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Thread: $4 Billion, with a B

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BasilLongfellow View Post
    Why do you want to take away one of my biggest sources of retainers?
    LOL, I don't believe me.
    Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.Bill Watterson, cartoonist, "Calvin and Hobbes"

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoREDo View Post
    LOL, I don't believe me.
    So you are only saying it for effect.. got it.

    Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple. - Barry Switzer

    Life is hard
    ; its harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest Fan of All View Post
    I'd be fine with a MAC coach...even Frank (a lesser mistake than Bo). Over Bo? ABSOLUTELY

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerator 5000 View Post
    Driving impaired isn't really victimless, I mean it's a roll of the dice if there will be a victim or not.
    Well, it is victimless until there's an accident, in which case punishment can and should be severe. There's a lot of interesting debate/discussion about this topic when it comes to regular DUI versus manslaughter.

    I think the real question regarding legalizing drugs, especially when you're talking about exquisitely engineered devices of human destruction like meth, is how much would drug use increase if we made it legal? Increased use of meth is increased human misery, not just for the users but for society who has to manage the wreckage. When we make it legal (equivalent to lowering the cost), use will increase at least somewhat. The question is how much. If we could estimate how much, and it was tolerable, I think you could get people talking seriously about legalization.

    But what I'm always reminded is that alcohol is a massive scourge in our society currently, and it's legal. Sure, we tried to make it illegal once and that was an epic failure, but that was because we already had a whole widespread culture built around alcohol consumption. We couldn't put the horses back in the barn.

    So you wonder, if we legalize other drugs, if usage will increase to the point where they turn out like our current major legal drug, alcohol. Because that would be pretty bad. If each one, (meth, heroin, cocaine, crack, etc) caused its own massive set of traffic fatalities, domestic violence, dependency, and so on like alcohol does today, we'd be doomed.
    There are two options:

    1. Ban the precursor drugs that go into producing meth (convince companies that currently produce them to quit doing so... this was done with quaaludes), but would also mean more and longer sniffly noses.

    2. Provide free drugs to people at government dispensaries, but the drugs must be consumed onsite and outreach programs for treatment will be offered. This is probably the smartest idea, but many will hate the notion of giving out free drugs to addicts, even if it means billions of dollars and thousands of lives saved. The other downside is that the restriction may still allow for a black market. Still, it seems unlikely because who will pay enough for something that's otherwise free, and I think people are much less likely to try it for the first time in such settings.
    "We need education in the obvious more than investigation of the obscure."

    "If you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

    “A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornfieldCounty View Post
    So you are only saying it for effect.. got it.
    Actually, its because I am consistent unlike you who ignores current legal drugs ill-effects but is alright with them because you are likely a user.
    Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.Bill Watterson, cartoonist, "Calvin and Hobbes"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoREDo View Post
    Actually, its because I am consistent unlike you who ignores current legal drugs ill-effects but is alright with them because you are likely a user.

    oh.. yea, that's it. you get called on something and the best you can do is resort to "you are likely a user".

    Go smoke another bowl, the gene pool needs further cleansing

    Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple. - Barry Switzer

    Life is hard
    ; its harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest Fan of All View Post
    I'd be fine with a MAC coach...even Frank (a lesser mistake than Bo). Over Bo? ABSOLUTELY

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornfieldCounty View Post
    oh.. yea, that's it. you get called on something and the best you can do is resort to "you are likely a user".

    Go smoke another bowl, the gene pool needs further cleansing
    I don't smoke pot and likely don't do nearly as much alcohol as you do...user.
    Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.Bill Watterson, cartoonist, "Calvin and Hobbes"

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoREDo View Post
    I don't smoke pot and likely don't do nearly as much alcohol as you do...user.
    As par for the course you don't have clue about me, so don't even pretend you do.

    Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple. - Barry Switzer

    Life is hard
    ; its harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest Fan of All View Post
    I'd be fine with a MAC coach...even Frank (a lesser mistake than Bo). Over Bo? ABSOLUTELY

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornfieldCounty View Post
    As par for the course you don't have clue about me, so don't even pretend you do.
    I know you are okay with alcohol being legal but not marijuana. Inconsistent.

