“In other words, a crack gang works pretty much like the standard capitalist enterprise: you have to be near the top of the pyramid to make a big wage.”
Why do drug dealers live with their moms? Well its quite an obvious answer. They can’t afford to buy their own house to live in, let alone pay rent for an apartment. But more important of a question, why would you be a drug dealer in the first place? According to the book drug dealers are arrested an average of 5.9 times throughout their period of being in a gang, and have 1 in 4 chance of being killed. Why would anyone take such risks just to deal drugs and make usually less than minimum wage? But then again why does anyone do anything they do? Because everyone wants to succeed in what position life puts them in.
Drug dealing is a very competitive field where only the top of the top live the luxurious life, and everyone below them doesn’t. Instead they all strive to try to beat the top of the top. Which can cause other things they do such as murdering someone just to make a name for themselves. When people are raised in a classy Manhattan home they might want to be a briefcase holding business man just like their dad, versus the poor kid from the Bronx whose dream is to be the head of the gang. they don’t know much of anything other than that is the luxurious life. And everyone responds to incentives, because if the prize is big enough, than the risks usually get bigger as well.