Drugs! Now that I've got your attention.

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Belial
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Postby Belial » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:09 am UTC

That's interesting. I've never thought of the drug dealers wanting to be regulated.


The drug dealers are inconsequential. If drugs were legalized, they'd disappear, and it would all go over to large companies.

What I mean is, the *business* can't rely on normal methods of enforcement and defense, and so is surrounded by violence and needless death. If legalized, that would disappear too.
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Postby mattmacf » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:27 am UTC

Belial wrote:
That's interesting. I've never thought of the drug dealers wanting to be regulated.


The drug dealers are inconsequential. If drugs were legalized, they'd disappear, and it would all go over to large companies.

My bad, I misread that thinking that drug dealers didn't want to be regulated. Obviously if drugs become legal, drug dealers as we know it become a thing of the past.

Belial wrote:What I mean is, the *business* can't rely on normal methods of enforcement and defense, and so is surrounded by violence and needless death. If legalized, that would disappear too.

Let's play devil's advocate for a sec. The only problem with this idea is that if all of the crime goes away, there are thousands of people now without jobs. Police officers, court officials, prison guards, attorneys etc. are now put out of work because there are fewer crimes to investigate and litigate. <sarcasm>Obviously this would be a BadThing(TM) for society and we cannot let it stand!</sarcasm> While it may be a good thing in the long run, in the short-term, there is too much to lose by changing the status quo.

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Postby Belial » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:30 am UTC

I didn't realize we were in the business of generating busy-work as an excuse to pay people.

I never understood why just skipping the bullshit and *paying* them was such a bad thing
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Postby mattmacf » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:40 am UTC

Belial wrote:I didn't realize we were in the business of generating busy-work as an excuse to pay people.

I never understood why just skipping the bullshit and *paying* them was such a bad thing

Hahaha the sarcasm from the post is dripping out my monitor. The real answer for that is because some people need to have a justification for their existence (i.e. why what they do is valuable to society). Without jobs like this, there might be many people who become useless to society. The way I see it, these jobs are deadweight services that add no value to the economy (sorta like used car salesmen, only more useless). However, by just paying them the charade becomes transparent. Thusly, bureaucratic busywork becomes a way for those who have no marketable skills that add value to society to feign productivity and mooch off of those of us who actually do something useful.

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Postby Belial » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:43 am UTC

Well, I hear the military is hiring...
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Postby mattmacf » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Belial wrote:Well, I hear the military is hiring...

Hmm, can't quite tell if that's sarcasm or not. Same concept applies though. Check out the Broken Window Fallacy to see (again) why this kind of thing is bad for society.

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Postby Belial » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:59 am UTC

Huh. I never knew there was a name for it, but I agree, applying people to busywork just to circulate money is stupidity. If a use can be found for them in something *useful*, do so, otherwise just give them money.

And then we could legalize drugs.
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Postby RealGrouchy » Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:04 am UTC

Sorry to break your little tête-à-tête, boys, but I thought I'd just point out that mattmacf's comment about too many people having jobs to lose is where the broken windows fallacy comes into play here. It is unclear from his mention of it whether he is referring to the justice system (his comment), the military (Belial's comment), or both (which would be the most accurate).

I think Belial's comment was more tongue-in-cheek than sarcastic.

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Postby Belial » Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:08 am UTC

sounds about right.
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Postby GMontag » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:50 am UTC

RealGrouchy wrote:
Castaway wrote:Let me be clear also, i do not condone drugs though.

Dude, I don't even drink coffee, much less alcohol, tobacco, or currently-illegal drugs. Caffeine-free diet coke, on the other hand...

- RG>


Refined sugar is just as much a drug (and *far* more prevalent) as caffeine is.

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Postby Belial » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:51 am UTC

Technically, everything is a drug. Including food. And air. Really, anything that has a chemical reaction with your body.
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Postby mattmacf » Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:18 am UTC

GMontag wrote:Refined sugar is just as much a drug (and *far* more prevalent) as caffeine is.

I disagree. Refined sugar is a relatively inert (dunno if that's the best word to be using) chemical whereas caffeine and the other drugs mentioned so far have a more potent and direct effect on the body. Basically what it boils down to is the fact that you can't get "high" off of sugar. Caffeine acts directly on the central nervous system to give a mild amphetamine-like buzz (increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain). Sugar simply increases the amount of energy in your body (calories) and its transport mechanism (carbohydrates).

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Postby GMontag » Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:32 am UTC

mattmacf wrote:
GMontag wrote:Refined sugar is just as much a drug (and *far* more prevalent) as caffeine is.

I disagree. Refined sugar is a relatively inert (dunno if that's the best word to be using) chemical whereas caffeine and the other drugs mentioned so far have a more potent and direct effect on the body. Basically what it boils down to is the fact that you can't get "high" off of sugar. Caffeine acts directly on the central nervous system to give a mild amphetamine-like buzz (increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain). Sugar simply increases the amount of energy in your body (calories) and its transport mechanism (carbohydrates).


You most certainly can get high off of sugar. Have you never heard of a "sugar rush"? The only reason you think it is relatively inert is that you've been eating it almost all of your life and have built up quite a tolerance to it. Refined sugar has a very potent effect in the body of someone who doesn't have a pancreas used to it.

