Out of the Shadows
by Steve Payne
says: what if organized crime was considered an opportunity rather than
a threat? Please note that the opinions expressed in this satirical post do
not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
October 29th 1935,
to comment on Reddit.on this day the Senate Special Committee to
Investigate Crime in Interstate Commerce, popularly known as the "Hoover
Committee" or the "Hoover hearings" recommended that the US Government
grant a one-off tax amnesty to regularise revenue collection from
"Not too different from OTL; a lot of restaurant
and entertainment fortunes got their start as gangsters" - reader's
commentFollowing the passage of the "Volstead" Act, the sale,
manufacture, and transportation of alcohol was banned for thirteen years.
Even though Prohibition was successful in reducing the amount of liquor
consumed it had the adverse consequence of stimulating the proliferation
of rampant underground, organized and widespread criminal activity.
Because the Federal Government did little to enforce prohibition and by
1925, in New York City alone, there were anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000
speakeasy clubs serving alcohol.
"Essentially the Mob pays a one time penalty, gets
an amnesty and brings their liquor and gambling businesses out of the
shadows. It requires a somewhat different politics than the actual US of
the 30's but weirder things happened in that era" - reader's commentsNew
and terrifying levels of violence entered American cities. Something had
to be done. And then on February 14, 1929 a South Side Italian gang led by
Al Capone - dressed as police officers - executed seven members of the
North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran. It was a watershed.
"Curious what this would do to Italian relations
leading up to WW2." - reader's commentsTo mitigate such wild
excesses, a transnational grouping of highly centralized enterprises was
formed under which Organized crime created its own chamber of commerce. An
early indication of the opportunity for self-regulation was the ordering
of Bugsy's Siegels' execution by his boyhood friend Meyer Lansky who had
him murdered to eliminate a conflict in the criminal underworld.
In addition to the Justice Systems desire for structure, the on-set of the
Depression meant that the US Government was desperate to generate further
income. A petition to Congress for a deal on a tax amnesty was welcomed.
And the result was a one time tax payment, whereby organized criminals
could get a pardon and come out of the shadows.
says in reality the hearings were held fifteen years later and chaired
by C. Estes Kefauver. Many thanks to Scott Palter and Jeff Provine for their
suggestions in developing this post. To view guest historian's comments on
this post please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
Steve Payne, Editor of
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