Just finished watching the complicated British crime movie Layer Cake, and it’s got me thinking.
The narrator/protagonist opens the film with a monologue about the drug business:
Always remember that one day all this drug monkey business will be legal. They won’t leave it to people like me… not when they finally figure out how much money is to be made - not millions, fucking billions. Recreational drugs PLC - giving the people what they want.
He acts as though the drug trade is simply the most lucrative financial venture there is, and I started wondering why big corporate bigwigs, the ones who obviously want wealth and power, are working selling tires and toothpaste and TV programs when they could be selling drugs. First I thought that maybe it was the danger involved. I mean, corporations break the law all the time, but rarely does anyone do jail time. If you’re a bigtime drug-dealer, you’d be much more likely to visit jail if caught, and there’s the added risk of death by competitor.
I pondered some more. Perhaps this fictional narrator is wrong, and the drug trade is not the world’s finest source of income. Which leads me to the fundamental question, Where Is The Money? If you want to make as much money as humanly possible, how do you go about it? Drugs? Guns? Investing? Stock market? Banking? Dictatorship? Cronyism?
The main rule of capitalism is to get as much as you can while giving away as little as possible. Which means that the best deal you can get is a gift, or theft (although theft does carry the risk of prison). So it seems that the biggest moneymaker is some sort of arrangement where people just give you money, or where your theft is not illegal (i.e. rigging the laws themselves).
Still, no concrete answers there. What do you think? Where’s The Money?
No, I don’t ask because I’m looking for a career change, thanks. Just exercising my worldview and seeing how it looks from some new angles.
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