As an outsider to the Calliope, I came to see the community as a complex system that was highly organized and tightly knit. Even though crime statistics for drug selling, violence, prostitution, robberies, and so forth, were quite high, the community itself did not seem to see itself as a moral failure. What we as outsiders would deem illegal, immoral or even pathological activities, were viewed by insiders as the the means of doing business, part of the Calliope's economic model if you will. Frankly, there weren't a whole lot of other options for earning a living. Transportation in and out of the neighborhood itself was hard to come by and the education system was awful.
But wrong is wrong, right? That depends on how you look at wrong. To use current criminal activity as an example, we have a community of bankers and brokers on Wall Street who bundled and sold real estate mortgages as high grade, low risk investment tools that they knew were worthless. This behavior initiated the domino effect of the mortgage crisis, the creation of billions of dollars of bad loans, Americans losing their homes to foreclosure, the collapse of businesses, and devaluation of pension accounts. There is some talk of these activities being immoral and illegal. But, at least for now, Wall Street continues with business as usual. The Wall Street traders who created the economic crisis, and their chiefs, are still employed for the most part, profitably so. We haven't heard about criminal convictions of these individuals, much less stories of prisons overfilling with investment bankers. In fact, Wall Street had a highly profitable year in 2009, taking profitable positions against the stock crash after the 2008 financial crisis.
I find it interesting that as a nation, our tolerance for crime based on greed is a lot higher than for crime driven by survival. Maybe the latter just makes for better TV.