What Would It Look Like If We Cared About Narcotics Trafficking? An Argument to Attack Narcotics Capital Rather than Labor
17 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2011
Date Written: March 31, 2011
As the failure of the “War on Drugs” becomes ever more obvious, alternative strategies are coming to the fore. This article adds to that movement with a novel suggestion: That we cause drug networks to fail as a business through the tactic of focusing resources on the seizure of cash flow traveling back to source countries.
To date, federal narcotics interdiction has centered on restricting the labor supply to drug traffickers by incarcerating street dealers, mules, and middle managers. It shouldn’t be surprising that this has not worked, because low-wage labor is in ready supply, and those workers are easily replaced. Instead, we should leverage the skills we have gained in interdicting cash flowing to terrorist organizations and apply it to drug networks. The result could be a self-financing law enforcement effort, a federal effort that is more consistent with the core values of federalism and a belief in markets, and an actual chance to succeed at the task of restricting the flow of narcotics.
Keywords: Narcotics, War on Drugs, Economic Solutions, Federalism
JEL Classification: K14, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation