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Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Futility and Genius of Prohibition

Prohibition laws rock.  If you're a criminal or the government, that is.  Huge money-makers.  Mind boggling money.

They suck if you're a consumer of the prohibited items, as the overhead for delivering the goods is steep.  And leads to crime.  Like violence, since the smugglers and producers can't call the cops when they get robbed.

So they protect themselves.  Brutally.

People have made billions of dollars on prohibited acts and consumables.  Prohibition made Al Capone a very rich and powerful man.  Ditto Joseph Kennedy.  Pablo Escobar (and those who replaced him).  The Sinaloa Cartel.  The FBI, the DEA, the BATFE and all of the state and local agencies.  The bloated prison industry exists in large part due to the prohibition industry.

Moonshiners, pot growers, sex workers, meth cookers, gambling houses, cigarette runners, Oxy sellers.  It's the same deal.  They found an itch and scratched it.

All owe their existence and success to laws aimed at stopping personally destructive actions.

Alcohol prohibition laws - at the time - were the ONLY Constitutionally-sound prohibition laws our country has ever seen.  They actually followed the rules and added an amendment to the Constitution.

Why was it right to follow the rules for alcohol, and not for pot?  Or opium?  Or meth?  Or heroin?  Or oxy?  Or sex?  Or poker?

I can hear it now:  "Well, Chief, people are stupid.  They need laws to tell them not to do drugs and sleep with whores.  It'd be chaos without these laws.  THINK OF THE CHILDREN!"

Yes, some people are stupid.  So what?  If they want to engage in life-destroying activities, no law is going to stop them.

And I AM thinking of the children.  We've left them with a pile of crap legal system that grants individuals and agencies the ability to circumvent the Constitution.  We don't teach our kids lessons about choices and consequences, we compel them to comply.

The proof is in the history.  If prohibition laws actually worked, we'd have no drugs, no junkies, no whores, no illegal gambling houses.

Most of these laws are proposed and enacted by - for lack of a better term - fascists.  People that garner the power to tell you how to run your life.

Click to enlarge

Their "movements" are painted in red, white and blue, they parade victimized kids like 4-H farm animals at the county fair, and they shed the appropriate tear at the appropriate press conference.

And then they circumvent the Constitution.

I ask every anti-drug zealot I meet the same question:  If [drug being discussed] were decriminalized today, would you start using it?

Their answer is always, "No", and my reply is always, "Me neither."  I have no intent in engaging in personally destructive actions.  I'm smarter than that.

But there ARE people that DO want the drug, and they have absolutely no problem whatsoever in getting as much of it as they want right this minute.  If they or the providers of the "vice" are caught, we spend time and obscene amounts of money "punishing" these people.

We spend billions of dollars a year pretending to stop this "problem".  A problem that will never go away, because it's not actually a problem - it's human nature.

Government, obviously, LOVES every flavor of prohibition.  It pays the bills.  It grows the fleet.  It bolsters the ranks.  It buys the drones.

Most folks have heard that in 1933, it became illegal to own gold bullion in the United States.  You were ordered - under an executive order added to the Trading With The Enemy Act - to turn in all of your gold bullion to the government.

If you did not do so, you faced serious jail time, and a fine equivalent to around $650,000 ($10,000 in 1933, but remember:  a $20 gold piece was actually worth $20.  That same coin is now worth approximately $1300).

What most DON'T realize, is that it was still illegal to own bullion up until 1971.  Ol' Tricky Dick officially took us off the gold standard, and Americans could once again legally own gold bullion.

Hmm.  Judging from the large amounts of pre-1933 gold coins I buy and sell every day in my precious metals store, many, many people covertly disregarded the law.

We're seeing something similar in India right now.

In India, for all intents and purposes, they've made it illegal to import gold - at least the amount of gold the people of the country want to possess.

Enter the smugglers.
Interpol issued the notice was after officers seized 50kg of gold from his operatives in various consignments in the past six months. Going by the handwritten receipts and some papers recovered from Haneef 's house in Seven Wells in December 2013, investigators believe Haneef and his associates have smuggled at least 1,000kg of gold into the country.
So, this guy has smuggled the equivalent of at least 32,150 troy ounces of gold into India.  At current gold spot prices, that has a value of about $41.5 million.

And I guarantee you he is not selling the gold at spot prices.  Assuming he only charged an average of $100 premium per ounce, his profit is over $3.2 million.  I'd guess he's charging double or triple that amount - if not more.  Gold is king in India.

Not bad work if you can get it.  And he can thank the Indian government for giving him - and thousands of others just like him - the opportunity to charge these exorbitant prices.

And it won't be stopping any time soon.  Look at this video (2m) where a "concerned politician" is discussing putting limitations on the amount of gold jewelry that can be possessed and worn in a wedding.


It also notes how on one flight from Dubai to India, every single person on the plane had at least a kilogram of gold with them!

If I were a gold smuggler, I'd be making campaign contributions to these politicians.  They are making sure the smugglers will continue making buckets-o-cash well into the future.


Accept The Challenge

OK, so we know via historical evidence that all governments will attempt to prohibit goods or actions.  Their actions will be cloaked in "social justice" or "economic equality" or "moral imperatives" of some sort.

You know it's all about control.  And means dollars.

In their eyes, you are too stupid to have your own moral compass.  You must follow the moral compass forced upon you by bureaucrats in DC, your state capital and city hall.

In my book, THAT'S immoral.  My moral compass says that any individual of legal age can do as they wish as long as they don't infringe on the rights of another while doing so.  (Minors, non-sentient [self-aware] beings and the mental ill are all protected and restricted, as none have the ability to make legally binding agreements).

So, what do you have in your life that you don't want to see go away?  Cash, rum, pot, porn?  All of the above?  Learn how to make your own.

Perhaps more importantly, see what others use and want, and learn how to make or supply THAT.  If you have moral qualms with, say alcohol, then don't make and sell it.  You ARE an of-age, mentally sound, sentient being, so act like one.

Live by your own moral compass!  Weigh the potential costs against the benefits, and make up your own mind.

The endgame and tactics employed, though, are pretty damned ominous.  If we look at the former Soviet Union, we see that, while they ruled with an iron fist, they were very liberal with dispensing the social drug - vodka.  People might be upset if they can't get a loaf of bread, but cut off the self-medication of choice, and you risk revolt.

When will EBT cards be openly accepted for the purchase of alcohol?  They already work at strip clubs and casinos, so can the corner liquor store be far behind?
Yes, Ms. Whiton was wrong since the rules in her state say it is okay to use EBT cards for the purchase of cigarettes and alcohol—but our question nationwide should be why is this even possible?  How can “free” alcohol and cigarettes help poor people?
Ooops.  I'm a bit behind the times.

Is there a correlation between Soviet practices, EBT booze cards and the recent loosening of marijuana laws in the US?  Add to that the increase in "mental disorders" that require medication to dumb-down our children - especially rebellious boys?

Take my land, take my assets, use both to feed the State - but keep me hammered so I comply and don't care.

Property ownership and freedom of action are the hallmarks of a free state.  We no longer have that, and what little is left is being sucked dry.

What are you going to do to protect your assets?  Your freedom of choice?  Your right to live as you see fit?

Hurry up, 'cause the Prohibition Police are a-knockin' at your door...

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Copyright 2014 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

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