Jail for thee, but not for me.

Here’s an article from Reason magazine:

Some 18 states permit medical use of marijuana, and in November, Colorado and Washington voted to allow recreational use. Nationally, support for legalization is steadily rising. A decade ago, one of every three Americans favored the idea. Today, nearly half do—and among those under 50, a large majority does.

These trends have diehard drug warriors screaming bloody murder. Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., has formed a new organization to stop what he imagines to be the “300-miles-per-hour freight train to legalization.” He says that such a change would be especially harmful to teenagers.

Does the name Patrick Kennedy sound familiar?  Maybe this is why:

Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, who lost control of his car near the Capitol last month in what he says was a drug-induced stupor, pleaded guilty yesterday to driving under the influence of prescription medication and could face 10 days in jail if he fails to comply with a long list of court-imposed conditions.

Placed on probation for a year, Kennedy (D-R.I.) must meet monthly with the psychiatrist overseeing his after-care treatment and attend weekly meetings of a recovery group and Alcoholics Anonymous. Kennedy also must submit to random drug screening and meet regularly with a psychiatrist to monitor his mood and anxiety and use of mental health medications.

“I’ve always said that I wanted to take full responsibility for my actions,” Kennedy said in a brief statement outside the D.C. courthouse. “Today in court, I did just that. I accepted the consequences of my actions.”

The plea agreement, which was in the works when Kennedy returned from a month-long stay at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, was presented yesterday afternoon in D.C. Superior Court. Earlier in the day, Kennedy was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, and driving without a permit. The latter two charges were dropped in return for the guilty plea.

So he didn’t take “full responsibility.”  He weaseled out of two very serious charges.  But then Kennedy is not a young black male.

U.S. Capitol Police officers suspected that Kennedy was intoxicated when he staggered out of his Ford Mustang shortly before 3 a.m. after he nearly hit a police car and then crashed into a security barrier. But the six-term congressman — who said he was trying to reach the Capitol for a vote — was not given a sobriety test. Instead, Capitol Police commanders ordered that Kennedy be driven to his nearby home, touching off complaints that the son of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) received special treatment.

Appearing yesterday before Magistrate Judge Aida L. Melendez in a courtroom filled with reporters and curious courthouse employees, Kennedy looked calm and attentive as the events of that night were recounted.

Deputy D.C. Attorney General David M. Rubenstein said that after emerging from his green 1997 Ford Mustang, Kennedy was slurring his words and nearly fell over at one point. Kennedy was not carrying his driver’s license or his congressional identification, and his eyes were red and watery, Rubenstein said.

When officers brought him home, Kennedy spent several minutes trying to open a gate before realizing that his house was next door, Rubenstein said.

A day later, Kennedy left for the Mayo Clinic to be treated for an addiction to prescription medicines. It was his second trip to the clinic in less than a year, he said.

And it’s not just the Kennedys.  Much of the American press corp is just as corrupt, just as hypocritical as the Kennedys.  Consider what happened to Anthony Weiner.  He sent out a few dirty emails.  And almost our entire press corp got on their high horse and demanded he resign from Congress.  The Very Serious People.  Meanwhile the Kennedys go around driving into police cars while drunk, and in one case killing someone, and then get off scot-free.  And then they have the nerve to demand drug laws that cause 100,000s of minorities to be put in prison.

And the press plays right along with this absurd Puritan hypocrisy.  Imagine what future generations will think of our morality.

It almost makes me want to move to France.


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32 Responses to “Jail for thee, but not for me.”

  1. Gravatar of Russ Abbott Russ Abbott
    27. January 2013 at 12:21

    Nice piece.

  2. Gravatar of marcus nunes marcus nunes
    27. January 2013 at 12:42

    DUI is in the Kennedy´s DNA! They just can´t help it.
    But, “move to France”? Bad move!

  3. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    27. January 2013 at 12:54

    Good piece. Really silly to say “I abused prescription drugs, then endangered others by driving, therefore others should not be allowed to responsibly enjoy recreational drugs in the privacy of their own homes.” Policy should not be the bastard son of non sequiturs and projection.

