AMLO Shows Some Spine

by jay @, Monday, March 20, 2023, 00:24 (75 days ago) @ Padrino
edited by jay, Monday, March 20, 2023, 00:34

From time to time we hear that a cartel leader has been killed or captured, and the people and Fox cry huzzah and believe that we're finally Getting Somewhere in the War on Drugs. And yet nothing happens. The flow continues without a hiccup. This is reflected by the price on the street, which doesn't budge an inch. Neither supply nor demand abates. Lopping off the heads of cartel leaders doesn't seem to make any difference at all. That's because there's no shortage of friends, associates, and rivals who will throw gramma into the volcano if necessary to move up a few notches. The profits are too enormous for the occasional grisly slaughter to deter the wannabes. And the flow just goes on and on........

Last I heard, admittedly a few years ago, the feds said they intercept about half of all shipments across the border. That seems a bit high to me, but I'll concede the point. But somehow demand is still being met. Again if demand outstripped supply then prices would spike. Economics 101. But prices don't spike, which means that the cartels simply ship twice as much product, assuming half will be intercepted. Demand would still be fully met, and for the cartels it's a relatively small cost of doing business.

In fact we could save a lot of money and grief if we ended interdiction altogether. Why? Demand for hard drugs is pretty inelastic. Those people that want their fentanyl now can find it quite easily, and more supply won't likely create much of a new market. (Otherwise supply-side economics would actually work. History has shown clearly that it doesn't.) And while drugs would likely be a bit cheaper, addicts in withdrawal aren't usually much concerned about modest price changes. The status quo of supply and demand would hold, and border agents could focus on more important matters, like scaring the shit out of desperate refugees and separating kids from their parents. So let them all flow uninterrupted, and let the free market work its magic.

But it won't happen. The drug war industry is too well funded and too well entrenched and We the People aren't nearly smart enough. And there is some value in making a moral statement, even if it is a fool's game that causes far more problems than it solves. All of this doesn't solve or even address the issues discussed in this thread - on that I got nothing to add - only points out the idiocy of the drug war, and the fantasyland most of us live in if we think it can be won.

The illegal drug trade is about the purest form of unregulated capitalism there is.

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