Interview with Milton Friedman on the Drug War

milton friedman

«Paige: There are many who would look at the economics—how the economics of the drug business is affecting America’s major inner cities, for example.

Friedman: […] if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.

Paige: Is it doing a good job of it?

Friedman: Excellent. What do I mean by that? In an ordinary free market—let’s take potatoes, beef, anything you want—there are thousands of importers and exporters. Anybody can go into the business […] BY KEEPING GOODS OUT AND BY ARRESTING, let’s say, LOCAL MARIJUANA GROWERS, THE GOVERNMENT KEEPS THE PRICE OF THESE PRODUCTS HIGH. WHAT MORE COULD A MONOPOLIST WANT? He’s got a government who makes it very hard for all his competitors and who keeps the price of his products high. IT’S ABSOLUTELY HEAVEN.»