Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cigarette Bust in Brooklyn as Metaphor

No surprises here but will we learn anything?

Officials are crowing about a 'big' arrest in Brooklyn from some guy that was selling counterfeit cigs, non-taxed cigs and even made and sold his own tax stamps to put on the cartons of cigarettes.

The government can regulate and put on price controls but people will just ignore it and arbitrge the public policy for their own gain. In fact Workers believes that any inordinate long-term gain can ONLY be made by arbitraging bad policy. Worse people are lulled into thinking that they are protected by the government but of course that is stupid and creates a society of unthinking people, who alas can then get preyed upon by those taking advantage of bad policy (e.g. the mafia in drugs and gambling and prostitution, or well, monopoly capital and central bank bailouts in the investment biz).

Bad laws even can make you kill your own family members (American Gangster tells that story). As you travel around the world the cost of a pack of cigs is a good measure of how big is the nanny-state.

India Opens Up

Specialization of labor

India says that it is opening its borders to goods from the world's 50 poorest nations (of which India was one not too long ago). Unilateral free trade is a good idea as it allows the people of the country (India) to get access to cheaper goods both for consumption and for inputs to production. India until the 1990s was moslty a closed centrally-planned economy allied more with the Soviets than the West now they are leading the way to enlightened international dealings viz trade, specially to places (like Africa) that need it most. Thats pretty great.