Bloggingheads Community

Bloggingheads Community (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/index.php)
-   Diavlog comments (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=9)
-   -   Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=6813)

Bloggingheads 06-15-2011 08:14 PM

Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 

sugarkang 06-16-2011 03:46 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
The best drug decriminalization argument is the one that speaks to the old people that still think the War on Drugs is a good idea. Not enough is being said about the direct trade off between incarcerating hard criminals and drug users; every pot user you put in prison puts one more rapist on the street.

At this point, pro-police Republicans probably know that we don't have money for more prisons. It's only a small leap of logic to prefer the release of non-violent offenders over violent ones.

chiwhisoxx 06-16-2011 03:50 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 212927)
The best drug decriminalization argument is the one that speaks to the old people that still think the War on Drugs is a good idea. Not enough is being said about the direct trade off between incarcerating hard criminals and drug users; every pot user you put in prison puts one more rapist on the street.

At this point, pro-police Republicans probably know that we don't have money for more prisons. It's only a small leap of logic to prefer the release of non-violent offenders over violent ones.

this is patently ridiculous, even though your last point is correct.

sugarkang 06-16-2011 04:53 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 212928)
this is patently ridiculous, even though your last point is correct.

Well, I was going for effect. And I wouldn't say patently ridiculous, particularly in comparison to the other crap that politicians peddle. At least this has the substance of truth behind it.

Hume's Bastard 06-16-2011 05:39 AM

Salvific Tech
 
Far from reducing them through technology, aren't swipe fees a means to decreasing consumption without recourse to Federal intervention by taxes?

bkjazfan 06-16-2011 08:35 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
I haven't read Ludwig Von Mises on my couch, bed or anywhere else for that matter. Instead of reading "Human Action" I attempt to live it.

badhatharry 06-16-2011 09:19 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 212927)
The best drug decriminalization argument is the one that speaks to the old people that still think the War on Drugs is a good idea. Not enough is being said about the direct trade off between incarcerating hard criminals and drug users; every pot user you put in prison puts one more rapist on the street.

At this point, pro-police Republicans probably know that we don't have money for more prisons. It's only a small leap of logic to prefer the release of non-violent offenders over violent ones.

I don't think people who use drugs should be jailed. However, we really aren't sure what the result of legalization is going to be. Will there be more useless drug addicts roaming the streets? Are we going to responsible for their eventual decline? Will the atmosphere of liberal drug policy be bad for society in general?

It's easy and pithy to say that one believes drug use should be legal. It makes sense in all kinds of ways but do we have any idea what it's going to look like except for vague references to the Netherlands? and are we at all prepared to deal with the results? I think the lack of those answers is what is holding up legalization.

badhatharry 06-16-2011 09:25 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bkjazfan (Post 212933)
I haven't read Ludwig Von Mises on my couch, bed or anywhere else for that matter. Instead of reading "Human Action" I attempt to live it.

Ha.

Somehow Von Mises and Bachmann don't make a pair in my mind. But I'm glad she's boning up on serious issues. I can't stand to hear smarmy Maddow, Shultz, O'Donnell and Mathews make fun of her gaffes.

hmmm...maybe I should stop watching MSNBC.

conncarroll 06-16-2011 09:43 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
great session. the world would be a better place if everyone on the left and right were as reasonable, fair, and gorgeous as these two.

Peter Twieg 06-16-2011 09:51 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Note that Schumer and his ilk went after Silk Road by targeting Bitcoin and not the Tor Network, which I believe betrays the fact that despite the presumption of American omnipotence over all things internet-related... some limitations have been begrudgingly recognized. Likewise, I think pols will eventually realize that Bitcoins probably fall into the same category. The best they can do is try to stigmatize shopping outlets that experiment with accepting Bitcoins as payments, which would effectively keep the currency underground... but would not really do much to stop it from being used for illicit ends.

If Bitcoin collapses, it'll likely be because of internal flaws - Bitcoin-stealing software becomes commonplace, a coding vulnerability is exploited, exchange rates fluctuate too much, etc. The government might be able to slow the formation of Bitcoin-related institutions that would mitigate these issues, but whether that turns out to be important remains to be seen.

badhatharry 06-16-2011 10:32 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by conncarroll (Post 212940)
great session. the world would be a better place if everyone on the left and right were as reasonable, fair, and gorgeous as these two.

yeah, like Mickey and Bob.

stephanie 06-16-2011 10:58 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 212927)
The best drug decriminalization argument is the one that speaks to the old people that still think the War on Drugs is a good idea. Not enough is being said about the direct trade off between incarcerating hard criminals and drug users; every pot user you put in prison puts one more rapist on the street.

At this point, pro-police Republicans probably know that we don't have money for more prisons. It's only a small leap of logic to prefer the release of non-violent offenders over violent ones.

While I'm not signing on to the specific argument mentioned, I think this is right. It's also why I don't see the baby steps approach a bad one. Start by decriminalizing marijuana and addressing penalties. The fact that even that freaks people, especially many older people, out demonstrates that it's not so much of a nothing as many "we should just legalize all drugs" people assume.

look 06-16-2011 10:59 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 212942)
yeah, like Mickey and Bob.

I'll drink to that.

stephanie 06-16-2011 11:02 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
And more generally, I have to agree with Conn. This was a good pairing and selection of topics.

sugarkang 06-16-2011 12:40 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 212937)
I don't think people who use drugs should be jailed. However, we really aren't sure what the result of legalization is going to be. Will there be more useless drug addicts roaming the streets? Are we going to responsible for their eventual decline? Will the atmosphere of liberal drug policy be bad for society in general?

I don't want open legalization. Instead, I'd like the government to take monopoly power over the regulation and distribution of all drugs. It should price them at just below black market value to undercut all the drug cartels. The money earned should be used to fix all the unintended consequences that arise and left over money should go to fix our budget shortfall.

I don't want private companies selling drugs for profit and having an incentive to get kids hooked like they did with cigarettes. I do not want to see Budweiser advertising Mary Jane Bud and Bud Lite. Because the government is so good at making people not want to do anything, or bad at motivating people to do anything, it is the best entity to be in charge of doling out drugs.

Basically, drug addicts would pay for the problems they cause society and do not burden working tax payers. Drug cartels are eliminated without police enforcement; they die off because they are not economically viable. Drugs would remain highly regulated because only the government has the right to sell and distribute. Quality is assured and no harmful street chemicals would be in. FDA approved cocaine. Kids would obviously be a no go and criminal penalties could be created, up to your state legislature.

Less money on prisons, more space to incarcerate hard criminals, additional tax revenue streams. It's like the state lottery, but better.

bjk 06-16-2011 12:44 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
I too take von Mises to the beach. Then I place it snugly in the sand and put a drink on it.

Don Zeko 06-16-2011 01:03 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 212947)
I don't want open legalization. Instead, I'd like the government to take monopoly power over the regulation and distribution of all drugs. It should price them at just below black market value to undercut all the drug cartels. The money earned should be used to fix all the unintended consequences that arise and left over money should go to fix our budget shortfall.

I don't want private companies selling drugs for profit and having an incentive to get kids hooked like they did with cigarettes. I do not want to see Budweiser advertising Mary Jane Bud and Bud Lite. Because the government is so good at making people not want to do anything, or bad at motivating people to do anything, it is the best entity to be in charge of doling out drugs.

Basically, drug addicts would pay for the problems they cause society and do not burden working tax payers. Drug cartels are eliminated without police enforcement; they die off because they are not economically viable. Drugs would remain highly regulated because only the government has the right to sell and distribute. Quality is assured and no harmful street chemicals would be in. FDA approved cocaine. Kids would obviously be a no go and criminal penalties could be created, up to your state legislature.

Less money on prisons, more space to incarcerate hard criminals, additional tax revenue streams. It's like the state lottery, but better.

You have a soft spot for ideas that are completely unachievable, don't you?

sugarkang 06-16-2011 01:08 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 212950)
You have a soft spot for ideas that are completely unachievable, don't you?

Yeah. Sigh.

Don Zeko 06-16-2011 01:33 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 212951)
Yeah. Sigh.

Going back to your original point, though, isn't decriminalization the obvious compromise? Make possession legal, but leave production and distribution as misdemeanors punished with fines or community service. That way you're not sending anyone to prison, but you've erected enough legal barriers that Phillip Morris won't start advertising and manufacturing heroin. Better yet, maybe you make production and distribution legal in small amounts but not in large quantities. It's not perfect, of course, but it takes us a long way towards what our goals should be: not imprisoning people for participation in the drug trade and focusing police resources on making the drug trade non-violent rather than on eliminating it.

sugarkang 06-16-2011 01:59 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 212952)
Going back to your original point, though, isn't decriminalization the obvious compromise?

