Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Big Money Fast


The drug war will never be won no matter how fiercely it is waged. Why? Because there will always be people who will be attracted to making big money fast. The drug war provides people with the opportunity to do that. In fact, the harsher they crack down in the war on drugs, the more money there is to be quickly made.

In 2009, 23 American Airline employees were arrested for transporting $20 million worth of cocaine on flights into and out of Puerto Rico.

Assuming they were guilty, why would employees of a reputable airliner risk their freedom and their jobs by doing something illegal? To make money — big money — fast. The drug war gives people that opportunity. Those airline employees weren’t smuggling beer or wine, which are legal. They were smuggling cocaine, which is illegal. The fact that cocaine, unlike beer and wine, is illegal causes the black-market price to soar, along with profits.

Did the arrest of those American Airline employees dissuade others from engaging in the drug trade?

Nope. Whenever they bust some drug dealers, the price and profits associated with drug dealing might well go up, due to the decrease in supply. The big money and the opportunity to make it fast inevitably suck new people into the drug-war maelstrom.

For example, this month — two years after the American Airline bust — authorities in Detroit busted several employees of Delta Airlines for drug-war violations. The employees stand accused of smuggling some $4 million worth of drugs into the country in suitcases on planes heading into Detroit.

The likely reason? Big money fast.

Or consider the six students arrested at SUNY Potsdam last week on drug-war violations. They ranged in age from 19 to 21. They were charged with selling marijuana to undercover informants.

Again, assuming they’re guilty, why would they risk losing their education and possibly spending a few years in jail?

Big money fast.

Or consider the latest tunnel between Mexico and the United States that U.S. authorities discovered this month. It was 250 feet long and went through solid rock.

What would motivate people to go through so much time and trouble?

Big money fast.

That’s why the drug war is never-ending. The more they crack down, the higher the price and the profits, which then lures new people into taking the risk to make big money fast. Meanwhile, the drug war produces an endless stream of ruined lives, with no end in sight.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.