Saturday, July 16, 2011

Supply and demand

"For every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction" it's part of Newtons laws of motion, but it's also an apt description of what happens when regulation forces up the price or makes something illegal in that the black market will take over, a form of supply and demand so to speak.It's also why I'm very much in favour of legalising drugs and not over taxing something to the point where something like this can happen...
Police are investigating whether an industrial unit where five men were killed in an explosion was being used to distil alcohol illegally.
Lincolnshire Police said chemicals found inside the "smoke-logged" unit at Broadfield Lane Industrial Estate in Boston indicated alcohol was being produced illegally.
But Supt Keith Owen, who said it was probably some sort of spirit, stressed investigations were continuing.
In March, Trading Standards, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and police seized cigarettes and drink, including counterfeit vodka, from six shops in Boston. The county council said last month that tests on the fake vodka showed it contained cleaning fluid and was unfit for human consumption. One shop had its alcohol premises licence revoked and another had its suspended.
 I think it's highly likely that they were distilling a form of vodka and I suspect they had a ready market for it considering how organised they were. It's not particularly hard to do either, it just requires some form of contained vessel and heat, the rest is straight forward chemistry and physics. Quality control of course goes out the window, but if it's cheap people will buy it considering how the health Nazi's and excessive taxation have pushed the price up to the stage where something like this becomes economically viable.
Cause and effect, supply and demand, none of which seem to be understood by politicians who either ban or price something to the stage where the criminal elements in society see a profitable opening and step in. Pretty often it's done in some misguided attempt at morality "think of the children" etc. But that doesn't make the demand go away, simply drives it underground.
There are lessons to be learned here for those who see taxation as a tool to modify our behaviour, I doubt they'll learn them though, they didn't learn the lesson on tobacco or drugs, simply drove those users into looking for alternatives or cheaper sources.
Be nice if the state would just simply get out of our lives to the extent of letting us make our own decisions. Stop taxing our pleasures to the stage where we'll go to an illegal supplier, stop trying to tell us how to live our lives.
I doubt they will though, it's part of the control freakery that makes up the mindset of the average politician and morality campaigner. We will not do as we're told, so we must be made to by banning or simply making it far too expensive to be able to be afforded.
It doesn't work of course, if we want something that much we will go to someone who will sell us what we want or do it ourselves, after all it's the state who makes it profitable.

0 annotations: