National economies are complex things, and a new entrepreneur needs to figure out a lot of things to be successful. What goods will she sell? How will she obtain the finished goods? What is her distribution channel?
But before figuring out all of that, a new entrepreneur needs to figure out her business mission and goals. So let's start there.
The mission of Jane's Distributing is to net £50 to £100 daily to support Jane's heroin and crack habit.
Once you figure out your corporate mission, you can then answer the other questions about the goods to sell, the distribution network, and the like. A Vice article details the specifics of people who finance their heroin and crack habits by stealing meat.
Shoplifting is on the rise, and considering a slab of pork belly in your coat pocket is a little less conspicuous than, say, a boxed and tagged digital camera, it's no surprise the most recent Global Retail Theft Barometer study identified meat as one of the most commonly stolen items from supermarkets....
"People can see the price and the sell by date. I get half the sale price for it, which is good—a lot of other things you have to sell on for less," says Scott.
Once an entrepreneur decides that she's going to steal meat, the mechanics of getting the meat out of the supermarket (without the necessity of a financial transaction) dictates the type of meat that will be stolen. Expensive is good, bulky is bad. Scott even provided the Vice reporter with a list of the five most desirable meats to steal.
Then, an entrepreneur has to find customers. Sometimes it's a bit difficult.
"I have a few regular pubs I sell meat in; most of the pubs where I sell meat are estate pubs. In some of them the landlord will ask for first refusal before he lets me offer it to his customers. Sometimes I have to sneak in and sell it without the manager knowing."
And sometimes it's all too easy.
"Once I was in Co-op and I'd stuffed a load of posh hams costing £6 [$9] down my coat, but they had fallen out the bottom onto the floor right in front of this old lady. I swear she was not a day younger than 70. She picked them up, gave them back to me and said, 'If you're selling them, I'll meet you outside,' and she bought the lot."
But WHY do heroin addicts have to steal? I always thought that in the UK, methadone was just a shot away, just a kiss away. Well, Vice covered that also:
I’ve chosen not to take methadone, a synthetic opioid prescribed to substitute the use of heroin. Because, aside from the taboos associated with queuing to pick up that mug of green liquid every day, long-term methadone use has been linked to a variety of health problems, some of which aren’t related to heroin abuse, such as bone damage and tooth decay.
There are many other alternative treatments, of course, but methadone remains the one most commonly prescribed by drug services. Personally, I prefer buprenorphine derivatives like Subutex or Suboxone....However, Subutex and Suboxone cost the government or treatment service considerably more than methadone – perhaps why they're not offered as regularly – and, with an average price of £3,000, implants and Naltrexone-aided detox will never be an option for most people.
From the perspective of an opiate consumer, there are other downsides to switching from an addiction to heroin to an addiction to methadone:
This second addiction allows services to keep track of and control those in treatment. Although presumably unintentional, this involves degrading many of those people on a daily basis, forcing them to publicly consume a less desirable but free supply of drugs.
So the invisible hand continues its work, legalities or no.
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