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April 28, 2005

Sex, Money and Meth Addiction

There is a compelling series of articles at New West Network which on the surface is about "sex, money and meth addiction" but when one looks deeper it says a lot about the changes in our economy and society. I have quoted a few paragraphs below. Click the above link for the full article (I came to this by way of Three-Toed Sloth):

And Dick Dasen, for all his success, was struggling in the mire of a consuming addiction of his own. Sometime during his years as a volunteer credit counselor, the help for many of the women who came to him, or were sent to him by charitable organizations, became an arrangement where he would exchange cash and checks for sex. These arrangements became part of life for many of the women, and were referred to as “appointments” with the businessman they called “Mr. D.” In statements made to police after his arrest, Dasen has said there were too many of these women to count, but law enforcement officials have estimated the figure in the hundreds.

At some point in the last few years, the appointments had gotten out of hand. Huge sums of money— estimated between $1 and $5 million total — were flowing out. Dasen told police that he had paid some women as much as $100,000. The women involved referred to themselves as “Dasen girls,” and they recruited among their friends, taking payments of as much as $2,000 just for bringing in anyone new who was young, thin, reasonably good-looking, and down on their luck. Since methamphetamine is perhaps the greatest luck-destroyer on earth, many of the girls came into the circle by way of using the drug. So much of the cash flowed directly back into the methamphetamine trade, law enforcement officials say, that Kalispell, population 15,000, experienced a big-city style epidemic of addiction and all that goes with it -- crime, domestic abuse and violent conflicts over drug deals and money.
And the Dasen story is about a world that most business people and most of the New West migrants in the booming Flathead Valley -- the dotcommers, trustfunders, the ski and trout fanatics and the nature-loving urban transplants -- see only for brief moments, if at all. It’s a low-wage, no-wage world, inhabited by the children who grew up in the death throes of the old economy. Their parents worked in the aluminum mill in Columbia Falls, or in the big sawmills that ran three shifts a day. They cut the timber or ran the skidders that jerked it from the forests, or drove the trucks that hauled it to the mills.

Those were good jobs and they paid for simple houses and cars and fed families with food supplemented by gardens and by hunting in the spectacular wildlands that surround Kalispell. But those jobs are gone now, and the children of those families, all grown up, are marooned in a new economy, kicking for scraps cleaning hotel rooms, punching a till, serving coffee, hammering nails in the condo developments, or doing nothing at all.

April 28, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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Where there is big money, there is sex, drug addiction and many more. Crystal meth addiction is just another problem that complicates matter more.

Posted by: Pablo | Oct 11, 2006 6:52:57 AM

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