Thursday, June 16, 2005

Goat Slayer Economics

In ages past, before the invention of what we call money, humans practiced a system called "barter" in which objects deemed to be of a certain value were traded for different objects of roughly equal value. It seems as though some contemporary folks are interested in reverting back to the old ways in order to avoid getting their hands dirty by touching filthy metal and paper monies.

Four men were ordered to stand trial in the theft and butchering of a pet pygmy goat, allegedly so its meat could be traded for crack cocaine or money.
When I saw the headline "4 held in goat-for-coke scheme", I was sure that I was hallucinating. No such luck. These guys actually thought that they could trade goat meat for cocaine. What the hell??? It sounds like they already had enough of something peculiar in their systems when they decided to embark on this bloody escapade.
Albright allegedly dragged the goat from its pen and tied it to a shrub, where he and Smith Jr. beat it to death on Dec. 24 in Bullskin Township, about 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, police said. They then took the goat to Smith's residence, where his father and Fisch skinned it and cut it up, police said.
These poor men. They are victims, just as much as the goat. They would never have committed such a heinous crime against a cute little animal if they hadn't been living in a place called BULLSKIN TOWNSHIP. Why, people who live there must be conditioned to think that skinning animals for pleasure is the local pastime.

Does that sound ridiculous? If these guys get the right combination of lawyers and psychologists, that is just the sort of thing that the defense would say.

What I am curious about is the economics of the illicit drug trade. Or, to be more specific, the personal interests of the drug dealers that would lead the goat slayers to believe that their suppliers might be willing to barter for something besides money. Is there a hidden market among cocaine pushers for fresh, delicious pygmy goat meat? Maybe I don't really want to know.

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