Like making Al Capone your spokesman

I’d like to think that Antigua’s complaint with the World Trade Organization against the United States could encourage the federal government to drop our nonsensical policies surrounding internet gambling (and gambling, in general). It would be great if a quick stroke of the pen could fix our stupidity, but to believe it will is a fantasy. So I put no expectation in the complaint’s prospects. But assuming for a moment that it could change minds in Congress, and acknowledging that normal sanctions by Antigua against the U.S. would be laughable, how does this make any sense?

So the Antiguans plan to ask the WTO for the right to impose sanctions that would hurt — namely, permission to copy and export U.S.-made DVDs, CDs and similar material. Hollywood is not amused.

What kind of connection is that? The U.S. government has an irrational, anti-liberty policy, which it pursues outside the United States, so that entitles Antigua to steal intellectual property from private businesses that have nothing to do with the source of the complaint, other than being (mostly) American? It’s impossible to take their complaint seriously, and I’m on their side. I don’t imagine the fair-minded souls in Congress will care for that recommendation, either. Thanks for standing up for the cause, though.

On a side note, this is amusing:

“Gambling in general, and remote supply of gambling in particular, raises grave law-enforcement and consumer-protection concerns,” the U.S. trade representative’s office said in a legal filing. Attorneys for the trade representative declined to make additional public comments.

Legalizing “local supply” of gambling via the Internets would do a lot to eliminate the “remote supply” concern. I do enjoy that gambling raises grave concerns for law-enforcement before it raises them for the protection of consumers. That’s a good priority list for the government to take. Only the most pro-liberty solution will arise.

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