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Comment Re:The War On Drugs is a War On Sick People (Score 3, Insightful) 53

How about we just lock up thieves?

I know it sounds a bit crazy, but not all thieves are drugs users and not all drug users are thieves. Seems like we should concentrate on the actual crime and not your preconceptions and prejudices.

I mean, we could lock up niggers too if they're gonna be black, because we know they all eventually steal from good white folks... makes about as much sense as your argument.

Comment Re:Toronto's "The Bulletin" pushing communism (Score 1) 503

I pretty much agree with your analysis... The only thing I wanted to give you to think about was the source of revenue used to pay the Basic Income.

You suggest income taxes... and capital gains taxes, which similarly to income taxes are based on the flow of wealth transfers... mostly they are convenient because mostly people don't notice the money they aren't getting that didn't have already...

BUT such taxes aren't really ideal, because you can have a great income and not have much wealth... and you can have a lot of wealth and not much income (especially if you're creative)...

So... I think Wealth itself should be taxed...Take money from the top... a small percentage of the richests people's total net value... and redistribute that as a basic income.

The main advantage of this is that it rewards those that use their wealth to provide value to those who demand their products and services... It recognises that wealth 'trickles up'... and corrects for that... it puts the tax burden on those who can most afford to pay it... so that everyone can benefit from the productivity gains inherent in free market capitalism.

Comment Re:Socialist fantasy (Score 2) 503

Dude.,. If you've studied economics then you know that by the Second Welfare Theorem, it is possible to redistribute endowments to achieve alternative pareto optimal distributions... Ie... a tiny few super-elite ultra wealthy with millions or billions in poverty subservient to them is only one possible free market allocation.

You don't have to give up capitalism, free market, or assume the end of scarcity or any other such nonsense... just standard economics... though implementing this is difficult precisely because it goes against the interests of the wealthy.

Money is SIMPLY a tool to indicate the balance between demand and supply... and we don't need to finish with money either.

Wealth Tax and Basic Income should be implemented to redistribute the efficiency gains that have been achieved over the last few decades, but that have only been benefited the wealthiest members of society, and not all of us.

I think you'd agree that a Wealth Tax and Basic Income are about as close as practical implementation of Lump Sum Transfers required by the Second Welfare Theorem... That it maintains the value of money, free market and capitalism in general... and redistributes the benefits of productivity increases to all, not just a handful...

Comment Re:the endgame is ironic here (Score 1) 289

You should at least do an introduction to micro-economics MOOC so you don't keep on sounding like a complete moron.

And for everyone wondering, the problem of the robot overlord capital ownership elite having everything and leaving everyone else unemployed and hungry... to cut straight to the answer, we should implement a wealth tax and redistribution like basic income... then let the free market operate as it does so well... regulating where it needs it, to counteract fraud, externalities and monopolisation.

Comment Re:the endgame is ironic here (Score 1) 289

> i am educating you on actual history and economic fact

Have you ever studied economics? I'm guessing by your rants that the answer is clearly no.

Like, do you know when regulation is needed, what types of regulation?

What makes monopolies? Why are many industries are NOT monopolies? While others are?

Comment Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 1) 126

No, because Libertarians and Objectivists don't understand the necessity of government regulation in free markets... A Libertarian or Objectivist would be against regulation and taxing of drugs.

This is standard neo-classical marginalist welfare economics. You can study microeconomics yourself and you will see this is quite standard theory. Modern economists understand that pigovian taxes can be used to offset the dead weight loss in markets caused to society by negative externalities.

This means tax the drugs to cover the cost to society. You are already paying these costs, you've just moved who pays for them to yourself, and not the drug user... and literally making everyone's life worse by not allowing people to pursue their own choices when they do not limit other people's choices.

Comment Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 3, Insightful) 126

The only question I have, and it is an impossible one to answer, is would the economic losses of legalised heroin be higher or lower than the economic losses caused by heroin when it is illegal.

I've already proven that the total economic costs (in terms of individual utility, which is how we measure things economically) must be decreased under a prohibition market vs a regulated and taxed market... Because utility is literally the thing people chose to do, in fighting it with prohibition you have chosen to take on the negative externalities (say increased universal medical costs) yourself, plus the costs of enforcing the prohibition, plus the negative externality costs you are imposing on the users. You literally pay taxes to imprison non-violent, non-theft drug users, to corrupt police and create powerful gangs that operate in stolen property and forced prostitution.

Would legalising it increase its usage? If yes, would that increased usage cause economic damage and would that damage exceed that currently being suffered while it is illegal?

