Crime

"It Is Unclear Why He Did That"

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A tidy example of how government can corrupt business, rather than the far more frequently chronicled reverse case:

In my idyllic suburban hometown of Wellesley, Massachusetts, the police shut down a brothel a few days ago. According to the Wellesley Townsman, one of those arrested for running the business was a man named William Eastwick.

The paper also notes that six months ago the Wellesley police shut down a similar operation nearby. That police action was based on a tip from the same William Eastwick. Oddly, when referring to the Eastwick tip, the town paper says "it is unclear why he did that."

The temptation to shut down your competitors using the heavy hand of the state is ever-present. This little example of dueling rats is basically the same thing as, say, protective tariffs on steel or corn subsidies. Because the businesses in question happen to be illegal, the instruments are even blunter than usual.

Via Greg Mankiw

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  1. “A tidy example of how government can corrupt business”

    Wha?

  2. I guess the guy he called the police on returned the favor?

  3. Amusing but what about those honest, hardworkin’ folks who can’t go pay for sex?

  4. Amusing but what about those honest, hardworkin’ folks who can’t go pay for sex?

    Everybody pays for sex, Naga. One way or the other.

  5. Amusing but what about those honest, hardworkin’ folks who can’t go pay for sex?

    Inspired by the most logical race in the galaxy, the Vulcans, breeding will be permitted once every seven years. For many of you this will mean much less breeding, for me, much much more.

  6. “It’s unclear why he did that.”
    I’m willing to bet that some editor yelled at the reporter, “Why the hell did he do that?”
    And the reporter, trying hard to hold back the sarcasm, replies “Isn’t is painfully obvious you idiot” (the last two words, only tacitly).
    “Get somebody on record,” yells the editor, doing his best Perry White.
    And when the reporter can’t get an official response, and slips out to make it to the corner bar before happy hour ends, the offending phrase gets slapped on by a copy editor who really just wants to get out of the building on time tonight.
    At least that’s how it works in my experience.

  7. Instant Karma’s gonna get you…

  8. High sulphur coal, baby, high sulphur coal.

  9. snitchin’ karma.

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