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

So I was reading a piece on The Outline about identity politics when the author, Sean McElwee, brought up a survey he had penned and collated to establish how positions on economic and racial issues align;
Could Democrats win over racially conservative whites with economic populism? It’s unlikely, because people who oppose racial justice also tend to oppose liberal economic policies.  To test this, I created scales of economic and racial liberalism, using two questions that have been on the American National Election Studies surveys since 1972. One question asks respondents to place themselves on a one-to-seven point scale on government aid to black Americans, the other on a one-to-seven scale on guaranteeing jobs and income for all Americans. In 1972, only 54 percent of white Americans who took the racially liberal position (supporting aid to black Americans) also took the economically liberal position (guaranteeing jobs and income).  By 2016, 74 percent did. And in 1972, 77 perce…

What Lingos Are Most Similar to English, Though?

Commentaryism - The Death Toll of Capitalism

How many people have died because capitalism exists? How many would still be alive if it had never existed? Let's dig in!

We will take two approaches over the course of this blog post by looking at the the death tolls attributed to the word in its broad popular definition - everything socialists don't like - versus the toll that fits the definition offered previously on this blog.

By the same token I will not lay any outsized figures at any other mode of production's door except where that mode of production demonstrably caused the problem that killed people. It's political ideologies that really matter here, and this is where the first big problem with even trying to lay a specific body count before capitalism runs into problems - there is no political ideology called capitalism.

Now then, Alfonso Gutierrez says in a comment thread that "capitalism and free-markets have murdered billions of people" which is a risky claim at the …