Well... you see... economists study this thing called elasticity... which is exactly how much usage increases or decreases with change in price (including costs such as risking prison time)... It's a well known fact that the demand elasticity for addictive substances is highly inelastic. In simple terms, varying the price has little effect on the amount demanded. You don't see drug users significantly increasing or decreasing their usage no matter how expensive it becomes, or even how cheap it becomes.

I've seen alcohol kill people. It still shouldn't be illegal. You've never seen someone discover alcohol? You don't think people have lost their jobs over it?

Any chance you've ever met a heroin user that you didn't know used it?

I would take your anecdote, and follow your gut instinct and not take heroin because you've seen what it can do to people, and you don't want to end up like that... and you should spread that message. However, that in no way justifies the current criminalisation of free personal choices. It's not for the government (or others) to make our decisions for us.

Comment Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 3, Insightful) 126

I believe you must restrict rights when you generate uncompensated negative externalities... So, when you harm another person, at that point we have the right to restrict your activity with legal means.

All your examples of laws fit into this category. You can clearly see that you generate uncompensated negative externalities when you play your stereo to the annoyance of your neighbours, or create pollution in your back yard... You might fail to see that I cannot safely use the roads if I can't easily judge your speed. I will likely be surprised that the 200kph motorcycle that I pulled out in front of, that I could barely see a few seconds ago, has now collided with me.

Laws that don't fit this category are simply unjust, and lower our economic welfare, and this is where the drug laws stick out like a sore thumb in our legal system.

Now, I know Australia too... there are plenty of drugs here... heroin and meth are being used right now in large quantities... You pay the medical costs anyway... The taxes you say that have to be paid for... they are being paid for... but they come from the wrong sources... they should come from tax of the product. Because right now, the rest of society pays for that... and on top of that we use the criminal justice system to harm them (and prison and criminal records are harm), lowering their economic utility, and spending our own money to do that!

A taxed market can only be economically more efficient than the current prohibition system... which means both the drug user, and the non-drug users are better off. The money that pays for the costs come from the consumption of the cause of the costs.

Yes, there'll be a black market in untaxed items... we can stamp on that... like cigarettes... but it is still only a percentage of the full market... which will continue to pay the taxes to cover the entire thing anyway... cause we control the taxes. It certainly beats handing the entire market to the criminals as we currently do with illegal drugs.

This is true in the US, the UK, Australia.

Comment Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 1) 126

In a free market, all these costs can be offset by pigouvian taxes... these are simply taxes on the thing that causes the costs... this is not a controversial opinion. So, you sell heroin with taxes that cover these costs.

As a side note, opiates can be near instantly counteracted with nalaxone. If this drug was made available at the point of purchase and people were supervised, even by another user, then the likelihood of ODs and the like are nearly eliminated.

As for your rights... you should have the right absolutely not to be negatively impacted by other people's decisions. At the point someone steals from you, or harms you in any other way, you have the right to justice. However, you are negatively impacting their decisions, by not allowing them to trade freely in the things that they chose. So, you are advocating doing to others the very thing you want protection from yourself.

Comment Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 1) 126

taking heroin is merely the temporary relief form the typical pains of existence we all experience, to be replaced with a far far worse and much greater pain of addiction

whatever problems you had in life before heroin, are now 100x worse after

Again, those are baseless assertions... My drug use has improved my quality of life every single time, meth, heroin, cocaine, lsd, psylocybin, ecstasy, cannibus... all have had positive utility to me.

For some people, yes, it temporarily removes the pain... for some this is enough to have stopped the intention of suicide and turned their life around... for others it has made their life bearable... and of course, for others they have chosen poorly, and made their life worse...

But we don't guarantee that the outcomes of your life's decisions are going to be optimal... but we must give you the choice... for removing an option, or rather, adding destructive economic disincentives to making a given choice, can only lower the utility of the outcomes, as you have removed an option, not provided a better one.

So, for example, if you were to provide the help some people require and they chose this over heroin, you would have a point, but you can't provide that help, so instead you chose to make the lives of those that make that decision even worse... that leads to worse outcomes for everyone.

No, I'm not immune from addiction... but until I steal from you, or harm you, or cause you problems directly, it's an option I should be free to choose...

You may be one voice in many, but ignorance can only be dealt with one person at a time... you are clearly ignorant of any rational framework with which to discuss this topic.

Comment Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 1) 126

drugs are the negative externality

Total fail of understanding what a negative externality is... You lose the argument on this basis alone.

an addict is not happy

Not being happy means nothing... many non addicts are not happy. However, given that they chose the drugs means that they are happier than chosing the alternatives.

in fact, their capacity for happiness has been permanently degraded, even after they kick the habit. whatever temporary pain they had has been replaced by a permanent reduction in range of choice. for now their very brain chemistry tells them to feed something that in no way contributes to their happiness or freedom. it is a monkey on their back

Again, irrelevant... The Rat Park experiment also contradicts this statement.

