This latest news article about the damage we all suffer from drugs arrived in the Business Section of my morning paper today. Typically, for the real ugly stuff I go to the Police Blotter, but things are seemingly getting far worse these days.
Our latest law enforcement victory is credited to "Operation Red Zone". " 'Cartels are seeking to get their hands into any illegal activity they can", said Kevin Abar, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security investigations in New mexico."A lot of folks may think that there's nothing wrong with buying a knockoff Denver Broncos jersey, but in reality, the money is being used to wage the drug war in Mexico.' "
But please don't remind me that Denver came up short again, there's also this. "More than 160,000 counterfeit items, mostly purporting to be official Super Bowl and other NFL merchandise, were seized during "Operation Red Zone." ... So the feds will be out big time at the Bowl, and this whole Operation has already seized $13.6 million of bad shit.
Where to start?
Go for the gusto, I guess!
" but in reality, the money is being used to wage the drug war in Mexico" - well, no! Unless the U.S government is now smuggling counterfeit consumer goods of a consumer goods variety (as opposed, of course to when the government smuggling was actually tied directly into drug distribution from which some part or the other of the government directly benefited), the Drug War we are fighting aginst the Mexican people is still being paid for by we tax payers directly. What's happening on the other side is fighting back, responding to the law of supply and demand, etc. As far as the implication that Mexico somehow attacked us with the drugs we've thanked them with our dollars for having sent us over the past half century?
But of course there's more. The easy one first, as in did anyone mention China? We're discussing counterfeit goods, and China doesn't even come up? Even if some factory in Mexico actually is producing knockoff NFL shit, what are the odds that it's under Chinese ownership? But, stupid me, why pay wages in Mexico to make counterfeits (and this goes for business persons of the Chinese, Mexican, or any other persusaion) when the profits will be ever so much larger from employing a Chinese production facility, and a Mexican transhipment "arrangement"?
From the article "Federal agents believe cartels are using the counterfeit trade to launder money and expand their illegal activities as authorities step up law enforcement." Someone needs to read the money laundering statutes again. The "danger" from money laundering resides in the ability to legitimize ill gotten gains. Turning dirty money into dirty money is what kind of laundering? Oh yeah, with that kind of process you end up with profits that need to be laundered. Sounds more like some mundane variety of investing to me!
And how do we even tell who is investing what? Reminds me of that "urban lore" from the late seventies, early eighties where law enforcement used to bring "Drug Dogs" in to sniff mountains of currency, and then claim the presence of cocaine as grounds for issuance of a Search Warrant. Until of course, someone ran the numbers with respect to one hundred dollar bills (the prefered denomination both for rolling a bill to sniff through, and carrying large sums in small packages) and concluded that any pack of hundreds in the country, statisically, would produce a hit if sniffed by a dog.
In a world awash with drug proceeds, I challenge anyone, anywhere, to find any significant business investment that is not being backed by at least some funny money. This is what we have, this is what we are okay with, and, accordingly, this is what we will have until we decide to do something else.