The Mafia is an Italian secret criminal society. The Mafia, or syndicate, impacts cities all around the world. Most of the effects of the Mafia are negative, but there can be several positive effects on the culture and economy of the cities in which it frequents.
Peter Maas declares organized crime the “biggest business in the country” (Maas). “The largest and best known organized crime group is the nationwide organization variously known as the ‘syndicate’, the ‘mob’, the ‘Mafia’, and the ‘Cosa Nostra’” (Nash, Jason O-155). Some activities of the Mafia include gambling, loan sharking, pornography, illicit drugs, and racketeering. The Mafia began in Sicily, but did not retain to just that one location. In fact, in the late nineteenth century many of the Sicilian members immigrated to the United States (Nash O-155). The Mafia in the United States contains members that are Americans with Sicilian ancestry (“Mafia” M-48). There are several Mafia groups in the United States. Law enforcement authorities agree that there are around twenty-five groups that operate in large cities across the nation (Nash O-155).
Different groups of the Mafia are called “families” because all of the members are related. Each family is led by a capo, or boss, whose authority is very absolute. Some caps may be called “godfathers” because the capo serves as a godfather for children of members of the “family.” Most Mafia leaders own legitimate businesses. Ownership does not involve racketeering, because running a business honestly allows owners to receive respectability (or at least a bluff). Underneath the boss is the sottocapo, or underboss, and a consigliere, or counselor. The consigliere is an older member of the “fa...
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...benefit economically from their activities on these markets. Countries with offshore centers that specialize in money-laundering reap significant benefits. Unlike the negative effects of the Mafia and organized crime, the positive effects are direct and quickly noticeable (Van Dijk 56). Even though it may seem like the revenue from all of the illegal activities helps the economy, it actually does not. There are profits but it does all lead back to negativity: corruption, lesser rule of law, risk of business, etc. The economy is actually slowed down and weakened rather than strengthened (Van Dijk 52).
Whether it is fortunate or unfortunate, the Mafia does have an impact on the cities in which it frequents. The effects can be either positive or negative. Overall the impact of the Mafia on the culture and economy in which it frequents is undoubtedly negative.
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