Shouldn’t free market ideologues embrace the business practice of drug dealing? An illustration…
A poor, young man who was raised in poverty and had a rough upbringing with little education, stands over the grill flipping burgers at a local McDonald’s for $7.50 an hour, with no real future on the horizon.
After daydreaming at his fast food job, an idea of how to be a more efficient drug dealer pops into his head, and festers for the rest of the day, until he goes home and spends his night drawing up his plans and doing the necessary research. But, does he have the funds to get started? Let’s assume he does.
So, the next day Jim takes a huge risk and quits his job. He goes to the bank to withdraw all of his money, believing that his hard work and strong vision will somehow enable him to maneuver in a new industry and still turn a profit.
Next, he needs clients. Any business needs a steady client base of which they can expect regular funds. So, he begins networking. He calls his friends, tells them about his new idea, how it will benefit them, and they jump on board. They call all of their friends, and quickly Jim notices a steady stream of money coming in.
A few months after his start up Jim gets a knock on his apartment door by a policeman (regulator). They ask him a few questions, beat around the bush; they basically say, “hey, we know what you’re doing. We’re not going to bust you this time. But, just think about the fact that we know.” And so they leave. At first Jim is frightened. But, he quickly goes to his bedroom and counts all of the money he’s made in the short amount of time, and realizes he has nothing to worry about.
Another couple of months go by, and Jim’s idea is a huge success. He can deliver more merchandise in quicker time and conceal the evidence better than any of his other rivals. He’s getting to be one of the biggest movers in the city. Then, the same police officer shows up at his door one night, and begins threatening Jim. Jim reaches into his pocket, pulls out a bulk of money and informs the officer that if he arrests Jim and everybody that Jim implicates, he may be out of a job. The officer thinks, then realizes “he’s right” as he takes the money and wishes him good luck with his new venture.
After another month, Jim has more clients than time to deal. So, he calls a few of his friends who don’t have jobs, and puts them to work. He hires five people while he stops doing the legwork and keeps the books. After a few more months, he has ten employees. That same officer comes to Jim’s new house warming party and brings along a colleague. The three have a warm conversation explaining the genius of his idea and they leave as new friends.
A year goes by and Jim’s operation has expanded exponentially. He has his hand in every major city, and has thousands of people working for him. Those two officers have multiplied and their brethren are in every city aiding Jim and his workers, making sure they’re well informed of potential regulations and regulation enforcement. Another year goes by and Jim has the American market cornered. He puts all the other dealers out of business, while he runs it from his villa in the Caymens. By this time he’s recruited the secretary of defense and the head of the CIA, as well as a number of congressmen and senators. They help him locate new merchandise in foreign countries, even help train new workers in those countries, allowing them to make decent wages in the process.
Another five years and Jim has gone global and his merchandise accounts for more than a quarter of the world’s expenditures on his product. He employs hundreds of thousands of workers and effectively pays no taxes, since they would hurt his business.
After ten years in business, Jim decides its time to officially retire and sells it to his closest partner, and rides into the Caribbean sunset.
What’s not to love? He took multiple risks that put himself and his future in jeopardy. He quits his job on a whim, believing strongly in his idea and proves to be a successful businessman through diligence and innovation. All without help of the government and working under strict regulations the entire time. The free market rewarded Jim (and thereby worked) because he had the best idea and the best work ethic.
I’m not quite sure why I decided to write this, maybe just a mental exercise. Regardless, I’ve posted it.