    And you know so much about me that you say I should "smoke another bowl".
    Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.Bill Watterson, cartoonist, "Calvin and Hobbes"

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoREDo View Post
    I know you are okay with alcohol being legal but not marijuana. Inconsistent.

    And you know so much about me that you say I should "smoke another bowl".
    I am? Link please.

    I am not arrogant about it like others, but could care less if it was outlawed.

    Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple. - Barry Switzer

    Life is hard
    ; its harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest Fan of All View Post
    I'd be fine with a MAC coach...even Frank (a lesser mistake than Bo). Over Bo? ABSOLUTELY

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornfieldCounty View Post
    I am? Link please.

    I am not arrogant about it like others, but could care less if it was outlawed.
    I think marijuana should be legal but it certainly doesn't keep me up at night. So you are for taking away even more of our liberties...got it.
    Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.Bill Watterson, cartoonist, "Calvin and Hobbes"

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by cm husker View Post
    Well, it is victimless until there's an accident, in which case punishment can and should be severe. There's a lot of interesting debate/discussion about this topic when it comes to regular DUI versus manslaughter.
    It's a separate topic, but I've never been a fan of the fact that luck can make the difference between a suspended license and 30 years in prison. For me, if you take a 1/100 chance of killing someone, there's a victim of that crime irrespective of how the random process unfolds. And I think for the most part we should punish accordingly: you can control actions, not the random process, and we want to place incentives on what people can control.

    On the other hand, we also need to get justice for the victims, so punishment for manslaughter can and should be more severe but I think the discrepancy currently is too large. And certainly we're not exactly good at preventing alcohol-related accidents under the current system. So reconsidering the system seems like a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by cm husker View Post
    Ban the precursor drugs that go into producing meth (convince companies that currently produce them to quit doing so... this was done with quaaludes), but would also mean more and longer sniffly noses.
    Quaaludes was an interesting success but I think this strategy is ultimately a shell game. Something else will take meth's place, or they'll figure out how to make the ingredients in labs, or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by cm husker View Post
    2. Provide free drugs to people at government dispensaries, but the drugs must be consumed onsite and outreach programs for treatment will be offered. This is probably the smartest idea, but many will hate the notion of giving out free drugs to addicts, even if it means billions of dollars and thousands of lives saved. The other downside is that the restriction may still allow for a black market. Still, it seems unlikely because who will pay enough for something that's otherwise free, and I think people are much less likely to try it for the first time in such settings.
    This is a very interesting option I'd never thought of. My concern would be that recreational use and black market purchases would continue for a lot of drugs (especially if we start trying to save on law enforcement and thereby decrease the black market price). I'm not sure what e.g. the impact of methadone clinics on heroin use has been. But, something like this is at least worth a try. This is the kind of program we could try at low cost, and measure the benefits.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskers57 View Post
    fire without cause (due to drug use) I'm good and in agreement.
    If drugs are legal then wouldn't it be ok to use as long as your sober when you go to work? Not advocating one way or the other just asking.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerator 5000 View Post
    It's a separate topic, but I've never been a fan of the fact that luck can make the difference between a suspended license and 30 years in prison. For me, if you take a 1/100 chance of killing someone, there's a victim of that crime irrespective of how the random process unfolds. And I think for the most part we should punish accordingly: you can control actions, not the random process, and we want to place incentives on what people can control.
    See, this is the problem with you H5K. You are actually game for some intelligent conversations, so I have dial back my button pushing extremism (you're welcome sonuva and softie).

    To me, this is a fascinating area of criminal law... and it plays out in attempt versus successful execution cases, too (e.g. murder versus attempted murder, bank robbing, and even hacking).

    Sticking to the DUI context, though, I have to question one of your underlying assumptions: that DUI accident fatalities are based on random chance (i.e. 1/X DUI incidents will result in an innocent person fatality). The reality is, there are lots of "good" DUI drivers who keep their speed down, are overly cautious, can tolerate their alcohol better, etc. and therefore not placing others at the same risk as some will when they drive recklessly. Therefore, it makes just as much sense to recognize this difference in individual ability and implement a scaled punishment system, which allows that someone who is caught DUI'ing but not causing an accident may not be as culpable as the person who actually causes the accident.