Yes... some people have a terrible time on heroin, and regret it, and publish long essays on how terrible a decision it was... so do gamblers, sex addicts, adulterers, those who wasted their lives on the internet or persuing whatever personal choices they once considered their life goal. If anything it proves that people are still capable of making a rational decision to quit at some time in the future.

You cannot dictate another person's utility, and this is what you are arguing for.

Comment Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 1) 126

Excuse me... but I did not suggest the end goal to be to stop people taking heroin... That is you imposing your view of heroin use onto my statements... In fact, I directly addressed this issue... That it is more humane to allow the rats to use heroin when they are trapped in a cage, and it is more humane to allow humans to use heroin, when they are trapped in this figurative cage we call modern day living.

Precisely because we cannot provide those suffering from the desperate pain of life experience the proper social help they require that we should allow them the option of self medication... because it MAXIMISES THEIR UTILITY.

You should stop dictating what choices other people make, an focus on your decisions, and educate people, so they are fully informed of the dangers of their choices, but threatening them with negative externalities for making those decisions by arguing they should be locked up, punished and forced to pay black market prices and deal with criminals can only diminish other people's utility.

Comment Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 2) 126

you would understand they hijack basic reward pathways in the brain stronger than any want, desire, or need we could ever have: social contact, sex, even food

I stopped reading there... drug addicts I know still seem to eat.

And what is your obsession with sex anyway? Like anyone who doesn't want social contact or sex may as well not be living their life?

The rest is irrelevant. You're placing your utility function into the heads of others... You suggest people should be into art, philosophy or science? This might surprise you, but many people have no interest in these things.

What matters is people's utility... What makes them happy... not what makes you happy. This is a fundamental theorem of economics, that everyone has a different utility function, and we should allow people to maximise their own utility, as long as it does not diminish other people's utility.

You're argument is a direct contradiction to this philosophy. You want other people to be made happy by the things that make you happy... but humans do not operate like this, they operate on their utility functions.

And again, Rat Park completely destroys your biological overriding chemical imprisonment theories of addiction. Where there are better options than heroin available, then the rats will freely choose those options, even when we previously had them addicted to heroin. There is no reason to suggest this isn't also the case with humans as the economic agents instead of rats.

Again, the fact that you are willing to impose your utility on others, through force, means you are going directly against modern economic theory. You are the negative externality, you are decreasing other people's happiness.

Comment Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 1) 126

You have nothing to back that assertion up... I might as well say nothing destroys freedom more than being an idiot arguing against drug legalisation on the internet... It's a baseless assertion. If you can't argue without making baseless assertions, you have no argument.

Rat Park simply proves you wrong... And this is in line with all economic choices... In a given environment, the best course of action, the one that brings you the most happiness, may be to take drugs... in a different environment, the choices differ.

I know many meth, coke and heroin users and addicts... As long as they are not harming anyone else, they are making rational economic decisions that maximise their own happiness.

The problem is people like you, who aren't content to make decisions for yourself, but wish to make decisions for everyone else. You believe you have enough information to be in someone else's head and can decide what will make them happiest when you aren't them.

That is arrogance of the highest order, and flies in the face of modern economic theories.

How about you take care of yourself, and instead of using force, guns, violence and the threat of imprisonment, let other people take care of themselves?

And before you mention that you will lose out from their contribution to society that you would have extracted from them against their will by denying them their own freedom of choice, or mention that you will have to pay for their asses to be on welfare, please consider that I have already mentioned pigouvian taxes as the solution to these problems.

Comment Re:Homeland Security? Everyone is a terrorist (Score 1) 126

you should stop talking about a subject you don't understand, or stop with your paper thin bullshit junkie rationalizations

If you are not talking from personal experience, you are the one who does not understand the topic. Although I am not a junky or an addict, I have used opiates in the past.

What you believe and what is reality are two different things. You only need to look at Rat Park experiment to see that your biological understanding of heroin is wrong.

Rat's trapped in cages take heroin to the exclusion of everything else. Rat's that are then moved to a social, mentally fulfilling environment then stop taking heroin. This suggests that the rats trapped in cages are self medicating... the drug maximises their utility in that situation... in a better environment no longer need the drug to maximise their utility.

Now, this does not suggest that we have to build utopia to stop people taking heroin... It suggests that for some people life just sucks no matter what, and allowing them to chose to take or not take heroin will maximise their utility, and therefore make them happiest.

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai