Skip to main content

LANCES UP! CHARGE... my bong...

I reserve the right to be wrong



In 2003, the Lancet published an article requesting that the Labour government ban tobacco. My bro is going to hate me for this, but legislating to abolish a human behaviour rarely works. Legislating alcohol away in the 1920s didn't help public order, or the death rate, a great deal in the United States.

I think we need to come to terms with the fact that all our debates on this or that harmful lifestyle choice are ultimately about the cost to us (the taxpayers*) of treating people who indulge in narcotics, alcohol, bungee jumping, cliff diving, binge-eating, owning and operating motorbikes and bicycles, and all the other lifestyle choices that heighten the likelihood of a visit to A&E, a cardiologist, or a hepatologist.

Banning tobacco is not going to rid the world of it, or its harmful effects. Not unless you go full 1984/V For Vendetta on us, Guvnor. It didn't work for alcohol. The drug wars raging in various parts of the world are a bloodbath that is destroying hundreds of thousands of lives, and leading to the incarceration of people whose crime – doing the drugs in question – is victimless.

Now I grant you, people steal and even kill to pay for illegal drugs, but the kicker right there is that they steal and kill for over-the-counter and prescription drugs too.

The bad side effects of drug use would get worse if drugs were completely legalised, but the crime associated with them, in particular the whole production and logistics thing, would soon evaporate as market forces hounded the cartels, tweakers and mafias into sorting out their ways.

And here's an idea for free; all those involved in drug production up to legalisation day should be offered some kind of inducement to testify against anyone in their organisations who committed torture or murder, or ordered others to do the same.



* I am currently an impoverished job-seeker and pay only Council Tax... in exchange for... something.




On the next Ecomony Blogtime; Mr Matthew explains the comparative advantage of blogging as opposed to shouting from rooftops.

Popular posts from this blog

Will Automation Make All of the Jobs Disappear?

... No.

There is no reason to suggest that automation will dramatically increase unemployment in the short term, or at all in the long term.

Seriously, it will not.

Do read the links in the order in which they appear please. Finding the right comments in the third link might be quite interesting. They are all by a user called BestTrousers and start with "RI" meaning R1.

The main argument used by HealthcareEconomist3 is to give a survey of several works, while BestTrousers goes for comparative advantage.

Why I Am Not a Historical Materialist

Hopefully you good folks can indulge me by forgiving this post. It is an unfinished mess because I wanted it out there as the anchor for a hyperlink from a Reddit thread.
At the momebt everything below is a jumble of notes, but I will be reworking it bit by bit starting today.
Hopefully this post will be sorted out and typed in full before the end of April 2017.


~~~


Historical materialism is the idea that history progresses in stages - slavery, then feudalism, then capitalism, then socialism, then communism - driven by changes in the technologies or techniques of production, and that any human civilisation will exemplify this process.

This makes historical materialism an exercise in both historicism and materialism.

Historicism is the idea that studying the past can reveal history's in-built course or narrative, and so show you the future.

Materialism is the idea that ideas ( and institutions) ultimately* don't matter in determining our destinies, and that therefore only material…

Capital & Labor in the Race to Exploit the Other

The idea that labor exploits capital is equally as plausible, sans assumptions*, as the idea that capital exploits labor. This is only intended as a response to the formal concept, descriptive or normative, of exploitation in Marx's schema from Capital Volume I.

* Assumptions include the power relation whereby capital is just assumed to be above labor hierarchically.

~
~ Capital exploits labor because... ... Capital earns income from production done by labor that capital didn't perform
&
~ Labor exploits Capital because... ... Labor earns income from capital that labor didn't buy
~
Basically in good old formal logic fashion both of those cases above, being factual descriptions, are true at once or are false at once.