WHEN YOU BUY A FAKE PURSE YOU'RE BUYING DEATH!!!

WHEN YOU BUY A FAKE PURSE YOU'RE BUYING DEATH!!! This is just ridiculous. According to the New York Times, that fake purse you bought down on Canal Street last time you were in New York was made by a Colombian child working for Al Qaeda in China:

Most people think that buying an imitation handbag or wallet is harmless, a victimless crime. But the counterfeiting rackets are run by crime syndicates that also deal in narcotics, weapons, child prostitution, human trafficking and terrorism. Ronald K. Noble, the secretary general of Interpol, told the House of Representatives Committee on International Relations that profits from the sale of counterfeit goods have gone to groups associated with Hezbollah, the Shiite terrorist group, paramilitary organizations in Northern Ireland and FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Sales of counterfeit T-shirts may have helped finance the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition. "Profits from counterfeiting are one of the three main sources of income supporting international terrorism," said Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland.

Because clearly, an organization dedicated to going after counterfeiters has no incentive to exaggerate and the statement that "profits from" counterfeiting have gone to groups "associated with" terrorism leaves no room for ambiguity. Look, I'm sure that there is some truth to this, but the over-the-top rhetoric is ridiculous. Child labor and international terrorism have many causes, and I highly doubt that even if everyone in the world stopped buying counterfeit goods either scourge would go away. After all, this kind of fear-mongering has worked so well to reduce drug use and copyright infringement ... oh wait it hasn't at all. The real problem is expressed with admirable briefness my Miuccia Prada:

"There is a kind of an obsession with bags," the designer Miuccia Prada told me. "It's so easy to make money."

--Sam Boyd

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