Great hype yesterday that the Afghanistan opium crop production was down 30% in this year (the spinners had spun out the fact that it is still higher than it was 5 years ago). The implicit link was that our military efforts are stopping the production of drugs, reducing the income to the Taleban and therefore were a damn fine thing!
Notwithstanding that the destruction of crops is not on our list of priorities in Afghanistan, why should this statistic be good news? Are there not other issues to consider?
For example, and from my limited understanding of Economics, doesn’t reduced supply usually mean increased prices? And don’t increased prices in this market probably mean increased crime on the streets of Britain as those who need or want the drug cannot afford to buy it.
So is it a reasonable assumption that a “Success” story is in fact the precursor to more crime?