井底之蛙

3/30/2008

Do you suffer from insomnia?

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 7:50 am

If so this may be for you. I did a talk about my book for our library and they have taped it and put it on-line.

2 responses to “Do you suffer from insomnia?”

  1. Phil says:

    Great introduction for laypeople, thanks.
    This is a really general question, so I don’t know if you’re able to point me at some resources for an answer: why was opium so expensive? In the talk it’s compared to marijuana, and I can see why dope is expensive – because avoiding the cops is costly. But for much of the opium in China history, aren’t you saying there weren’t major anti-opium policing efforts? So why was it still so profitable? Wouldn’t market forces level the price down?

  2. Alan Baumler says:

    You watched it? You are made of sterner stuff than I.

    As for the price issue, through most of the late Qing and the Republic there were anti-opium efforts, but (to simplify a bit) they were mainly aimed at taxing it. Prices did inflate considerably from the producers to the final consumers, and this was one of the things that made the trade so attractive to governments. You could tax it pretty heavily and consumers would still buy the final product. Sometimes people would go to considerable lengths to avoid this taxation, but of course that drove up the prices as well.

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