Bag Man, Bag Man, The Bag Man


Larissa MacFarquhar presented an interesting inside look on the life of counterfeiting in her short story “Bag Man”.  One particular phrase caught my eye that was said towards the beginning of the story and again as part of the conclusion. “Counterfeiting,” the lawyer Harley Lewin likes to say, “is more profitable than narcotics, and your partners don’t kill you”. This statement is true in reality. People who counterfeit depending on how high or low they are in the chain of men make a decent amount to a loaded amount of money. Also unlike narcotics, which could land you in jail for a long stay or life, counterfeiting has a much shorter sentence. Which got me thinking about the other reasons of why people turn to counterfeiting instead of other illegal actions. It could be something that part of “family business” that leaves one to take charge of or leave it behind. It could be something one simply got wrapped into from making a wrong purchase. It’s very possible that most people with exceptions of course have had some type of interaction with the counterfeiting world. Whether that be a purchase from canal street that one knew could be a fake but decided to get it anyway or maybe being on the opposite end and receiving that purchase as a gift but never knowing it was a fake.

Some people do get dragged into that world innocently and others not so much. To some knowing the risk and labor that others are put out to make those products real does not affect them. They simply want the exchange in the end. For most companies that are being counterfeited their business is greatly affected. Sure the huge companies that have load of money will make it by just fine but what about the ones that are not so huge? Some of those companies can be put out of business for situations such as these. It’s an interesting topic to really know where the clothes, our bags, our products that are so personal to us come from


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