Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ed and Elaine Brown Discuss "Racketeering" On Their RBN Show This Morning

Racket (crime)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A racket is an illegal business, usually run as part of organized crime. Engaging in a racket is called racketeering.

Several forms of racket exist. The best-known is the protection racket, in which criminals demand money from businesses in exchange for the service of "protection" against crimes that the racketeers themselves instigate if unpaid. A second well known example is the numbers racket, a form of illegal lottery.

The term racket comes from the Italian word ricatto (blackmail) and is also used as a pejorative term for legitimate businesses. Typically, this usage is based on the example of the "protection racket" and indicates that the speaker believes that the business is making money by selling a solution to a problem that it created (or that it intentionally allows to continue to exist), specifically so that continuous purchases of the solution are always needed. Example: in a protection racket, a representative from the racket informs a storeowner that a fee of X dollars will be required every month for protection money, though the "protection" that is provided comes in the form of the racket itself not causing damage to the store or its employees.

The term was also used to describe the lavish parties thrown by gangs (circa 1850) located in the Five Points (New York City). Corrupt politicians sold tickets to these parties through coercion and threatening ultimatums. Click here for more and here to listen "live."



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