Thursday, July 10, 2014

The result of the dead hand of the state

Governments never seem to learn, they repeat the mistakes of the past almost without fail and woe betide the end result of government meddling with price fixing and attempts to social engineer via market forces. If you use taxation to artificially raise the price on a product the public want, or even outright ban it then the results are inevitable, criminal organisations move in to give the public what they want...
Buy a bottle of Smirnoff and you will expect to get a high-quality vodka. But what’s in the bottle could cost you your life.
Britain’s shops are awash with counterfeit spirits made from lethal chemicals including chloroform and methylated spirits, an investigation has found.
The concoction is putting thousands of drinkers at risk of blindness, organ failure and even death.
And the trade is the tip of a counterfeit iceberg that includes rip-off designer handbags and clothing, and counterfeit cigarettes.
This is the consequence of government meddling and high prices in the retail world, they've more por less made it easy for criminals to set up with a license to print money for themselves and believe me the gangs don't give a damn about quality control or health and safety, just profits. yet even today MP's are still giving voice to price fixing alcohol with a minimum figure. What the reporter found was what the USA found when it imposed prohibition, if a price is too high or (like drugs) it's banned then if the public want it, some enterprising soul will find a way to provide it, invariably criminal gangs move in and you have market forces in action. The state loses revenue through duty and taxation and the public get shoddy products (occasionally).
Unfortunately politicians never learn to mind their own business, one of the hardest things to do is to actually do nothing and leave things alone and let the people sort themselves out. They meddle, initiate tax grabs and listen to minority pressure groups and this is the end result, utter failure on their part and driving ordinary folk into the hands of criminals.
They never learn.

3 annotations:

Barman said...

Typical Daily Fail story talking up the dangers of fake products...

The reality as you say is that the market has stepped in to fill the opportunity opened up by excessive duty. The counterfeiters have no interest in killing their customers...

And why would you make voddy from chloroform when you can make it from sugar...?

Mr. Morden said...

Or even tap water. It looks, if not tastes, the same.

I agree, the counterfeiters are not into killing off their customers, just taking them for a ride and maximizing their profits.

Government has just gotten plain greedy. They have increased the size of the State so much, and awarded themselves such good contracts that, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the other half to support them. Hence all these scams on Co2, sugar, fat, fags, alcohol etc.

Create a need for Government to interfere via some Government funded pressure group (no interest there), get them on the State funded BBC to promote it too the masses and, hey presto, you get the populace demanding, or so they say, for the Government to do something. And yes, what do they do, they regulate, tax or ban.

I confess, it took me a while to work that one out.

Jim said...

You have to remember the the State is a criminal protection racket too, its just that it gets to declare itself legal.