Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who pays for the war on drugs

One of the things that economists know for sure (and there aren't many!) is that if you want less of something, tax it. I am pretty sure most economists would prefer a legalize and tax approach to drugs than our expensive, destructive, and unsuccessful "WAR ON DRUGS".

From today's NY Times, you should enjoy this short little take on how the costs of drugs are pushed onto poor people, without any compensation for it. Another reason to re-think a horrible policy, especially at a time when everyone is concerned about government spending.

1 comment:

Charles said...

Mulligan said a mouthful there.

Interesting that the piece talks little about the inherent racism of the drug war. When people realize that marijuana was prohibited originally based on racist propaganda that it turned black men into "raging, raping monsters" that would attack white women indiscriminately, or that the rock form of cocaine (the form predominantly consumed by african americans) brings far more severe legal ramifications than does powdered coke, I think they can get a little better idea of what is going on here.

I guess that's not really related to economics though. Unless you live in Midtown Atlanta or East St. Louis.

Time was when I wouldn't blink an eye paying $100 or $110 for an eight-ball of cocaine. From my perspective, that is an un-fucking-beatable market force. There is little else in the world I would pay $110 dollars on a nearly daily basis...

Economically speaking, $110 is a lowball figure though. I never calculated in lost wages due to lack of work, possible health effects, the amount of gasoline and resources spent hustling around trying to get the dope...

I would have been a more economically productive citizen had the drug been cheap and legal. In fact, i would have been the fastest, loudest, most dancin'est worker in America.

Anyway, I'm gonna go do the homework for tomorrow.