    Taking it a step further, there may be some utility in not over-deterring "good" dui driver, beyond the burden such a rigid "one punishment fits all" approach would imposed on the system. This is the same sort of calculus we see on the civil side. Sometimes it's ok to risk harming someone if the risk is low and the reward for action is high (and when you do harm someone you, pay for their injuries). Of course, I realize an easy counter is that it's never utilitarian to drink and drive.

    That may be true. But back to the original point, imo, not all DUI offenders are created equal, and we can't really know before hand which one is a "good" driver who happen to get pulled over and which is a dangerous one. So, we just impose the punishment based on the results.

    On the other hand, we also need to get justice for the victims, so punishment for manslaughter can and should be more severe but I think the discrepancy currently is too large. And certainly we're not exactly good at preventing alcohol-related accidents under the current system. So reconsidering the system seems like a good idea.
    I'm not sure that more punishment means more justice for victims, and even if it does, I'm not sure that should be the central goal for the criminal law system. That's a totally separate topic, but I acknowledge that dealing with deterrence is extremely difficult. Strangely, my understanding is that amping up punishment typically doesn't work toward bringing down frequency of incidents, though. It's more about % chance of being caught, regardless of the punishment.


    Quaaludes was an interesting success but I think this strategy is ultimately a shell game. Something else will take meth's place, or they'll figure out how to make the ingredients in labs, or something.
    There's definitely elasticity in drug consumption. But, I'd be willing to steer folks to any other drug because of meth's devastating effects and highly addictive nature. My understanding is that ephedrine (one of the only key ingredients to meth) is only produced in 9 or 10 labs worldwide. It's apparently not an easy process and requires sophisticated chemical knowledge. Cutting down that production with the cooperation of other nations would go very far toward ending the meth problem in America.

    This is a very interesting option I'd never thought of. My concern would be that recreational use and black market purchases would continue for a lot of drugs (especially if we start trying to save on law enforcement and thereby decrease the black market price). I'm not sure what e.g. the impact of methadone clinics on heroin use has been. But, something like this is at least worth a try. This is the kind of program we could try at low cost, and measure the benefits.
    Definitely the black market, as i also mentioned, would be potential concern. However, I just think that the reduction in price to zero would create such a pressure on the BM's that it would be unprofitable to sell most drugs recreationally.

    Also, if we lift the ban on weed, coke and other naturally processed drugs, most people would no longer even be in regular contact with the sorts of characters who introduce them to harder drugs.

    The reality we must acknowledge is that we are never going to end drug use all together, but we can definitely take giant steps in reducing the costs drug use imposes on society as a whole.
    "We need education in the obvious more than investigation of the obscure."

    "If you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

    “A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

  14. #34
    CM, good post, I had a lot of reactions but only had time to type up a handful below.

    Quote Originally Posted by cm husker View Post
    Sticking to the DUI context, though, I have to question one of your underlying assumptions: that DUI accident fatalities are based on random chance (i.e. 1/X DUI incidents will result in an innocent person fatality). The reality is, there are lots of "good" DUI drivers who keep their speed down, are overly cautious, can tolerate their alcohol better, etc. and therefore not placing others at the same risk as some will when they drive recklessly.
    That's a good point, DUI accidents definitely aren't totally random. I was emphasizing placing incentives on what people can control best (whether or not they drink or drive). You're pointing out that it's also important, probably more important, that incentives be aimed at what we actually care about preventing (injury or death in accidents, rather than the DUI itself). You're right about that.

    Although the penalties still seem a little out of whack to me. Especially compared to how we penalize sober drivers who may be inattentive and somewhat unsafe (but not quite reckless). But I'm less incensed about it now than I was before, so that's good.

    Quote Originally Posted by cm husker View Post
    There's definitely elasticity in drug consumption. But, I'd be willing to steer folks to any other drug because of meth's devastating effects and highly addictive nature. My understanding is that ephedrine (one of the only key ingredients to meth) is only produced in 9 or 10 labs worldwide. It's apparently not an easy process and requires sophisticated chemical knowledge. Cutting down that production with the cooperation of other nations would go very far toward ending the meth problem in America.
    Okay -- I'm convinced. Meth is uniquely horrible. Those no-ephedrine decongestants are worthless IMO but I can live without Sudafed.