I couldn't tell you because I'm not a political strategist, haven't looked at the numbers and don't even know if comprehensive opinion data exists. However, what I've suggested is basically decriminalization. It's everything you've suggested, only, I've added the government monopoly for production and distribution. I hated the 2010 California measure to "tax and regulate" pot. Screw that. Take all the money. I love the idea of dope fiends providing the funds to build our parks, roads, bridges and schools.

The reason the government should regulate it is to get grandma and grandpa on board. I believe they were the ones that caused the 2010 proposition to fail. While I personally believe that government shouldn't be in the business of telling me what I can / can't do with my body, it's not exactly a persuasive argument.

operative 06-16-2011 02:07 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 212929)
Well, I was going for effect. And I wouldn't say patently ridiculous, particularly in comparison to the other crap that politicians peddle. At least this has the substance of truth behind it.

If you reformulate it you do have a valid argument: every resource poured into busting people smoking pot or selling it on the street is a resource that does not go toward busting rapists, murderers, etc.

That being said, part of drug decriminalization will be a reduction of the overall money that we spend in the area of crime--it's not that we'll redirect all those funds into busting violent criminals. Some of the resources will go to it, but others will go elsewhere--paying down our debt and returning it to the private sector.

operative 06-16-2011 02:11 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Twieg (Post 212941)
Note that Schumer and his ilk went after Silk Road by targeting Bitcoin and not the Tor Network, which I believe betrays the fact that despite the presumption of American omnipotence over all things internet-related... some limitations have been begrudgingly recognized. Likewise, I think pols will eventually realize that Bitcoins probably fall into the same category. The best they can do is try to stigmatize shopping outlets that experiment with accepting Bitcoins as payments, which would effectively keep the currency underground... but would not really do much to stop it from being used for illicit ends.

If Bitcoin collapses, it'll likely be because of internal flaws - Bitcoin-stealing software becomes commonplace, a coding vulnerability is exploited, exchange rates fluctuate too much, etc. The government might be able to slow the formation of Bitcoin-related institutions that would mitigate these issues, but whether that turns out to be important remains to be seen.

I share the concerns you list in your second paragraph re: Bitcoin. The idea is nice and interesting, but I'm sure not buying into it.

operative 06-16-2011 02:18 PM

Bachmann
 
I agree that Bachmann did herself a lot of good in the debate. She understands how to use the medium better than most. She did have a rather bizarre answer though (she wants to leave marriage up to the states, but she supports a Constitutional amendment)...

Don Zeko 06-16-2011 03:20 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 212955)
I couldn't tell you because I'm not a political strategist, haven't looked at the numbers and don't even know if comprehensive opinion data exists. However, what I've suggested is basically decriminalization. It's everything you've suggested, only, I've added the government monopoly for production and distribution. I hated the 2010 California measure to "tax and regulate" pot. Screw that. Take all the money. I love the idea of dope fiends providing the funds to build our parks, roads, bridges and schools.

The reason the government should regulate it is to get grandma and grandpa on board. I believe they were the ones that caused the 2010 proposition to fail. While I personally believe that government shouldn't be in the business of telling me what I can / can't do with my body, it's not exactly a persuasive argument.

Surely you agree that "candidate X wants the government to deal drugs" would be a pretty effective attack ad?

sugarkang 06-16-2011 03:53 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 212965)
Surely you agree that "candidate X wants the government to deal drugs" would be a pretty effective attack ad?

Yes. But I also know that California almost legalized marijuana in 2010. As I recall, it was set to pass just a few months before, but started to lose steam come election time. My guess is because the proposition didn't think things out properly.

If the attack ads went unanswered, sure. But look what popped on the telly!

"Lazy dope fiends have been draining our tax dollars for years. Don't you think it's time they started paying for themselves? This ad bought and paid for by the Friends of Candidate X."

piscivorous 06-16-2011 04:03 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
You do know that before heroin was made illegal it was used in the treatment of alcoholism, because a junkie, on a maintenance dose of smack, can still function in the real world, whereas alcohol at any level impairs functionality.

bjkeefe 06-16-2011 05:29 PM

I was sad to hear ...
 
... the ordinarily sensible Annie Lowrey showing evidence of being snowed by Michele Bachmann.

Let's hope she reads up on her a little. Here's a good place to start: an article by another B'head, titled "Bachmann's Unrivaled Extremism."