    I should point out though that Weiner probably could have escaped most of the flak (albeit not the embarrassment) if he hadn’t lied about being “hacked” which was actually a provable crime — easy to forget we spent a week debating whether he was, in fact, hacked. So often it’s the cover-up, not the wrongdoing.

  4. Gravatar of Geoff Geoff
    27. January 2013 at 13:02

    Systematic, monopolized “Jail for thee and not for me” hypocritical activity IS the state in all its forms, from the bloodline dictatorship form to an “open” (democratic) form, and everything in between.

    Imagine if myself and 50 of my friends approached 49 people at their place of residence, and demanded by force, not asked, that they hand over 35% of their annual incomes to us, payable only in paper notes that my friends and I issue.

    Imagine that we also threatened those 49 people with force if they tried to issue the same notes as us.

    Imagine that we are more powerful than the 49 people, and that most of them choose to capitulate to our demands.

    Imagine that there are 5 people in that group of 49 who refuse to cooperate with us, and insist that they keep their income, and refuse to pay us 35% of their incomes in the notes we issue.

    Imagine they dared telling us to leave them alone, and to live and let live.

    Imagine we forced those 5 people into cages and subjected them to sexual and physical abuse, not only to punish them for disobeying us, but also to serve as a warning to the other 44 people who are, for now, cooperating.

    Imagine now that 10 of the 44 cooperating people tried to do what myself and my 50 friends are doing to them.

    Imagine they tried to demand by force that we pay them 35% of our incomes payable in the paper notes they issue.

    Imagine they tried to use force to prevent us from issuing those same paper notes.

    Imagine we utilized the “jail for thee but not for me” and put those 10 people in jail along with the 5 who refused to cooperate.

    If it isn’t obvious by now, the above describes the activity of government as it pertains to the current monetary system. If anyone those in the government don’t approve of tried to do the same thing those in the government are doing, then WE would be sent to jail, and those at the IRS and Fed get off scot free, indeed they are often venerated by the same corrupt journalists, and even many economists.

    We live in a world that has many evil people who are thought to be good, and that is exactly why the evil persists. Evil will never be vanquished as long as it is labeled and believed to be good.

    Civilian drug users are sent to prison, while governmental drug users are not, for the same exact reason that civilian counterfeiters are sent to prison, while governmental counterfeiters are not. “Jail for thee, but not for me”, pervades not just drug usage, but killing, kidnapping, torture, rape, and yes, even money.

    I can’t help but think that the moral outrage and emotional disgust that is levied at the drug war, often stops short of the more significant atrocities in life, because the motivation of the outrage isn’t out of principles, but out of convenience.

    What if I proposed the following: The state should monopolize the production of all narcotics, and “target” a rate of growth of drug sales, preferably 5% per year. If the sale of narcotics falls to zero, then many people would die. If the sale of narcotics rises to 1,000% per year, then that would clearly be too much. So this proves that there exists an optimal rate of growth. I propose 5%, but I am open to debating this number.

    Maybe there can be a narcotics futures market, so that the state can target the forecast.

    I call it market narcoticism. I want the state to have no discretion, just to target a 5% growth rate of sales of drugs. That way, we can minimize people dying from too little and too much drug use. Just the right amount to keep people doped up enough to not fight back, but not too much that hurts them and thus our ability to tax them.

    Who’s with me?

  5. Gravatar of Suvy Suvy
    27. January 2013 at 13:28

    Why the hell are most drugs illegal? It just doesn’t make any sense. You’re putting people in jail for not doing anything criminal(someone hitting a bong in their house is not hurting anyone else). On top of that, you’re turning a public health problem into a criminal problem. If someone has a genuine drug problem, should it be “treated” by sending them to jail? Or should they be allowed to seek advice from counseling and get some help from doctors/counselors? Now if you add all of the smuggling and underground drug violence that comes out of bans, it really doesn’t make any sense. People need to understand that bans are the absolute worst ways to enact laws; the unintended consequences can result in major issues.

  6. Gravatar of Suvy Suvy
    27. January 2013 at 13:47

    Geoff, I agree with you 100%.

