“the Mob was really defeated not by charges but by changes”

The former Mafia prosecutor John Kroger, in his 2008 book, “Convictions,” details his team’s victories against the Mob but admits, with some chagrin, that the Mob was really defeated not by charges but by changes. Crime battens on prohibition. The lotteries stripped the numbers racket of its appeal; Internet porn took a toll on the prostitution and smut business; easily obtained credit cards robbed the loan sharks of their monopoly. A more permissive society—with gambling, sex, and debt regularized—was a less Mafia-friendly one. Being a criminal is always a bad career choice; the risks are too high and the hours too long. It has now become a ridiculous one. You’re better off actually being in waste management than using it as a cover.

Adam Gopnik, “Original Gangsters”, The New Yorker (7 December 2020), 69.