    Quote Originally Posted by cm husker View Post
    Definitely the black market, as i also mentioned, would be potential concern. However, I just think that the reduction in price to zero would create such a pressure on the BM's that it would be unprofitable to sell most drugs recreationally.
    That'd definitely be great, although as a cautionary note, consider how much of a premium people are willing to pay for alcohol when it's offered in the right kind of social setting. Even if we had the government dispenseries you suggest, we might still see extensive recreational drug use.

    On the other hand, though, your point about preventing dealers from pushing users to harder drugs is relevant here. If getting a user hooked on meth/crack/heroin only means losing a customer to the government, dealers will stop pushing those harder drugs, which will cut down on use.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerator 5000 View Post
    That'd definitely be great, although as a cautionary note, consider how much of a premium people are willing to pay for alcohol when it's offered in the right kind of social setting. Even if we had the government dispenseries you suggest, we might still see extensive recreational drug use.

    On the other hand, though, your point about preventing dealers from pushing users to harder drugs is relevant here. If getting a user hooked on meth/crack/heroin only means losing a customer to the government, dealers will stop pushing those harder drugs, which will cut down on use.

    Those are two good points, and the second one isn't exactly what I was thinking, but it's a very good point. I was thinking about the "why do is marijuana a 'gateway drug'? Because hard drug dealers get access through marijuana sales." I think yours is a step further, and very interesting economics question. Some number of dealers will realize that pushing people to harder drugs will mean they eventually lose those customers all together. I guess it would depend how much they think they can make of new entrants.

    Also, in my scenario, marijuana is legal and can be grown like people grow tomato plants.

    I agree with your recreational use point in your first paragraph. A black market may always exist (it does for even legal drugs like alcohol and cigarettes). So I think harm reduction, rather than eradication should be the goal. I'm even comfortable making most drugs flat out legal, like I would with weed, but it's really hard for me to jump that bridge to letting meth be legal. I think it's just too devastating.

    Think I've had this convo with tHill, but I'd probable draw a line between what can be produced "naturally" with no sophisticated chemical processes and what is synthetic.

    Those are important details, but they can be worked out later.
    "We need education in the obvious more than investigation of the obscure."

    "If you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

    “A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by huskrthill View Post
    Would legalizing weed solve the merge problem?
    Quote Originally Posted by huskrthill View Post


    Stupid autocorrect. I finally got out of the dark ages and got an Android device, and I'm apparently still struggling with certain features.

    "Merge" was originally typed as "meth."
    Still came out to be a decent context for this thread!

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by RedBlack&Blue View Post
    The war on drugs is a failure.

    We incarcerate a higher percentage of our population than any other country.

    Our prisons are mostly filled with the poor and blacks. It's inherently racist and discriminates against a lower class. (Right, we're a classless society, you bet.)

    Our prisons have become an "industry." Wow.

    Self-centered politicians make policy not based on what's good for the public, but on what will get them reelected ("Tough on crime" -- nice 3 word snippet).

    Mexicans want the jobs we won't do up here. Mexicans make the drugs we like to use down there.

    Rant over.
    Quote Originally Posted by Huskers57 View Post
    The war on drugs is an utter joke. We need to quit fighting that losing war.
    Wow. Terrible, the defeatist attitudes here.
    1) I would hope other countries are not incarcerating too much of our population. Americans in foreign prisons...? Makes for bad foreign policy but good movies (Midnight Express, Brokedown Palace, Batman Begins)
    2) How is enforcing the law racist? If a black person is breaking the law, should not the penalty be imposed?
    3) Maybe if people would follow the law instead of playing games with it, there wouldn't be a need for so many prisons. If you don't respect the law and get caught, it is not the cop's fault.
    4) Can you tell me, based on the problems related to alcohol abuse, what is the upside to society to legalize even more chemical-based abuses?
    5) This argument is so completely false, it isn't even funny. There is not one job an American won't do, for the right salary/wage.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Red Rick View Post
    Wow. Terrible, the defeatist attitudes here.
    1) I would hope other countries are not incarcerating too much of our population. Americans in foreign prisons...? Makes for bad foreign policy but good movies (Midnight Express, Brokedown Palace, Batman Begins)
    Taking a practical position in addressing social problems is not defeatism.

