Business: Bootlegging is Back

Wartime price and priority controls have already brought back an old U.S. institution: bootlegging.

Patriotism alone will not suffice to enforce the new overall price ceiling announced by OPA this week. U.S. patriotism does not work that way. Bootlegging flourishes for economic reasons, not moral. As long as there is more cash to spend than there are things to spend it on, and prices are not allowed to rise openly, they will rise privately. Verboten goods will change hands too.

The U.S. bootleg business is already more diversified, if not bigger, than it...

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