Mar 31, 2011

Whack-a-mole: Why It's Obvious We Are Losing The War On Drugs

An economist anaylzes why waging a prohibition war on drugs is counter to basic economic dynamics.

Why It's Obvious We Are Losing The War On Drugs: "... drug cartels are like normal business in some ways, but not in all ways. If cocaine and heroin were legal products like tobacco and alcohol, their producers' revenue would still respond to changes in price as predicted by elasticity, and increases in revenue would still be devoted, in part, to innovation and capital investment aimed at expanding supply.

But those businesses would not share the extreme badness of the drug cartels. It is not the nature of their products that makes drug gangsters so readily engage in murder, kidnapping, and other forms of mayhem. Rather, the conditions in which skill and enthusiasm in committing acts of violence become a path to promotion and power are created by the very fact that cocaine and heroin are prohibited substances, and those conditions are only intensified the more vigorously the prohibition is pursued."

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