    He meant that the US incarcerates a larger % of its own citizens than other countries incarcerate their own citizens. I haven't verified that fact, but I've heard it before.

    2) How is enforcing the law racist? If a black person is breaking the law, should not the penalty be imposed?
    3) Maybe if people would follow the law instead of playing games with it, there wouldn't be a need for so many prisons. If you don't respect the law and get caught, it is not the cop's fault.
    Sometimes the structure and priority of the law is racist. But, i can give you two "for examples" very easily. One is, when I was in grad school, not one person among many was ever busted for marijuana or cocaine use. There were never knock and enter warrants in a door or random searches at high end clubs. There were few if any pretexual stop and vehicle searches.

    Drug policy is enforced some areas, but not others, and whether the motive is racist or not, the result is over enforcement against a particular minority or socio-economic class.

    The other example is the disparity in sentencing guidelines between crack cocaine and regular cocaine. Interestingly, it was black leaders who originally pushed for the harsher sentences. Now, it's completely unfair and borderline immoral.

    4) Can you tell me, based on the problems related to alcohol abuse, what is the upside to society to legalize even more chemical-based abuses?
    This discussion and the point/counterpoint have been hashed out many times in the cafe, so the search function would give a fuller answer. But, the short of it is, we spend about $10 to $15b a year (this is just interdiction and law enforcement; add in cost of incarceration and the figure doubles: see the Fox News link below) trying to "combat" drugs, which is about a $400 billion a year industry.

    The industry isn't going away, and our approach is wasteful, ineffective, and actually counter-effective (e.g. successful interdiction drives up prices, increases inter-gang drug war violence).

    40 years into the War on Drugs, we've spent more than $1,000,000,000,000.00 (an incredible 7% of our current debt).

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/13/ap-impact-years-trillion-war-drugs-failed-meet-goals/


    $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders, about 10 million of them for possession of marijuana. Studies show that jail time tends to increase drug abuse.

    $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses.
    At the same time, drug abuse is costing the nation in other ways. The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse — "an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction" — cost the United States $215 billion a year.Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron says the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides."Current policy is not having an effect of reducing drug use," Miron said, "but it's costing the public a fortune."


    5) This argument is so completely false, it isn't even funny. There is not one job an American won't do, for the right salary/wage.
    And what is the "right salary/wage" and how is it set? Never took you as a fan of central planning.

    The "American's won't do the job" argument is not false, either, and the anecdotal evidence is pretty clear. For instance, look at the Alabama situation, look at migrant agriculture work forces, and head down to your local UHaul or Home Depot and see how many whites, blacks and asians are hanging out waiting for work.
    "We need education in the obvious more than investigation of the obscure."

    "If you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

    “A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by RedBlack&Blue View Post
    Sure, let's incarcerate even more people for longer for victimless crimes (yep, getting stopped for impaired driving is victimless). Great idea. Not.

    No, too much power/authority in the hands of the employer. Seems as if employers already have pretty good recourse when it comes to detecting and dealing with drug use in the workplace. See no need to make that any stronger, really.
    I have a dead cousin and a spleen-less friend that would disagree that impaired driving is victimless.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by cm husker View Post
    Taking a practical position in addressing social problems is not defeatism.

    He meant that the US incarcerates a larger % of its own citizens than other countries incarcerate their own citizens. I haven't verified that fact, but I've heard it before.



    Sometimes the structure and priority of the law is racist. But, i can give you two "for examples" very easily. One is, when I was in grad school, not one person among many was ever busted for marijuana or cocaine use. There were never knock and enter warrants in a door or random searches at high end clubs. There were few if any pretexual stop and vehicle searches.

    Drug policy is enforced some areas, but not others, and whether the motive is racist or not, the result is over enforcement against a particular minority or socio-economic class.

    The other example is the disparity in sentencing guidelines between crack cocaine and regular cocaine. Interestingly, it was black leaders who originally pushed for the harsher sentences. Now, it's completely unfair and borderline immoral.



