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Published 2 years ago with 5 Comments

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  • PushPull (edited 2 years ago)
    +4

    Forgive what may be perceived as backwards thinking, but wouldn't it do more good to flood the market with it to reduce demand, and use the profit to further protect other animals? I understand that this ivory is illicit, but I guess I can't see how destroying it is somehow better considering this is an ongoing struggle.

    Any counter-thoughts on this?

    • spaceghoti
      +4

      The reason the ivory market persists is because there's still demand for it. If they sell the ivory they feed that demand and set a precedent where less scrupulous governments subsidize ivory trade to line their own pockets. Destroying the ivory attacks supply and gives no opportunity for anyone to profit with blood money.

      • AdelleChattre
        +5

        I feel like if this was seized narcotics you'd have no trouble seeing their destruction as an aspect of keeping prices high.

        • spaceghoti
          +6

          That's an aspect I honestly hadn't considered. If you inflate the price by reducing supply then you make it so fewer people can afford it which shrinks demand. With less demand there's less reason to risk your life and liberty creating supply. Still lucrative enough for a few poachers to keep at it but not lucrative enough to make it a popular source of income.

          • AdelleChattre
            +4

            Sticking with the Drug War analogy, it's clear that seizing and destroying contraband does nothing at all to reduce demand. It's the most fundamental law of economics, isn't it, that reducing supply without affecting demand simply drives the price up. Whether it's token tonnages of intercepted drug shipments being burned in open pits or elephant's graveyards worth of ivory being crushed, the fact it does nothing to affect demand and only drives up the price may, in fact, be the point. Grandstanding prohibition theater. Or does that strain the analogy?

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