  7. Gravatar of aa aa
    27. January 2013 at 14:11

    although lawyers hate it (they lose business when law enforcement gives someone a pass) the rule of law allows law enforcement discretion. and indeed thats what law enforcemnt did when they failed to gibe him a sobriety test. and the rule of law also allows prosecutorial discretion, which is why 2 charges were dropped, plus kennedy didn’t admit or plead guilty to drinking and driving. his guilty plea of driving under the influence will be forever more the direct result of legal prescription medication. if you think that law enforcement and prosecutorial and judicial discretion is not regularly used with the masses, then all you have to do is look at the tens of thousands of wash dc residents who have rap sheets a mile long, with many of them never having been convicted of anything. the entire system is a system of passes, and the lawyers/judges love it that way, for if the rule of law was clear, simple, black & white, there would be no need for the lawyers. the lawyer industrial complex is designed, not to deliver justice, but to deliver fat paychecks and jobs – to the members (and their friends) of the complex. kennedy’s guilt plea ironically is a notch on his political belt, as a large portion of his base always want a pass. he just obtained more street cred (and voters). thats the system the lawyers built for themselves – favors for votes, favors for thoise connected, favors for money. thats the state of todays criminal justice system.

  8. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    27. January 2013 at 14:53

    Geoff,

    So if one is not pushing for “free banking” – he/she is morally equivalent to “drug warriors” ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

  9. Gravatar of Rajat Rajat
    27. January 2013 at 15:36

    I fully agree there is hypocrisy. But does the fact that Kennedy got off despite some quite serious and potentially harmful (to others) behavior mean that others should? Doesn’t seem like the best advertisement for legalisation.

  10. Gravatar of J J
    27. January 2013 at 16:36

    I’m glad to see you writing about a variety of topics. Be careful, though, or the VSP will say you’re as crazy as Krugman.

  11. Gravatar of Geoff Geoff
    27. January 2013 at 18:03

    Daniel:

    “So if one is not pushing for “free banking” – he/she is morally equivalent to “drug warriors”?”

    If one is not pushing for laissez-faire EVERYTHING, then to the extent that one is not pushing for laissez-faire, then yes, one is pushing for the same force that underlies the drug war.

    I suggest not acting so surprised or affronted. Many normative desires that people cling to, actually require force against other people in order to bring these desires about, often without the pushers even realizing what is required. The reason for this is that all of us were born into a society where such force is a way of life and is thus difficult to identify.

    Imagine being born a fish. Imagine how difficult it would be for you to be convinced that you live in water. To you, the water has always been there, it’s what you have become accustomed to, and so you can imagine how difficult it would be to think outside “the water box.”

    It’s the same thing with our monetary system. Most of us were born into a society where money are dollars, where people pay taxes in dollars, where it is illegal to refuse to pay in dollars, and so on.

    You are only surprised that I would liken pushers of our current monetary system, with drug warriors, because you yourself haven’t yet fully learned that it is force that underlies both activities.

    In order for a drug war to exist, some people, group A, has to use force against other people, group B, to force them to do what A wants, namely, not take drugs, not sell drugs, not buy drugs, and so on.

    In order for our current monetary system to exist, some people, group A, has to use force against other people, group B, to force them to do what A wants, namely, to pay taxes in dollars, which then compels them to acquire dollars in trade, which “monetizes” the dollar as “the” money. Also, group A has to stand ready to use force against group B should group B issue the same notes that group A demands in taxes. In other words, group A has to use force to maintain what economists call a “monopoly”.

    Now, there are of course some force-based activities that are more easily eliminated than others, because of the extents to which each force based activity pervades our society.

    For the drug war, enough people have come to learn that using force against people to make them ingest what only the state wants, i.e. doing their “duty” of ingesting only “good” things, is an unjustified use of force, and that’s the only reason why you’re even discussing it now.

    But for “the money war”, and make no mistake, it is a war, because the state has to constantly threaten its own citizens with force to make them pay taxes in dollars, and threaten them with force not to produce dollars themselves, not enough people have yet come to learn that this is also force, and is also unjustified. Most people still think like you do, that paying taxes and obeying the rules of the money monopoly is a “duty” people just have to abide by, and if they don’t, then they’re branded as criminals, and demanded that they are to be physically grabbed by society’s security agents and hauled off and thrown in a cage.

