Build a better mousetrap…

…and the world will beat a path to your door. If they don’t, hire lobbyists to force your product on potential customers:

An organization known as Ammunition Accountability is pushing to make coding technology mandatory across the nation. Its website claims it is a group of “gun crime victims, industry representatives, law enforcement, public officials, public policy experts, and more” who are “saving lives one bullet at a time.”

If states pass the legislation, manufacturers will be required to laser etch a serial number into the back of each bullet and the inside of cartridge casings, a patented process developed by Seattle, Wash., resident Russ Ford and his business partners, Steve Mace and John Knickerbocker.

According to Seattle Weekly, the men couldn’t find an ammunition manufacturer to agree to stamp bullets, so they hired a lobbyist to push for state legislation to require the laser coding.
I’m sure they were shocked to discover ammo manufacturers didn’t want to subject their customers to higher costs, the tedium of record-keeping red tape, and addition to a government-maintained ammunition database. Beyond the obvious impact higher prices has on product demand, firearm companies recognize that their customers aren’t fond of expanding government intrusion on their Second Amendment rights. But in today’s America a flawed business model and lack of demand for one’s products doesn’t have to lead to failure. You can always find a sympathetic ear at the statehouse – particularly when there’s a chance to pass “common sense” legislation addressing a hot button issue.

Then, make sure your government mandated marketing plan can’t be circumvented:

Private citizens and retail outlets would be required to dispose of all non-coded ammunition no later than Jan. 1, 2011.

Oh man, there’s going to be a whole lot of shooting into the air at midnight 12/31/2010. Or a whole lot of drive-bys. Because a criminal that uses a gun to commit crimes sure as hell wouldn’t want to get caught with non-coded ammunition.

Let’s ignore the obvious reasons coding ammo wouldn’t reduce crime and focus on the rent-seeking. Governments collect fat troughs of cash and they’re always ready to spread money around. One particularly galling case was T.Boone Pickens seeking subsidies for his windfarm/water pipeline project. After convincing investors he’s got a “great” idea, putting together a business plan and slick marketing campaign, and taking his case to the public all he needs now is a few billion in subsidies and some land acquired through eminent domain for his business plan to actually succeed. Despite the fact his investors have bailed because of the economy, he’s got a good chance of getting a wad of money from Washington by hitting on a trifecta of hot button issues – renewable energy, reducing dependence on foreign oil, and jobs.

Building a successful business in America is no longer a matter of, “How good is your business plan?” but rather, “How good is your lobbyist?”. Based on early statements by President-Elect Obama and the recent actions of Congress we should prepare for a tsunami of subsidies targeted at otherwise non-viable entities who can link their businesses to Democrats’ pet causes.

Posted by Baron Von Ottomatic

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