(h/t: Kirsten Boyd Johnson)

Hume's Bastard 06-16-2011 06:16 PM

Re: I was sad to hear ...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 212974)
... the ordinarily sensible Annie Lowrey showing evidence of being snowed by Michele Bachmann.

Let's hope she reads up on her a little. Here's a good place to start: an article by another B'head, titled "Bachmann's Unrivaled Extremism."

(h/t: Kirsten Boyd Johnson)

We can give Bachmann's handlers credit for making her over, without losing skeptical detachment. So, can we start a new drinking game based on Christian fundi dog whistles?

graz 06-16-2011 07:53 PM

Re: I was sad to hear ...
 
I'd like to piggy-back on Brendan's offering to Ms. Lowrey, here's more for consideration:
Bachmann, turn her over, drive?

eeeeeeeli 06-16-2011 11:21 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Oh sure Annie, like we couldn't get invaded by aliens. We're talking about libertarianism here. Anything is possible!

liberrocky 06-17-2011 12:39 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Am I wrong or didn't they start by pooh-poohing fears of a world currency and then spend significant time praising bitcoin?

badhatharry 06-17-2011 09:12 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 212970)
You do know that before heroin was made illegal it was used in the treatment of alcoholism, because a junkie, on a maintenance dose of smack, can still function in the real world, whereas alcohol at any level impairs functionality.

That's interesting and I didn'tknow that. But two question...what assures that the patient won't exceed the maintenance level? and what makes two dependencies better than one?

badhatharry 06-17-2011 09:26 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 212955)
The reason the government should regulate it is to get grandma and grandpa on board. I believe they were the ones that caused the 2010 proposition to fail. While I personally believe that government shouldn't be in the business of telling me what I can / can't do with my body, it's not exactly a persuasive argument.

But should the government be in the business of selling drugs? There are so many questions to answer about this...who's going to produce the drugs? Will they be guaranteed safe?

Why wouldn't it be just as effective to just decriminalize it? And exactly what is the difference between legalizing and decriminalizing?...I never quite got that distinction.

bjkeefe 06-17-2011 09:37 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by liberrocky (Post 212983)
Am I wrong or didn't they start by pooh-poohing fears of a world currency and then spend significant time praising bitcoin?

Yes. But so what? The two things are pretty much night and day, aren't they?

As I understand it, to those who fear it, the implications of a "world currency" are, among other things, that it's the only currency, and that it's controlled by the NWO or equivalent.

By contrast, Bitcoin is not seeking to be the only currency. It's seeking to be an alternative currency. And further, it is not controlled by any government, and, it is claimed, "no central authority issues new money or tracks transactions."

I don't know enough about Bitcoin to say for sure, but at least on the surface of it, the motivation behind it sounds like it is in direct opposition to what a "world currency" would represent.

badhatharry 06-17-2011 09:39 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 212969)
Yes. But I also know that California almost legalized marijuana in 2010. As I recall, it was set to pass just a few months before, but started to lose steam come election time. My guess is because the proposition didn't think things out properly.

Yes Prop 19 was worded in such a way as to say that an employer would be restricted from firing someone if they were suspected of being high on the job unless there was an accident which occured as a result of being high. It made the mistake of infringing on an employers' rights and ability to run his company as he sees fit.

Quote:

Employers would not be able to pre-emptively remove workers who smell of marijuana use from sensitive jobs such as operating heavy machinery or running medical lab tests but would instead have to wait to take action until after an accident occurs.
But the real reason is that people in this country are loathe to legalize drugs, period. But there needs to be a solution to this besides just say no. That's not working, obviously.

bjkeefe 06-17-2011 09:41 AM

Re: I was sad to hear ...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by graz (Post 212977)
I'd like to piggy-back on Brendan's offering to Ms. Lowrey, here's more for consideration:
Bachmann, turn her over, drive?

Hee! Nice pun.

I'm behind on my BLTR reading. Thanks for the reminder.

sugarkang 06-17-2011 10:50 AM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 212994)
But should the government be in the business of selling drugs?

What are the alternatives?
Anheuser-Busch should make the drugs? You don’t want to put a profit motive behind drug use.
Individuals should make the drugs? We’re going to let amateurs produce addictive substances for profit to the general public without quality control?

Quote:

There are so many questions to answer about this...who's going to produce the drugs? Will they be guaranteed safe?
Pharmaceutical companies can easily make these things. The drugs with greatest market demand have been around for decades. They don’t need clinical trials. Heck, even the government could make them directly, although, I prefer contract bidding.

