Throughout the book Freakonomics written by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, the readers minds are constantly tested by atypical questions that make them change their way of thinking, from morally to scientifically. It points out how people have an ideal image of how things should be, or what they familiarly recognize to be the “right” way things work, and economics prove how things actually work. Based on the data and research gathered on specific topics shown in the book, the claim that “conventional wisdom is often wrong” is proved to be a valid statement. The authors introduce what economists mainly try to prove, “..when moral posturing is replaced by an honest assessment of the data, the result is often a new, surprising insight” (13).
A question open to discussion that is provided by Levitt in the book begins as, “for what reason do drug dealers still live with their mothers if they are supposedly making so much money?” A young, white college-graduated sociologist went undercover to become up close and personal with a gang in the ghetto who participated in drug dealing. After uncovering all of the expenses that the gang leader was in charge of- including money towards drugs, weapons, board of directors fee, fighters, officers, foot soldiers, and many more- the thousands and thousands of dollars that went to all of this only amounted to each gang member receiving (aside from the head of the gang) minimum wage, or about the same as working at McDonalds as a burger flipper! The author explained that in order for you to really make the “big bucks”, you have to be the top dog of the game, similar to other job aspirations such as professional acting or sports. So the men who were at the bottom of the pyramid when it comes to the art of drug dealing, referred to as “foot soldiers” in the gang, “were unwilling to stay foot soldiers after they realized they weren’t advancing”(107). The common belief that drug dealers make so much...
Cited: Levitt, Steven, and Stephen Dubner. Freakonomics. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2005. Print.
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