If you run a business, you need to properly account for costs - something that Anthony Bourdain discussed on CNN recently while talking about Sicily. Mary Taylor Simeti started the conversation by noting that many things, such as meals are expensive. She then explained why this was so:
More so that the store can afford to pay its extortion money. The big change that has happened is that up until the mid-'80s, the late '80s, there were a great many Sicilians who thought if they were honest and didn't have anything to do with the mafia, they could live without being affected by the mafia. Apparently 80 percent of the businesses in Palermo and 70 percent in the rest of Italy that pay extortion.
But not everybody pays the bite. A small but growing coalition of businesses have joined a group called Addio Pizzo (ph), a grassroots organization taking a stand against the mafia's traditional mere total control over the food chain, from farm to table.
Bourdain then noted that the inflated costs are not restricted to Italy:
I come out of the restaurant business in New York. You got taxed with every laundry order every time they took your trash away. It was built in to all your basic services.
And if you fail to account for these costs, bad things can happen.
H/T Friends of Ours.
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