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Mark Thornton on Prohibition, Marijuana and the Loss of Elite Control

ThorntonMark Mark Thornton on Prohibition, Marijuana and the Loss of Elite Control

Mark Thornton, Austrian economist and author

This Article came thru LewRockwell.com from The Daily Bell being an interview of Mr Thornton by The Bell’s Anthony Wile published 2 March 2014.  In consideration of copyright, I will post only a few short excerpts here to given the reader some picture of where this article goes.  It’s a very good read!

The more the government acts to suppress a market with more police, severe penalties and new tactics the higher they drive up prices and the more incentive black marketeers have to invest in ways of protecting themselves against detection, arrest and penalties. One of the primary ways of doing this is to increase the potency of the product or to switch to higher potency products. It’s more bang for the buck. Instead of smuggling wine, a truckload of 10% alcohol, why not smuggle a vanload of whiskey that is 90% alcohol? Why try to bring weak potency marijuana into the country when you can smuggle marijuana that is 5 or 10 times more potent, or why not switch to cocaine and heroin smuggling where a million doses can be smuggled in a single suitcase? Marijuana is not a true gateway drug that leads people to heroin. Stricter prohibition leads black markets from weak marijuana to heroin.

Prohibition is the major cause of crime. There are the crimes associated with buying and selling prohibited products like heroin and services like prostitution. Then there are crimes and violence associated with prohibition like those related to street gangs and organized crime, such as drive-by shootings, mafia “hits,” racketeering, etc. Violence basically replaces the rule of law when markets are prohibited.

Prohibition is the fountainhead of corruption. Without prohibition, corruption would be limited to things like elections and government contracts. With prohibition an enormous incentive (due to high prices) is created for black marketeers to offer bribes to law enforcement, the judicial system, bureaucrats and politicians to protect the bribe payer from being caught and punished. In addition, the bribe payer may offer government officials information about competitors, making law enforcement look competent and keeping prices high.The power to prohibit the consumption of a product gives the State an entry to controlling the production and consumption of just about anything. If the State can prohibit alcohol as a dangerous product, then it can prohibit dangerous books or anything else. This is what the ruling elites want. They don’t want restrictions on their power based on natural rights, the Constitution, or anything else. They have two weapons to destroy the concept of America and our rights. They use fear and “patriotism” against us.

I think it is correct to say that the power elite did have their hand in the cookie jar that was the Industrial Revolution. That was certainly the case in England and France. Mercantilist policies in France, for example, restricted entry into certain professions, which benefitted those with jobs and government’s favored firms. The king got more tax revenues but consumers paid the higher prices and had fewer good jobs. England provided defense services for the trading companies. England would go to war paid for by debt, war contractors would reap immense profits and the debt would be paid for with higher taxes on the working class. The conclusion is that the Industrial Revolution was a great thing but, once again, the “ruling elite” skimmed off most of the cream.

So much for the excerpts – now it’s time to go read the full article — enjoy.

 

 

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