Jodi and I are watching a show on PBS about illicit markets. Aside from the exaggeration of the uniqueness of now (as if black markets haven't always existed) it's pretty cool. I find illegal markets a lot more intellectually stimulating than legal ones. There's just so much going on, so much innovation, you always have to be a step ahead of the people chasing you. The power of people's individual choices to overwhelm the best laid plans of governments and corporations. The reminder that criminal is a label of one's relation to arbitrary laws (and the arbitrary enforcement of those laws), not a statement on one's abilities in sales, marketing, operations, strategy, entrepreneurship, interpersonal relations, or other valuable, marketable, productive skills.
And of course, the overwhelming economic, human, and national security case for ending crime as we know it by decriminalizing much of what we call crime. Consumers get inferior products when pushed into gray and black markets, taxpayers get screwed by the massive bills which don't do anything, and organized crime and terrorist organizations have access to massive revenue and transportation networks.
But hey, it's hard to compromise on good public policy when it comes to issues like this. After all, the GOP is all about big government, and they hate free markets.
Labels: business, crime, drug war, economics, pbs, terrorism