Thursday, October 27, 2016


I was in my favorite gaming store the other day. From one of their rental rooms I heard a loud woman talking about how "they" were taking our hotel jobs.

Absurd as it was, she seemed serious. Now, I think that anyone I can hear from an adjoining room has waived their right to not have me join their conversation, but ugh, how awkward would that be?

The issue with folks who've traveled to the US illegally for work is similar to issues with sex workers and drug dealers. WE believe we don't like them doing it for principled reasons; we don't like drug use, STD spread, or underpricing US labor.

But attempts to stop these activities are always-irrationally-directed at the stereotypical images of the suppliers: Hispanics, women, and black Americans. This is because the people who provide these services for money don't have money and that lack of power makes them easier to prosecute. Even the most rudimentary understanding of free market capitalism will tell you how ineffective this is.

The persecution of (relatively) low power suppliers of these--technically--crimes might push prosecution numbers up high and make police and prosecutors look like they're improving their communities, but they're not.

As long as demand exists--as long as companies, middle-class johns, and high-end drug users are given a pass, those high-minded purposes of those laws will not be fulfilled because capitalism ensures that another desperate person will fill supply-side gaps.

Undocumented workers, sex workers, and folks in the drug trade do what they do because there is demand.


Playing whack-a-mole with dealers is bullshit. The power behind these forces is the folks buying their wares. Until they're subjected to the same harsh punishments, until they're treated with the same dehumanization as their suppliers, nothing will change. Not with undocumented workers, not with sex work (which should be legal), and not with drugs.

Suppliers will always take the risk of not getting caught to feed their families or just--unthinkably--themselves.

It's just supply and demand.

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