[extropy-chat] Total global capital tied to illicit drugs

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 1 22:57:05 UTC 2005

--- "Lifespan Pharma Inc." <megao at sasktel.net> wrote:

> I wonder just how many net billions are involved in the supply
> chains from field to user for the world's illicit drug supply chains?

Ponder this: the global illicit drug supply chain is booming because
its illegality makes it untaxed at any level, thus fulfilling the
claims of libertarians and other lassez faire economists that lack of
taxation and regulation leads to massive economic growth and profits,
which might explain why it is a source of capital and why the PTB want
to keep it illegal in order to be able to use the subsidized power of
state enforcement to protect their markets.

> When these operations consolidate at the top end exactly which groups
> and institutions corral major portions of this capital?

Ask the Federal Reserve why reports on the source of capital from
overseas investors are kept partially classified (the parts that detail
illicit drug sources).

> Essentially what would be the impact to the global economy if these 
> supply chains were no longer in existance.
> How much capital would be freed up to divert to alternative uses as a
> result.

Wrong way to think about it. The profits of drug production are a major
consumer economic sector with a low cost of production, thus it is a
major mechanism for concentrating capital into quantities useful for
international finance. If these profits were in legitimate economic
sectors, they would be much smaller, if not non-existent due to
excessive taxation and regulation by governments (as well as tariffs
and duties when crossing international boundaries), as well as the fact
that legality of drugs would cause prices to plummet and thus profits
to shrink, even if legalization also absolved producers and
distributors of the cost of anti-drug government activities.

> Could the capital equivalent to this fund a healthspan-extension
> supply chain?

A smarter idea is to seek out holders of drug profits to invest in life

This is already occuring at the retail level, as many street drug
dealers do a double trade, exchanging their illicit drugs with addicts
for their legitimate prescription phsycho-pharmics, which the dealers
then sell to upscale recreational users for additional profits. The
illicit drug industry knows the utility of the new brain meds and wants
a share of those profits, particularly as they are reducing the rate of
illicit drug addiction here in the US by getting people hopped on licit
drugs (as an analogy: why would a consumer of Glenlivet ever desire a
shot of Panther Sweat?).

> What I am getting at is that with the growing understanding of 
> nutrigenomics it is more and more feasible
> to consider key aspects of nutrition and supplementation as medicine
> to optimize healthspan (Kurzweil stage1).
>  From a macro view of resource allocation I am thinking that one
> might divert resources already in existance
> to be able to retool the illicit drug market into an nutrigenomic
> market.

Different markets. Illicit drugs are an entertainment and psycho-pharm
market, not a longevity market. Instead, you want money that people
spend on killing themselves: autos, cigarettes, alcohol, caffiene, or
capital from businesses that profit off such markets.

> All those folks growing magic mushrooms could add medicinal ones to
> flow into a nutrigenomic market.
> All those folks growing opium and pot etc might be given new lines
> and assured nutrigenomic markets.
> All those folks with the home labs might get trained to run contract 
> bioreactors for nutrigenomic markets.

Changing the product of the pharmer doesn't keep him from getting shot
by thugs who still want their opium.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
Founder, Constitution Park Foundation:
Personal/political blog: http://intlib.blogspot.com

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005 

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