I just had to read Narconomics. The title itself made me purchase it. While it did not teach me exactly how to run a drug cartel – I was looking to switch jobs! – it was an interesting dive into the economics of the drug business. To the dismay of many, getting rid of drugs is not going to happen anytime soon. Get used to it.
Two of my favorite quotes:
And the more I wrote about el narcotráfico, the more I came to realize what it most closely resembled: a global, highly organized business. Its products are designed, manufactured, transported, marketed, and sold to a quarter of a billion consumers around the world. Its annual revenues are about $ 300 billion; if it were a country, it would rank among the world’s forty largest economies.
Governments are approaching the cocaine market as if it were the chocolate market, in which a rise in the price of cocoa beans leads to a corresponding rise in the price of chocolate bars. In reality, it is more like the art market, in which the tiny cost of the raw materials is insignificant compared with the high price of the finished product. Attempts to raise the price of cocaine by forcing up the cost of coca leaves is a bit like trying to drive up the price of art by raising the cost of paint.