Thursday, September 23, 2010

Government interventions create economic niches

According to George Jonas that is what governments do "create economic niches"; he goes on to say: "criminalizing conduct makes it pay"  in his recent The National Post op-ed.
The Post is running a five-part-series on the sale of "illegal" cigarettes by members of First Nations (natives) groups in Canada. Jonas points out that a black market in cigarettes does not exist....."That's the first thing to know about it. Markets are colourless. "Black market" is what the authorities call whatever segment of the free market they want to restrict for whatever reason."
I'm the last person you would expect to defend cigarette smoking or any other kind of addictive habit, but sometimes freedom means 'letting go' and allowing some behaviours to go on as long as they only affect the user. This is such a case, and Jonas's column is worthy of your time.

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