Causal Argument- pomegranate

The Ethical Issues Regarding Mattress Stores and Money Laundering

The terms, “money laundering” and “mattress stores” don’t necessarily spark an interest for readers. However, once the meanings are explained and it is clear how they go hand in hand, it then leaves you with a jaw dropping type of realization. When driving past a mattress store, it is easy to notice the big signs covering the windows promoting a sale. Behind those signs, there is no one inside. People are left to question why there are so many stores if there is rarely anyone in there. This leaves many to wonder, how is there such high demand on mattress if it’s a purchase made once every decade. Many people know that if you have a lot of cash and you don’t want to put it in the bank, usually, you’d put it under a mattress for hiding or safe keepings. There have been many people who have explained why exactly they leave their money under a mattress. However, it’s easy to assume why mattress store owners do it. The assumption includes, they have been laundering money for years but they would not like to get caught doing it so the one place many people look, but is so obvious not to see, would be in the mattresses of a mattress store. It is steep, but it makes sense. The cause of these mattress stores having no one in them, but they continue to stay open, would be simply because they are money laundering scams.

                A recent article by Trent Hamm explains why he, Hamm himself, hides money underneath his own mattress at home. “I keep a small amount of twenties in my home as my ultimate emergency fund.” See, most people do hide their money in case of emergencies. However, then it is also easy to believe that if there is money in a mattress it is most likely just for emergencies and not money that is being laundered. Many examples in the article such as hurricane Katrina and many other storms which had wiped homes and towns away, along with power and heat and many other living necessities, were reasons to why keeping emergency money in your house would be found as unbeneficial, because it is ruined. However, you could find this as beneficial because you can use this money to leave and go find other shelter for these storms. The point here is that most people wouldn’t suggest that the mattresses in stores were not being used to hold money for emergencies, for they are being sold. In the back of laundry stores, there are empty rooms, with limited mattresses. This is why most times it takes a few days for your mattress to come to you. However, the ones they have the back are the ones easiest to assume that they have money being hidden in them. Once again, a stretch but it makes sense. They want to be as slick as possible so there is no way they can be caught doing this federal crime.

                Many people money launder because, well, it’s an efficient way to increase and keep your funds increased. There many effects and consequences, however. The biggest consequence would most likely be getting caught and potentially serving jail time. In an article by Julia Layton and Oisin Curran, they say “the global effects are staggering in social, economic, and security terms.” When money is successfully laundered, it does in fact mean that the criminal activity does pay off, according to a socio-cultural approach. The success encourages criminals to continue this illegal activity and spend profit without any consequence. There are many negative consequences to this however. These consequences, according to Layton and Curran include, “more fraud, more corporate embezzling, more drugs on the streets, more drug related crimes, law enforcement resources stretched beyond their means, and a general loss of morale on the part of legitimate business people who don’t break the law and don’t make nearly the profits that the criminals do.” It is almost unfair. They are working illegally to get their money. Once they find success there is a high chance they keep going, and once again, continue their criminal activity.

The economic effects are a little more confusing to understand. Countries that are in the process of being built often “bear the brunt of modern money laundering” due to the fact that the governments are still in process of “establishing regulations for their newly privatized financial sectors.” An example of this would be in the 90s, when banks from the developing Baltic states had gotten many deposits of “dirty money.” People continued to withdraw their own “clean” money with the fear of maybe losing it if the bank were to go under investigation. This would result in insurance being lost. As a result, the banks did end up collapsing. “Massive influxes of dirty cash into particular areas of the economy that are desirable to money launderers create false demand, and officials act on this new demand by adjusting economic policy.” This is jaw dropping. The words, “create false demand,” make so much sense when talking about mattress stores. The owners have enough money to keep the stores open, but end up having no customers because there shouldn’t be such high demand on mattresses, and there isn’t. It is a false demand, and it is easy to believe this, along with the fact that the owners are money launderers.

The local problems are easier to understand, and can affect people personally. Problems like this can relate to an include taxation, and “small- business competition.” When money is laundered, it is usually not taxed. This ultimately means that people who do not launder money, have to make up for the taxes that are not written off, make up the loss in tax revenue. Real, legit small business do not have the ability to compete with money laundering front businesses who can afford to sell a product for cheaper because they do not have the purpose to make a profit, their purpose is to simply clean the money. The amount of cash they have in these businesses is more than most so they might even have the ability to be able to sell a product below cost.

There are many consequences to money laundering, some in which cam affect people that have no business in money laundering. It is unfair to the people that don’t. However, this can open our eyes to the fact that many businesses can in fact be money laundering and we, as people who do not launder money, have to make up for it. Many of these reasons and consequences can all route back to mattress stores. They could just be one of the guiltiest businesses for a crime like this. The way they tie hand in hand, mattress stores and money laundering, is jaw dropping and eye opening.

References:

https://money.howstuffworks.com/money-laundering5.htm

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/why-i-keep-cash-under-my-mattress/

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1 Response to Causal Argument- pomegranate

  1. davidbdale says:

    Workshop Example WED APR 03

    As you read the following paragraph, ask the important questions about Rhetoric.

    1. Does the paragraph use precise language to emphasize its ideas?
    2. Does it make clear claims?
    3. Does the paragraph ask readers to accept a specific premise?
    4. Does the paragraph reveal (or does it hide) its arguments?
    5. Does the paragraph present a complex thesis?
    6. Does the paragraph employ its Scholarship effectively?
    7. Does the paragraph give readers time to disagree?