    Now, like I said in some of my previous posts, this is not to say that I am against using such force in the area of money. The fact that not enough people have come to learn that it is based on force represents an opportunity for me, and so my official position is that I am in favor of centralized monopolies in money, as long as I am the sole issuer of society’s money, and if I can’t be the sole issuer, then as long as I am the sole primary dealer. If I can’t be those two, then I prefer to be one primary dealer among only a few. If I can’t be a primary dealer, then I prefer to be an “illegal” counterfeiter.

    I will continue to desire the above until enough people have come to learn that the force that underlies the monetary system is unjustified.

    Finally, and back the drug war, not enough people have come to learn that the drug war is an unjustified use of force to make drug production, selling, and distribution completely “legal”, and that is why those in the state are currently making lots of money selling and distributing drugs themselves, and keeping it illegal for others, many of whom want to keep them illegal, in order to keep the prices and profits high.

    But I am not so morally corrupt that I would do in the drug war what I do in the money war. In the money war, I am OK with the force, because very few people if any think it is unjustified force. So I don’t feel guilty about wanting to benefit myself using that force. But because enough people are able to discern the immorality of the drug war, I dare not exploit it or be OK with it the same way. I would most likely be branded by the average person as immoral.

    I will do anything that benefits me that the overwhelming majority of people around me believe is moral. This is how democracy works best. You take advantage of as many people in as many ways as possible, but it has to be in ways that they don’t even recognize as them being taken advantage of or exploited, and as long as most people accept what you do with enough conviction that they vote for people to enforce what you do as legal, then you can do anything you want.

  12. Gravatar of Geoff Geoff
    27. January 2013 at 18:21

    Suvy:

    Thankfully, people like you and I are in the minority, so the activity of pushing for the continuation of our monetary system isn’t understood by most people as an unjustified use of force. Most people really do believe it is a justified use of force, so I have very few if any qualms with wanting myself to be the sole money issuer (protected by government privilege of course, because it takes a powerful force to benefit at the expense of millions of other people).

    I know that the only grounds that anyone has to disagree with me, or to find me at fault for wanting this, is not intellectual, i.e. rational, but physical, i.e. force. The only way anyone can truly manifest their disagreement with me is by using the same force I am calling for against them, against me instead.

    Whoever can convince the most powerful people (the state) to side with them, they win this particular dispute over money.

    What I find amusing is that there are so many people who say how morally outraged they are with the drug war on Monday, and yet on Tuesday they push for a continuation of the money war, but with perhaps slightly different numbers to prevent too much damage to people.

    I would have thought that the NGDP collapse of 2008, which caused widespread business failures and unemployment the world over, would have been the final straw for economists the world over to become convinced that money is much too important to be left in the control of a small group of monopolists.

    But just like me, I think most economists have a secret and very strong human desire for power and control, and they like it that there is a potential for their own ideas to guide the massive money making ship. It is really an empowering feeling to think that what you scribble on paper on your desk, can maybe be “the new rule” that affects millions, indeed billions of people across the world.

    Not only that, but many of the most influential economists are paid and supported and bailed out by the very same monetary authority, so most aren’t about to bite the hands that feeds them. That desire for intellectual and/or political power and influence, or lucrative cushy jobs, is why very of them dare apply the economic theory of monopoly, to money, like they do with all the “civilian” made goods.

    Monopolies over computers is one thing. Monopolies over money, now that’s something. The inertia and drive for power, as Milton Friedman once noted, is why it is very hard to turn things around once the state has power over it.

    Are you going to be a human and take advantage of that power, ignore the force that underlies it, and hope that you influence millions of people even if the influence is due to violence? Or are you going to be an extremist who sticks to his principles, not take advantage of that power, complain about the force that underlies it, and influence fewer people in your lifetime?

