Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Black Markets

Every time there is a law passed restricting a market while there is significant demand in that market the illegal activity in that market will increase.

That is a fact.

In other words, the more laws we pass the more of the market is driven underground.

When alcohol was restricted total alcohol sales increased.  Not just the illegal sales, total sales increased to above pre-restriction laws.

When recreational drugs were restricted total recreational drug sales increased.

Not only did both of these markets actually increase after being restricted the violence associated with these markets increased exponentially.

Exactly when do we turn the corner from appropriate restriction into creating a violent black market?  The truth is we don't know, but, we can predict some things fairly accurately.

The first thing we can predict is that once developed the illegal market will not return to pre-restriction levels when the restrictions are lifted.  In other words when restrictions on alcohol were lifted more people kept dealing in illegal alcohol than had dealt in illegal alcohol before the restrictions.

The second thing we can predict is that the more vocal the opposition to the restriction the more likely the illegal market is to grow.

In fact, just threatening to restrict a market can cause an increase in both legal and illegal activity in the market.

The current political mess about firearms is creating an increase in the black market in firearms.

More and more people are building their own firearms.  As restrictions increase the market for illegally manufactured firearms increases and more and more people will become involved in making illegal firearms.

At this point, I don't think it matters.  The illegal market in firearms is exploding and I don't think anything can be done to stop it.

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