    Many people money launder because, well, it’s an efficient way to increase and keep your funds increased. There many effects and consequences, however. The biggest consequence would most likely be getting caught and potentially serving jail time. In an article by Julia Layton and Oisin Curran, they say “the global effects are staggering in social, economic, and security terms.” When money is successfully laundered, it does in fact mean that the criminal activity does pay off, according to a socio-cultural approach. The success encourages criminals to continue this illegal activity and spend profit without any consequence. There are many negative consequences to this however. These consequences, according to Layton and Curran include, “more fraud, more corporate embezzling, more drugs on the streets, more drug related crimes, law enforcement resources stretched beyond their means, and a general loss of morale on the part of legitimate business people who don’t break the law and don’t make nearly the profits that the criminals do.” It is almost unfair. They are working illegally to get their money. Once they find success there is a high chance they keep going, and once again, continue their criminal activity.

    Let’s Break it Down

    Many people money launder because, well, it’s an efficient way to increase and keep your funds increased. 

    We don’t use Second Person language in academic writing, so we’ll have to scrub the “your” from this sentence. It doesn’t indicate how money laundering works except to increase funds, but that’s not accurate. Money laundering hides the origin of illegally-obtained money before it’s used for legitimate purposes, so it doesn’t “increase funds”; it just makes them more useful.

    There many effects and consequences, however.

    Any sentence, however brief, that doesn’t advance the argument, should be eliminated. This one is completely contained in the one that follows, which identifies “the biggest consequence,” a claim that includes the idea that there are many consequences.

    The biggest consequence would most likely be getting caught and potentially serving jail time.

    We’re three sentences in, so this will probably be the focus of the paragraph: the threat of jail time for money laundering.

    In an article by Julia Layton and Oisin Curran, they say “the global effects are staggering in social, economic, and security terms.”

    But apparently, the scholarship cited will be used to prove something else: the global costs of laundering, not the threat to the individual launderer.

    When money is successfully laundered, it does in fact mean that the criminal activity does pay off, according to a socio-cultural approach.

    So instead of making a point about the costs to the launderer, we’re asked to consider that the launderer makes out well.

    The success encourages criminals to continue this illegal activity and spend profit without any consequence.

    Again, we’re offered the image of the arrogant money launderer who apparently cannot be caught and who scoffs at authority.

    There are many negative consequences to this however.

    We’re wasting another sentence.

    These consequences, according to Layton and Curran include, “more fraud, more corporate embezzling, more drugs on the streets, more drug related crimes, law enforcement resources stretched beyond their means, and a general loss of morale on the part of legitimate business people who don’t break the law and don’t make nearly the profits that the criminals do.”

    Since we’re uncertain what money laundering is, how and why it works, it’s hard for us to see how laundering results in any of these consequences. The sentence appears to prove NOT THAT MONEY LAUNDERING results in more crime, but that the LACK OF PROSECUTION for crime in general results in smug disregard for the supposed risks of breaking the law.

    It is almost unfair.

    Almost?

    They are working illegally to get their money.

    Unclear here is whether the author means drug dealers, embezzlers, or money launderers. They’re all illegal, but this paragraph was about the consequences of money laundering, not all money crimes. 

    Once they find success there is a high chance they keep going, and once again, continue their criminal activity.

    Again, we’re not sure whether the laundering is the crime, or whether it facilitates the commission of other money crimes.

    Let’s Build it Back

    First, let’s establish the function and value of money laundering.

    Criminals launder money because, well, they can’t spend huge wads of cash at legitimate businesses, or deposit them in banks, without raising a lot of suspicion. Flashing a big roll or spending lavishly without a legitimate source of income is a good way to land in jail.

    Next, we make the claim that money laundering is an effective way to evade detection and prosecution.

    By operating legitimate businesses that could reasonably receive large amounts of cash (laundromats, car washes, small retail stores, for example), criminals create the appearance of having legal access to the funds they deposit into bank accounts.

    After readers know the game, the scholarship makes more sense.

    According to Julia Layton and Oisin Curran,  the global effects of this shadow economy are “staggering in social, economic, and security terms.”

    But, aren’t the criminals worried they’ll get caught? Apparently not. We need to make that clear to our readers.

    As Layton and Curran make clear, law enforcement,”stretched beyond their means,” are unable to keep up with the illegal activities of criminals who successfully conceal the source of their profits. And the consequence of being able to avoid detection is “more fraud, more corporate embezzling, more drugs on the streets, more drug related crimes.” 

    The “larger social aspect” of despair among legitimate businesses isn’t a direct result of money laundering. It’s a reaction to the sense among law-abiding business people that they’re being chumps who could profit more if they didn’t follow the rules.

    It’s no surprise, say Layton and Curran, that “legitimate business people who don’t break the law and don’t make nearly the profits that the criminals do,” are discouraged to see the criminals prosper, apparently without consequence.

    Revised

    Follow the causal claims in bold.

    Criminals launder money because, well, they can’t spend huge wads of cash at legitimate businesses, or deposit them in banks, without raising a lot of suspicion. Flashing a big roll or spending lavishly without a legitimate source of income is a good way to land in jail. Instead, by operating legitimate businesses that could reasonably receive large amounts of cash (laundromats, car washes, small retail stores, for example), criminals create the appearance of having legal access to the funds they deposit into bank accounts. According to Julia Layton and Oisin Curran, the global effects of this shadow economy are “staggering in social, economic, and security terms.” As the authors make clear, law enforcement,”stretched beyond their means,” are unable to keep up with the illegal activities of criminals who successfully conceal the source of their profits. And the consequence of being able to avoid detection is “more fraud, more corporate embezzling, more drugs on the streets, more drug related crimes.”  It’s no surprise, say Layton and Curran, that “legitimate business people who don’t break the law and don’t make nearly the profits that the criminals do,” are discouraged to see the criminals prosper, apparently without consequence.

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