Monday, October 3, 2016

Prohibition Escalates Violence

"You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife; you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue."
--Sgt Jim Malone (The Untouchables)

Nice chart that demonstrates how prohibition escalates violence in society. An influential group in society views X (e.g., drugs, alcohol, guns) as threatening. This group influences government officials to pass a law banning X.

Because there is no longer a way to legally obtain X, its value grows (ECON 101--supply goes down in face of constant demand, thereby raising price).

Black markets naturally arise with the increase in price, as buyers and sellers see benefits that outweigh the cost of trading illegally. Crime, i.e., illegal trading of X, becomes more organized over time, and the frequency of violent crime in the market increases.

In response, law enforcement develops harsher tactics for combating the crime. Criminals become more violent in response.

And around she goes...

1 comment:

BDub said...

Missing is the money cycle part of that final loop. As tactics and sentences get harsher, the risk of doing business drive up prices as well as the violence. That extra cash fuels the resources available to the criminals. Thats how you get cartels with income rivaling the GDPs of some countries. This in turn necessitates the State to increase funding and scope to combat the empowered criminals...which raises risk, and so on.