Sunday, August 28, 2005

Supply side economics

It's been a tough week of really long hours so I'm behind in my reading and I'm just getting to posting this link to Talk Left who notes that the Wall Street Journal did a piece on the futility of the war on some drugs. You need to be a subscriber to read the piece, so with apologies to Jeralyn, I'm just going to steal her quotes.
...don't be confused by the facts. There's a whole army of Washington bureaucrats paid to fight America's drug habit by cutting off supply. A cynic might even suggest that career drug warriors have an incentive to see the "war" go on forever. One glance around this town and you can see that, barring a change in policy, it probably will.
Here profitable consequences of the "drug war" are prominently displayed; it's just that they're not the ones that Richard Nixon had in mind when he declared the "war" more than 30 years ago.

A fertile mix of incentives -- high demand for cocaine "up north," the prohibition against buying and using and U.S. insistence on interdiction -- has pushed lucrative trafficking operations off traditional routes and onto paths that pass through places like this. Locals here say that everybody and his uncle is getting into "transporting" and they're all getting rich.
Ah money - the real gateway drug and no faster route to it than the primrose path of prohibition.

On the bright side, as my dear friend Jules Siegel once noted, the Vietnam war ended when the WSJ came out against it. Perhaps the same will hold true for the war on some drugs.


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