    Power or principle? You decide. I have. I want power, and I will gleefully laugh and feel tremendous pleasure at the tax avoiders and protesters being sent to prison, because they are the greatest threat to me being able to accomplish my desires of benefiting from the monetary system at the expense of others who don’t know any better anyway. If they don’t complain, it’s not immoral, right?

  13. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. January 2013 at 18:26

    Rajat, His behavior should be illegal, but using or selling drugs should not. BTW, the post was aimed mostly at the press (the real villains), not Kennedy. I don’t mind if he wants to abuse durgs, just don’t drive while doing so.

    J, Oh I’m much crazier than Krugman.

  14. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    27. January 2013 at 18:59

    So he didn’t take “full responsibility.”

    Hey, we just this week saw Hillary put on a great demonstration of this. She said over and over that she took “full responsibility” — but she sure as hell wasn’t taking any blame. That is, she wasn’t taking any of the accountability, without which the word “responsibility” is meaningless.

    This is the first thing all the PR and media minders and yes legal consultants (like me) tell their clients these days:

    “Don’t try to duck responsibility. You can’t and the attempt will only make you look worse. *Embrace* the responsibility, say it is all yours. That’s fine — because your goal isn’t to avoid responsibility, it is to avoid the cost of *blame* and *accountability*. To separate them from it. And saying you ‘take full responsibility’ makes that *easier*.”

    It works! Always remember that, in case of future need. You never know.

    But … Sacre Blue! You don’t think that in this regard things are better in France, of all places, do you?? Mein Gott in Himmel!!

  15. Gravatar of FredR FredR
    27. January 2013 at 19:17

    “So he didn’t take “full responsibility.” He weaseled out of two very serious charges. But then Kennedy is not a young black male.”

    Young black males never take plea bargains?

  16. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. January 2013 at 19:31

    Everyone is missing the point. This is directed at the press, and their attitude toward sex and drugs. Read it again. It has nothing to do with Kennedy.

  17. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    27. January 2013 at 20:39

    France?

    You know when I see pictures, films of modern-day France, or take readings from travelers there, I get the picture that the French have better food, and nicer cities than the USA, and live roughly the same, in terms of medical and material comforts. Sure, smaller cars, maybe smaller quarters.

    But then I find out that the French work about 300 hours less per year than Americans.

    What is 300 hours? Well, in terms of 40-hour weeks, it is about 7 or 8 weeks off.

    Sure, if you are a gung-ho entrepreneur, or a guy running a business with lots of minions—or even a college prof in an interesting job—maybe you do not mind long hours.

    But most people are just employees. Want to spend time with family and friends. Enjoy this flash of light called life.

    We will be dead, as they say, a very long time. The average guy might like France better.

    And yes, the media is totally debauched in the USA.

    They report on someone’s sex life in minute detail, but as Sumner pointed out, can not seem to explain the US tax code and changes being made to it.

    They also cannot explain that it was federal agency spending—not entitlements—that created the huge national debt. Entitlements (Social Security and Medicare) have been largely self-funding through payroll taxes, in fact were overfunded for a long while.

    Or that the budgets of just the Defense, VA and Homeland Security Departments (and a mysterious item entitled “Defense-Civil,” take $1 trillion a year from your pockets. About $3,000 annually from you personally if you are average, and a lot more if you actually pay income taxes.

    Add on: I see what I get back from my local taxes. Traffic signals, fire and police, schools etc. Sure, probably 50 cents is wasted for every $1, but I see something. I see what I get back when I retire from FICA taxes.

    My federal income taxes are dumped into a black hole for all I know. I see nothing.

  18. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    27. January 2013 at 20:45

    So, the mainstream press think it is outrageous that the state should attempt to deny people property rights in their own bodies (abortion, contraception, homosexual acts) but think ramping up denying people property rights in their own bodies (narcotics, etc) shows a sense of responsibility?

    The real take-home should be that the state generally fails in denying folk such rights. Hence banning abortion does not much affect the rate of abortion (though it does affect the death-toll among women) nor does banning narcotics much affect the rate of use (though it does increase the violence and danger involved). In other words, the primary effect of both bans is to create a lot of transactions not subject to normal legal protections.

  19. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    27. January 2013 at 20:47

    Actually, that is better put as to withdraw legal protections from a large number of transactions which continue to occur.

  20. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    27. January 2013 at 22:51

    “nor does banning narcotics much affect the rate of use”

    Is this empirically true? I mean, I can buy a case of beer to prepare myself for an ECB meeting or a Richard Fisher speech. But I can’t write myself a script for vicoden, even though that would be more effective (until the addiction kicked in).

  21. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    28. January 2013 at 01:46

    Steve: prescription drugs it likely does restrict, simply because they are mostly supplied by pharmaceutical companies. Your classic illegal narcotics, not so much. And the effect is likely to be somewhat fewer, but higher content, transactions. (Alcohol) Prohibition seems to have had that effect. Less beer and wine, more spirits.

    As I understand it, marihuana has tended to become higher in THC content; cigarettes, by contrast, have tended to become lower in nicotine content.

  22. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    28. January 2013 at 05:28

    Geoff,

    How’s about you get off your high horse and drop the patronizing/moralistic tone – for starters, I’m not a child in need of a lecture on morality.

    Second of all, I happen to be in favor of “free banking” – for practical reasons – that is, a central bank represents a “single point of failure” – which is a very scary thought (to me, at least). So you might want to re-calibrate your remote thought scanner (either that, or my reinforced tinfoil hat has finally begun to pay off).

    I just happen to be of the opinion that, politically, it would be a much tougher sell (for the moment, at least) than ending the war on (some) drugs – and one should pick one’s fights carefully – please note I said “if one is NOT PUSHING FOR” and not “if one is not in favor of”.

    And last but not least – go patronize someone else. Come back when you’re done hyperventilating.

  23. Gravatar of FredR FredR
    28. January 2013 at 07:45

    That’s true about alcohol prohibition, but also the total amount of alcohol consumed went down.

  24. Gravatar of Rob Rob
    28. January 2013 at 07:59

    This reminds me of a quote by Karl Kraus that’s more and more relevant: “The mission of the press is to spread culture while destroying the attention span”!

  25. Gravatar of Geoff Geoff
    28. January 2013 at 09:22

    Daniel:

    “How’s about you get off your high horse and drop the patronizing/moralistic tone – for starters, I’m not a child in need of a lecture on morality.”

    Well, you did ask what looked to me like a question that a person in need of an intellectual hand holding would ask. What did you expect me to do? Perhaps if you didn’t want to be responded to with an answer to your question, then maybe you should not have asked what I am guessing now is a rhetorical question.

    “Second of all, I happen to be in favor of “free banking” – for practical reasons – that is, a central bank represents a “single point of failure” – which is a very scary thought (to me, at least). So you might want to re-calibrate your remote thought scanner (either that, or my reinforced tinfoil hat has finally begun to pay off).”

    Maybe I am confused about what you mean by “practical” reasons, as opposed to any other reason. Does a practical reason mean a reason that would benefit you personally because attempting to do the alternative would incur costs that are greater than the expected payoff?

    I really don’t mind what the various positions are concerning money, each of which has its own bin of truth, where practically someone’s in favor of it, but politically they’re not, or vice versa.

    For me, I am in favor of central banking, as long as I am the sole money issuer, or second best, the sole primary dealer.

    “I just happen to be of the opinion that, politically, it would be a much tougher sell (for the moment, at least) than ending the war on (some) drugs – and one should pick one’s fights carefully – please note I said “if one is NOT PUSHING FOR” and not “if one is not in favor of”.”

    I don’t understand. What is politically feasible is a function of what people think and desire. People can’t be politically in favor of X unless they first learn X. How else can X be learned without those who “push” for it and spread that knowledge?

    I am thinking that if everyone took a wait and see approach, then nothing would ever get better, because everyone would be staring at everyone else, waiting for everyone else to do it, because nobody wants to stick their heads up and speak unpopular ideas lest they be ridiculed or whatever other fear they have for refusing to push for what they desire.

    “And last but not least – go patronize someone else. Come back when you’re done hyperventilating.”

    I think you might be confusing who is “hyperventilating” here. I was actually very clam and composed when I wrote my response to you.

    I notice that you kind of moved away from your original thinking. You asked me “if one is not pushing for “free banking” – that he/she is morally equivalent to “drug warriors”?” When I read that, I took it to mean you are still pushing for something in the monetary system, just not free banking. Well, if you aren’t pushing for free banking, then you must be pushing for non-free banking. Everyone is pushing for something.

    If you want to find safety in an area where you aren’t pushing for free banking, but you’re not pushing for non-free banking either, then really you’re not even thinking enough about the monetary system to even have a meaningful conversation about it. I don’t distinguish between “favor” and “push”. They’re just too ways of saying the same thing.

    To clarify: If someone pushes for non-free banking, then I think they are morally equivalent to “drug warriors”, because threats of force are necessary to enable both activities to take place.

    You can of course attempt to separate these into “practical” and “non-practical” uses of force, or “politically feasible” and “not politically feasible” uses of force, but it’s still force.

  26. Gravatar of Rich Privilage « azmytheconomics Rich Privilage « azmytheconomics
    28. January 2013 at 13:12

    [...] but one could ask the same question about Assange. Should Obama be detained for violating the NDAA? Sumner on drug enforcement Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. from → 2 Minutes' Hate, [...]

  27. Gravatar of Peter N Peter N
    28. January 2013 at 14:59

    1) When everything is illegal, prosecutors have complete discretion in charging, and mandatory minimum sentences are long, who goes to jail and who doesn’t depends on who the police choose to arrest, what the DA wants to charge them with (should they be made an example of? Are they the “wrong kind of people”? Is it a “high profile case” and good for the career) and whether they can inform on someone more important or are willing to work as informants (this is a truly dirty business – coercing kids into doing drug buys usually without their parents knowledge, since the fear of the parents discovering the charges (which can, of course, be upcharged – conspiracy, intent to sell…) can be used to motivate cooperation).

    2) When you make crime a profit center for law enforcement, you create a particularly nasty set of perverse incentives. For instance if people on probation have to pay for their own supervision and treatment, then the numbers and pay of probation officers depends on how many people are on probation and what extra costs they can be forced to assume (like receiving overpriced “therapy” from people favored by the department). This issue is overdue for attention from some economists who specialized in incentives.

    3) With regard to the previous, civil proceedings ad rem should be outlawed. If you can’t convict people beyond a reasonable doubt, you can just sue their possessions in civil court under the standard of preponderance of evidence. Even if they win, the legal fees will probably be more than the value of the property.

    4) Of course if you’re a too big to fail banker, you won’t be charged with drug crimes. That’s for chumps.

  28. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    28. January 2013 at 16:15

    Yeah te press is hypocritical. I remember when Limbaugh talked on and on about how housewives who abuse prescription drugs should be sentenced like every other drug offender. Until of course he became one. Exposing these people for hypocrites is good, but I think that drug laws will finally be repealed only when the current generation in power dies off and the next one, which is socially more liberal, takes over.

  29. Gravatar of Floccina Floccina
    28. January 2013 at 16:46

    I also am enraged at our politicians (and to a lesser extent voters) about the war on drugs.
    Also surely you meant to say Portugal and not France.

  30. Gravatar of jonathan jonathan
    31. January 2013 at 17:50

    The reason he was let go was because he claimed he was on his way to a vote. The constitution prohibits law enforcement from detaining a member of congrees while on official duty. A loophole no xoubt explined fo himby Ted

  31. Gravatar of jonathan jonathan
    31. January 2013 at 17:50

    The reason he was let go was because he claimed he was on his way to a vote. The constitution prohibits law enforcement from detaining a member of congrees while on official duty. A loophole no xoubt explined fo himby Ted

  32. Gravatar of TheMoneyIllusion » The war on the poor: Let them suffer a bit TheMoneyIllusion » The war on the poor: Let them suffer a bit
    3. February 2013 at 10:32

    [...] tough on people who sell drugs, who tend to be disproportionately poor.  And as I pointed out in this recent post, the rich generally don’t have to serve prison time for their addictions (unless they are as [...]

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