The Relationship between Economics and Crime

Interestingly enough, there is a correlation between the rate of crime and the current state of the economy. There are so many examples to use in pointing out the relationship between economics and crime. The primary example would be the economy in general taking a hitting and people are financially suffering. Unfortunately, money is everyday. No matter what a person tells you, money is everything. Money is the one thing that makes the gears of the world turns.

The cost of living is not getting any cheaper. For those that have jobs, it is not really enough to put food on the table. Or, there are plenty of people living above their financial means. With the cost of all these things, there is pretty much the need for a lot of cash. In most cases, it takes a lot of time to accumulate a lot of cash. However, you cannot simply save all that cash. You have to pay for things like: insurance, medical bills, rent, food, clothes, and so forth.

However, there are aspects of the economy that does encourage crime. Again there are many examples:

Example One:

This is perhaps the one thing that gave rise to organized crime in the United States. This era was known as the “Prohibition.” It is also known as the “Volstead Act,” the “Noble Experiment,” and the “National Prohibition Act.” During the Prohibition, it was illegal to sell, possess, and/or consume alcohol. Despite the prohibition on alcohol, it did not stop the distribution of alcohol.

To make matters worse, World War I had ended and it was during the stat of the Great Depression. It did not stop people from getting their alcohol. It gave rise to illegal production and distribution of liquor. In short, it enticed many people to take up bootlegging. There were also the speakeasy clubs as well. The prohibition very much established a black market for alcohol.

Alcohol was a valuable commodity that was made illegal. People were going to do whatever it took to have a drink. The mafia groups and gangs exploited that problem for their own self-gain. Overall, the black market trade of alcohol was highly profitable. In a nutshell, this is one example on how the economy and crime are related. Back then, the mafia mainly focused on gambling and thievery.

Example Two:

This is something that is quite common but is barely covered. This revolves around the crime of prostitution. Prostitution is defined as selling sexual favors. In short, prostitutes have sex for money. One can ask: Why do people resort to prostitution? Keep in mind that while there are plenty of places in which prostitution is illegal, there are plenty of places in which prostitution is perfectly legal.

In regards to the places where it is deemed illegal, there are a number of economic reasons that people will resort to prostitution.

Scenario One –

Say that you are a college student and have to pay a high cost of tuition. You have to divide your time between work and studying. Not only do you have to keep your grades up, you have to be able to keep up with the tuition costs. That is very much no easy feat right there.

On top of that, the job only pays peanuts. It is not even enough to pay for one quarter of the yearly tuition. When one factors that together, it would entice the student to take up prostitution.

Also, what if the student’s major does not really pay that well? That is a legitimate issue to think about. On top of that, the student could have taken loans that have to be repaid as a result. In short, the student is in a mountain of debt upon leaving college. What is the student to do?

Scenario Two –

What if a single mother has no choice but to go into prostitution? That too is a legitimate issue to think about and to address. In today’s world, it is quite difficult to raise a child let alone two or three. They need food, clothes, medicine, and so forth. Everything tends to be expensive nowadays. The mother would need that money fast. That would be reason enough to risk getting charged for prostitution.

Scenario Three –

On the business end, prostitution is quite lucrative. There are many people who run prostitution rings to make a profit. Prostitutes come a dime a dozen because there are plenty of people that need the money. Those people very much have no bargaining power as a result. A person could exploit that and run a prostitution ring. One example would be the D.C. Madam case.

Example Three:

This is something I discovered from a news article back in 2008 about the Mexican gangs and how they are blending in with modern society to keep hidden. In this respect, Mexican gangs have been recruiting more educated people rather than people off the streets. Instead of looking for people wanting to belong, the gangs are looking for people with intelligence and skills.

There are plenty of college students looking to make a quick buck. Again, the cost of college tuition is rather pricey. By doing illegal stuff, they can make more money. The thought of a lot of money is enticing to just about any college student. However, that does not solely apply to college students.

In the article, a woman was interviewed anonymously. She was a government worker who made about two grand a month. The woman ended up joining a gang and taught the gang members all sorts of valuable skills such as extortion. She ended up making four grand a month with the gang.

Example Four:

There are a bunch of greedy and selfish people in this world. In this respect, a father could end up pimping out his own children for money. The father is financially down on the dumps. However, that does not mean all fathers in that situation will do something like that. The one criterion to meet is that the father is a piece of garbage. The father or step-father could force the children into prostitution. Sadly, the world is full of degenerates.

Example Five:

Even when the economy is good, people will take advantage of it. One example would be the fifty billion dollar Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Bernie Madoff.


It is summed up to this: it is either about trying to survive or simply wanting to make a lot of money without putting forth much effort into it. However, the law does not discriminate between survival and the good life. A crime is very much a crime. If the economy is bad, people will resort to crime to survive or to live the good life. If the economy is good, people will resort to crime to amass a ton of money without putting forth much work into it. Thus, that is the ultimate relationship between economics and crime.