"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Unencumberance of the Illicit Drug Industry

James Petras, a professor of sociology at Binghamton University estimates that anywhere from $500 billion to $1 trillion dollars of illicit drug money is illegally laundered in big American banks each year. In case you're tired and don't want to think it through, "laundered" means the drug kingpin goes to Citibank or some competitor bank and deposits a few scores of millions of dollars into his account. The bank then has it at its disposal for investing or meeting current obligations. The bank big cheeses know it's illegal but also knows the authorities won't pester them because if they were they would have done it by now. Petras' full article can be found at this site.

Assuming Petras is right, it's interesting to note how the drug industry prospers without the "benefits" afforded by our bloated central government to other industries. Whereas drug trafficking is "illegal," the government can hardly offer benefits such as protection from discrimination, social security, health care plans, 401Ks, licensing, OSHA inspections, minimum wage guarantees and the like. Yet somehow the illicit drug industry flourishes. One wonders how much other industries could ramp up production of its products and services if they were afforded the gratuitous luxuries bestowed upon drug warlords and their employees.


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