No, they shouldn’t be guaranteed safe. There should be a standard for what compounds go into making them. If a company makes them incorrectly, they get the blame. What a citizen doesn’t get to do is blame the government for providing excellent drugs.

Quote:

Why wouldn't it be just as effective to just decriminalize it? And exactly what is the difference between legalizing and decriminalizing?...I never quite got that distinction.
You and Don Zeko seem to think that my form of decriminalization is somehow an anarchist policy. Correct me if I’ve mischaracterized your understanding. However, my way is an in between policy between what we have now and what you want. In other words, my solution is a lot more paternalistic than yours. My way gives the government a monopoly on production and distribution. No one is allowed to produce and sell unless government approved. Your decriminalization solution would mean zero regulation. Amateurs would make meth in their shitty trailers and use more dangerous chemicals than necessary.

The legalization / decriminalization distinction is usually thought of in terms of degrees of freedom. While that isn’t necessarily the case, it’s still a decent basic way to think of it. Decriminalization usually means we remove criminal penalties for possession, distribution, etc. It could be a parking ticket. However, there would be no jail / prison time associated. Legalization suggests that you could engage in possession, distribution, synthesis, etc., provided you had the proper licensing. However, you’d still go to jail for selling to minors, after hours, etc.

The bad thing about thinking of it in this way is that words have connotations that don’t exactly translate into real life. Decriminalization sounds like a more cautious approach and legalization sounds like bra burning parties. However, legalization with heavy regulation is a much “conservative” approach than decriminalization and zero regulation. Hell, I don't even want to call my approach decriminalization. I'd rather call this policy the War on Drugs II.

Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 212996)
Yes Prop 19 was worded in such a way as to say that an employer would be restricted from firing someone if they were suspected of being high on the job unless there was an accident which occured as a result of being high. It made the mistake of infringing on an employers' rights and ability to run his company as he sees fit.

I don’t like this at all. An employer should be able to make the decisions he deems necessary to run his business despite what we think. If that means part of his hiring policies include drug testing of employees, he should be able to do that. The employees can look elsewhere for employment.

Quote:

But the real reason is that people in this country are loathe to legalize drugs, period. But there needs to be a solution to this besides just say no. That's not working, obviously.
I just laid out the basic skeleton that should address most of the social conservatives’ trepidation on the matter:
1. Drug users are criminals – most drug related violent crimes would end.
2. They cost taxpayers money – all drug money goes to the people. It’s like Tyler Durden selling the people’s fat asses right back to them for a premium.
3. More kids start using it and our society goes to shit – Government outprices street drugs so the low prices means that government can move distribution centers away from schools and malls and other sensitive areas.

It doesn’t really matter. There's no constituency for good policy (even if you think this is a bad one). Even prison guards have a lobby. So they'll win because they'll promise votes to whatever Dem or Rep. Plus, there’s too much explaining in my proposal. Like someone said about politics:
“If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”



.

Don Zeko 06-17-2011 12:07 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 213005)
You and Don Zeko seem to think that my form of decriminalization is somehow an anarchist policy. Correct me if I’ve mischaracterized your understanding.

Anarchist? It's certainly not that, and I definitely never said it was. What it is is a incredibly tall order for our political system. It poses other practical problems, of course. If the US government were to start manufacturing and distributing Heroin, for example, that would entail buying opium from warlords in Afghanistan and then producing a substance that most of our allies ban the possession of. That's an ugly can of diplomatic worms that I'd rather leave on the table. And then of course if the government is selling drugs they are non-taxation revenue stream, which means the temptation will always be there to ramp up production in order to avoid more painful budgetary choices. I, for one, would rather not see politicians treat cocaine production the way state governments treat lotteries.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 213005)
However, my way is an in between policy between what we have now and what you want. In other words, my solution is a lot more paternalistic than yours. My way gives the government a monopoly on production and distribution. No one is allowed to produce and sell unless government approved. Your decriminalization solution would mean zero regulation. Amateurs would make meth in their shitty trailers and use more dangerous chemicals than necessary.

The legalization / decriminalization distinction is usually thought of in terms of degrees of freedom. While that isn’t necessarily the case, it’s still a decent basic way to think of it. Decriminalization usually means we remove criminal penalties for possession, distribution, etc. It could be a parking ticket. However, there would be no jail / prison time associated. Legalization suggests that you could engage in possession, distribution, synthesis, etc., provided you had the proper licensing. However, you’d still go to jail for selling to minors, after hours, etc.