    This discussion and the point/counterpoint have been hashed out many times in the cafe, so the search function would give a fuller answer. But, the short of it is, we spend about $10 to $15b a year (this is just interdiction and law enforcement; add in cost of incarceration and the figure doubles: see the Fox News link below) trying to "combat" drugs, which is about a $400 billion a year industry.

    The industry isn't going away, and our approach is wasteful, ineffective, and actually counter-effective (e.g. successful interdiction drives up prices, increases inter-gang drug war violence).

    40 years into the War on Drugs, we've spent more than $1,000,000,000,000.00 (an incredible 7% of our current debt).

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/13/ap-impact-years-trillion-war-drugs-failed-meet-goals/


    $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders, about 10 million of them for possession of marijuana. Studies show that jail time tends to increase drug abuse.

    $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses.
    At the same time, drug abuse is costing the nation in other ways. The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse — "an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction" — cost the United States $215 billion a year.Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron says the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides."Current policy is not having an effect of reducing drug use," Miron said, "but it's costing the public a fortune."




    And what is the "right salary/wage" and how is it set? Never took you as a fan of central planning.

    The "American's won't do the job" argument is not false, either, and the anecdotal evidence is pretty clear. For instance, look at the Alabama situation, look at migrant agriculture work forces, and head down to your local UHaul or Home Depot and see how many whites, blacks and asians are hanging out waiting for work.
    Hey cm, thanks for a thoughtful post. I need to disagree with a few points, but you thought out a substantive response, and I appreciate that, fo' sho'!

    Point 1) I got it. I thought that was the original intent, but I wanted to mess with SOMEONE over it. Plus, Batman Begins ruled and needed to be mentioned somewhere.
    2) Just because someone else gets away with something doesn't mean that it is now legal. People who get caught are stupid enough to get caught, further proving they aren't responsible enough for the added burden if it were legal.
    3) If there is loose enforcement in some jurisdictions, I encourage all drug users to seek out and move to those jurisdictions. Otherwise, there is really no room to complain when you get busted. Should have done more to conceal the use.
    4) Good figures. I actually have a different approach to the drug war than many of the "experts" that I think would ultimately be more useful in both short, and long terms.

    My solution is to make every illegal drug offense a felony, minimum mandatory 367 days in prison, no parole. I know some people will jump on that as prison overcrowding. I'd be willing to concede and replace the prison sentence with three years probation, with mandatory weekly drug testing. Too often, the final user is let go, in favor of finding the dealer, working up the chain. The purpose of MY plan is to dry up the user pool. Think about it... if you bust a dealer, the end user will just find another place for his fix. It is human nature to seek out that which we wish to consume. With a dealer busted, another one will just slide into the former's place. However, if there are enough users busted and are either incarcerated or on probation (with weekly testing), the number of users will go down. Supply and demand takes over, there will be a backstock of supply that the dealers can't move because they don't have the users. They are stuck with product that no one wants.

    This is like Halloween decorations in February. No one is buying, and it would be foolish for general retailers to carry that product, since they don't have the customers. However, there are a few stragglers (Nobbies, Spencers, Mangelsens)) where you can get that crap all year long. The same principle would be at work with the drugs. No users, no reason to have product in that area. Enough areas get on board, no reason to have the product anymore. I mean, think about it, when was the last time you heard of someone getting busted for 'ludes? People just don't take them anymore for a dealer to make any real money.

    5) I am not a fan of central planning, and the government will in no way set the right salary/wage. That will be up to the employer. If the employer wants $8/hr help, that's what they'll get. But if they want $20 an hour help, they can be picky out of a far slimmer talent pool. Hell, I'd go pick lettuce for $25 an hour, but I won't do it for minimum wage. It would be up to the employer to determine how much they pay, and up to them to deal with the talent that salary brings in. Idleman Telemarketing (ITI) showed us this back in the 90's in Omaha. High-school burger flippers were getting $5.50 an hour, while their friends were sitting on their ass making $7 doing telemarketing. The local BKs had to bump up their salaries because they lost employees to ITI for an easier job that paid more.




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