An unskilled and poorly educated underclass is trapped between the drug economy and the war on drugs. The Wire compresses decades of the Baltimore drug trade into its five seasons. In a sense, the way the series depicts the many facets of that trade functions to give us a master class in the history of the capitalist mode of production and accumulation. When Detective Jimmy McNulty observes, “Everything else in this country gets sold without people shooting each other behind it,” the irony is implicit. Within legitimate capitalism, the economic system’s violence remains largely hidden. Only in the primitive accumulation of the drug economy is violence shown as highly visible and an integral part of the trade.