The bad thing about thinking of it in this way is that words have connotations that don’t exactly translate into real life. Decriminalization sounds like a more cautious approach and legalization sounds like bra burning parties. However, legalization with heavy regulation is a much “conservative” approach than decriminalization and zero regulation. Hell, I don't even want to call my approach decriminalization. I'd rather call this policy the War on Drugs II.

I don't really care if your solution is the more conservative approach; I've read enough games of pin-the-label-on-the-policy to know that it's a waste of electrons. I agree that it would be preferable to have the FDA regulate this stuff, but I don't see how one can sustainably do that without allowing private for-profit firms sell drugs. And while I agree with you that the drug war is a societal catastrophe, these substances do have serious adverse health consequences. I want to limit the number of people profiting from others' drug addiction as much as is reasonably possible.

sugarkang 06-17-2011 01:15 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 213009)
If the US government were to start manufacturing and distributing Heroin, for example, that would entail buying opium from warlords in Afghanistan and then producing a substance that most of our allies ban the possession of.

No, it would mean that poppies are made in the USA, I mean, unless Afghanistan has some magical geological properties that get you extra high.

Quote:

And then of course if the government is selling drugs they are non-taxation revenue stream, which means the temptation will always be there to ramp up production in order to avoid more painful budgetary choices. I, for one, would rather not see politicians treat cocaine production the way state governments treat lotteries.
And therefore we should do one of the following?

1. Keep the status quo. Mexicans keep dying, crappy urban ghettos make it impossible for property values to rise, meaning the neighborhoods get less policing because there's no tax base, meaning the kids that want to make something of themselves are burdened even more than they would be if drugs were actually regulated. Drug gangs, cartels, prison industry continues to profit while the taxpayer foots the bill.

or

2. Decriminalize. Amateur mom and pop meth labs show up all across the country. Prison population is reduced, but drug use goes up in aggregate due to cheaper prices, territorial violence ensues, lower margins means more dangerous chemicals used to synthesize.

Whether the choice is the status quo, decriminalization or my highly regulated version, markets will continue to exist where people will want it and other people will sell it. The difference with my version, however, is that drug users would shoulder the actual burden they place on taxpayers now.

Quote:

I don't really care if your solution is the more conservative approach; I've read enough games of pin-the-label-on-the-policy to know that it's a waste of electrons.
Yeah, you've already mentioned that you thought it was a stupid idea and I've already conceded that it would be nigh impossible to win popular support precisely because people think the way you do.

Quote:

I agree that it would be preferable to have the FDA regulate this stuff, but I don't see how one can sustainably do that without allowing private for-profit firms sell drugs.
I have already addressed this.

Quote:

And while I agree with you that the drug war is a societal catastrophe, these substances do have serious adverse health consequences. I want to limit the number of people profiting from others' drug addiction as much as is reasonably possible.
I'm not even sure if you're reading my posts. This is precisely why the government should do it as opposed to (1) large corporations who have a direct profit motive to get you hooked; or (2) mom and pop amateur hour who also have a direct profit motive to get you hooked, but would use crappier raw materials.

When the government sells you drugs, it changes the way our entire culture thinks about drugs. If it's legal, it loses its forbidden fruit aura. Rappers will no longer rap about drug dealing, so there's nobody to glorify it. Drug users become the same class of people that use food stamps: a sad and unfortunate fact of life. Drug sellers get legitimate jobs because they can't compete with the government, either by law and/or by pricing pressure. Drug violence disappears because there's no money to fight over when the black market disappears.

Libertarians are always wary of unintended consequences. At least this way, there would be a revenue stream to deal with it. If a person can understand the reason for a clean needle program or free condom dispensing program, it's not a huge logical hurdle to my proposal.

Dilan Esper 06-17-2011 08:16 PM

Re: Von Mises on the Beach (Annie Lowrey & Katherine Mangu-Ward)
 
The real swipe fee problem was not mentioned here. It's that Visa and MasterCard use contractual terms and pressure on retailers to prevent them from charging a surcharge for transactions using their cards (which would make the swipe fees transparent and force them to cut them in response to consumer transparency).

The optimal solution would have been a law with pretty heavy criminal penalties (i.e., serious jail time) for any credit card executive which signed or inserted into any contract or pressured any retailer to prevent the retailer from charging such a surcharge.

But since Congress didn't do that, the swipe fee law is a decent second best solution.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:59 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.