March 1, 2013
6. Are the working conditions and pay of work in the underground economy (especially dealing
crack) comparable with work in the formal economy?
In the crack dealing community there is a constant sense of fear; fear of being arrested, fear of
robbery and fear of being killed. This makes many of the workers tense and anxious while
working but because of customers they must seem calm. These men also know if something goes
wrong they will be punished, in the legal world they would be fired but in the drug world they
would fear for their lives or the lives of loved ones.
It also places them in the cycle of substance abuse. To deal with the stresses of their working
lifestyle many use crack or other drugs to escape their circumstance. After work they tend to get
together with Ray also to go to a bar where they consume alcohol. It can be assumed if a worker
refuses a drink purchased by Ray it would be considered a disrespectful action and they could
lose their position or worse.
The underground world has a variety of positions (look out, dealers, customers, bosses, etc)
which all have a key role in a successful deal, these are often unskilled jobs and ones that require
a certain understanding of the drug landscape. With