The War on the Border

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Mon, 09 Mar 2009 00:25:28 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

L. Neil Smith at The Libertarian Enterprise - Neil points out very clearly that the current "problem" with Mexican drug lords buying guns in the US, if they are indeed doing that, it may be a lie, is entirely government created. Repeal drug prohibition and their expensive product will cost little more than salt and sugar. But where's the money and power for the control freaks in that?

I'll repeat that for the McCain-Obama voters among my readers: the drug war along the Mexican border could be ended with the stroke of a pen.

With the stroke of a pen.

Remember that the commodities at the heart of this conflict are nothing more than agricultural products, harvested from poppies, coca bushes, and hemp plants. The only thing that makes heroin, cocaine, and marijuana worth fighting, killing, or even dying over is that their value within the market system has been artificially inflated by governments.

Thanks to government, each stage in the production, processing, transportation, distribution, sales, possession, and eventual consumption of drugs is attended by a severe risk of being beaten up, kidnapped, or killed, by government employees, or by the industry's competition.

Increased risks, thanks to government, invariably mean increased prices. Loss of product to confiscation or hijacking alone increases the street value of whatever product remains available. That's why it's so damned stupid to listen to the drug police brag about the way that their actions have raised the street value of drugs. All these self-congratulators have accomplished, in fact, is to increase the incentive for other entrepreneurial risk-takers to come take up the slack.

Outlaw coffee, and it would cost a hundred dollars a cup. On the other hand, make drugs as legal as sugar or salt and they'd be worth only pennies per "serving", removing most of the incentive to produce, process, transport, or sell them. Synthetic drugs would be unable to compete with the natural product. Gangs and governments alike would find themselves fighting over stuff worth one percent of what it is now.

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