After I wrote the post below a week ago, one of my readers (JB) pointed out that the story had been debunked and the amount of money actually found in the house in the raid in March 2007 was “only” $205 million. I am generally pretty good with checking my numbers before I parrot them, but I was way wrong here. It goes to show you that I have no idea how much money a pile of money actually is. This is another post for another day.
Anyway, the pile of money below is not anywhere near 22 billion – but I guess the rest of my points stand. I am leaving the post as I wrote it at the time. And now off to calculating what a billion dollars looks like.
The home of a Mexican drug lord was raided. The stash above is over 22 billion dollars. This reminds me of the fictional pile of cash that Walter White in Breaking Bad kept in a storage locker. That fictional pile was “only” seventy or eighty million dollars. This real one is 22 billion.
The pile above was not the only stash. There were closets full of cash throughout the house. Here are more pictures of the home.
This is all “drug money.” But what, when you think about, is drug money?
It is money people in America took out of their wallets and paid some dealer for marijuana, cocaine, meth, or whatever other drugs there are. Much of that money coming out of real American wallets stays in the local “economy,” with the petty street dealers, the local distributors, and the like. Only the end profit goes back all the way to drug lords, and this is what we are looking at in this picture.
Let’s also remember that this is only one out of perhaps 20 or more major Mexican drug lords. It’s just the one that got caught. There are probably a dozen more piles of cash like this in other mansions in Mexico, not to mention those in Colombia, Venezuela and other Central American and South American countries.
They use this immense amount of cash to bribe politicians, military, police, secret police, drug enforcement, judges and business people. Take a brown shopping bag, throw in a few stashes of cash (a few handfuls are a few hundred thousand dollars) and give that brown bag to whomever you want, and chances are you will get what you asked for – a blind eye, a favor, a killing, anything at all.
There are only two reasons why such piles of money exist:
1. The product these people sell is illegal in the United States, thus creating an underground black – and lethal – market.
2. The United States consumer of drugs is willing to pay that kind of money for the privilege of obtaining the product.
Our consumption in the United States makes this possible. Talk about the lower classes creating the 1%! Here is a perfect example of it.
There is a way to stop it overnight: Just stop buying the stuff.
Of course, that won’t stop the guys driving around the Lamborghinis, living the good life, spending the hoards of cash in the meantime.