The underground economy of the urban poor often entails illegal activity like drug dealing. Involvement in this elicit business is a very risky way for the poor to actually earn a living.
While they may receive large sums of money for selling drugs they run the risk of getting murdered or arrested at every turn. Sometimes the allure of “Easy money” is great and many young people that have given up on education pursue this illegal avenue rather than looking at legitimate means of earning a living.
The same could be said of members of the Mafia which totally define underground economy. The movie, “Good Fellas” was based on the true life story of Henry Hill who was an Irish American who was attracted to the gangster life at a young age.
The Mafia like any other illegal gang required its members to perform certain rituals in order to be fully accepted into the group and start earning money.
In this situation, Henry Hill came from a working class neighborhood whose parents held blue collar jobs and earned an honest living.
But like many that are attracted to the life of crime, Henry Hill felt that people that pursed legitimate work for so little compensation were “Suckers”.
His lifestyle in the Mafia did allow him a certain degree of wealth, but in the end he went into the witness protection program and has to fear for his life daily.