the life of a successful coast-to-coast Black drug dealer in Donald Trump’s America. The book examines the shadow world of drug dealing, estimated to be a $100 billion a year industry in the United States, and lays out its peculiar subculture and peculiar rules for survival and success.
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