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Postby mattmacf » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:48 am UTC

GMontag wrote:You most certainly can get high off of sugar. Have you never heard of a "sugar rush"? The only reason you think it is relatively inert is that you've been eating it almost all of your life and have built up quite a tolerance to it. Refined sugar has a very potent effect in the body of someone who doesn't have a pancreas used to it.

Perhaps I need to clarify. It is possible that one could consider sugar a "drug," however, the effects it has are caused by an increased blood sugar level (duh), not through any direct effect on the central nervous system. Caffeine, on the other hand, directly pokes certain areas of the brain (ok, thats an oversimplification) in order to adjust levels of certain neurotransmitters.

According to Belial's definition ("anything that has a chemical reaction with your body") sugar most certainly is a drug. But by that token, nearly anything that comes into (or out of) our bodies could be considered a drug. Obviously we classify medicines such as tylenol or penicillin as drugs as well, however, I think perhaps a distinction (or specification) should be made deciding which type of drugs we're talking about exactly. The OP mentioned "chemically addictive" drugs, although perhaps psychoactive might be a better classification?

(Actually, now that I think about it, i don't know exactly why I'm arguing this. I think it's more a semantic matter anyway. I don't think it really matters what we classify refined sugar as. I'm beginning to wonder if there was a point to this post... anyone? ... meh, time for bed)

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Postby Castaway » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:58 pm UTC

I would say that sugar is most definitely not a drug. The line must be drawn somewhere, and I am doing it here.
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Postby Belial » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:44 pm UTC

The OP mentioned "chemically addictive" drugs, although perhaps psychoactive might be a better classification?


Which is really what's meant here. We've been using "drug" as short for "psychoactive drug"
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Postby Vaniver » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:26 pm UTC

anything that has a chemical reaction with your body
Fire is a drug! Just say no to being lit on fire, kids.
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Postby Yakk » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:43 pm UTC

mattmacf wrote:Let's play devil's advocate for a sec. The only problem with this idea is that if all of the crime goes away, there are thousands of people now without jobs.


Well, the criminals don't have jobs.

Police officers, court officials, prison guards, attorneys etc. are now put out of work because there are fewer crimes to investigate and litigate.


Prison guards lose jobs. but Police Officers can find other things to do. Police forces are very rarely culled back. You could just throw them at traffic offenses if you had to.

Their costs are already paid for, and in the legalized drug world there is an increased tax base from the sales of legal drugs. So it isn't as if we are short of cash.

Attornies, similarly, have other marketable skills. They are highly educated and mobile workers. They could move over to corperate law, or they could start defending people against traffic tickets. They could get qualified to work in other nations, or heck -- they could even become politicians!

Judges with less time pressure on their hands could spend more time trying to figure out if the person in front of them is actually guilty. Less cases leads to more successful appeals, and a greater refinement of your legal system.

Prison guards can work in private security, or get hired in the new legal drug selling industry.

Increased demand for educational services, because once illegally selling drugs is less profitable to poor kids, more of them will see getting educated as a way out of poverty, grabs at other labour.

...

The thing is, in a modern market capitalist system, slack is pulled in and used. The slack can cause some temporary problems with the economy, but we have figured out how to poke the economy to get it to pull in slack and use it for growth.

How it exactly happens is complex: but so is how the food for a bistro in paris arrives fresh for the consumer. Look up "feeding paris" for a bit of edutainment. :)

<sarcasm>Obviously this would be a BadThing(TM) for society and we cannot let it stand!</sarcasm> While it may be a good thing in the long run, in the short-term, there is too much to lose by changing the status quo.


You underestimate the sheer robustness of a market economy.

It could cause a slight drop in salaries and employment in those industries, but it should be made up by additional demand elsewhere.

'course, the future demand can't lobby for the change, while the past demand can lobby against it. ;)

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Postby Belial » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:49 pm UTC

You missed the part where that entire argument was, by the poster's own admission, based on a fallacy.
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Postby mattmacf » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:10 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:The thing is, in a modern market capitalist system, slack is pulled in and used. The slack can cause some temporary problems with the economy, but we have figured out how to poke the economy to get it to pull in slack and use it for growth.

The point I was trying to make was simply that there exists a great deal of slack within our economy at the moment. The idea is (I think what Belial was trying to say, but I'll clarify) that at the moment, the fight between drug dealers and law enforcement adds no value to the economy. I'll like again to the Broken Window Fallacy. Paraphrased, it reads as such:

A young child breaks the town baker's storefront window. By doing so, the fallacy goes, he has stimulated the economy by providing work for the glazier (the window maker/fixer dude of yore). The baker pays for the new window and the glazier uses this money to do whatever he like with it, furthering the good of the whole. However, what isn't considered is that had the window not been broken, the baker would have had extra cash to spend elsewhere. The glazier would not have as much money, and perhaps he would have to find an alternative career and benefit the economy in a different way.

In this case, the prison guards, police officers, etc. represent the glazier, and the illegalization of drugs represents the broken window. By not breaking the window (legalizing drugs), the glazier (the law enforcement system, as well as the drug dealers, actually) is put out of business (or diminished significantly. My beef with this issue is that the window keeps getting broken artificially (psychoactive prohibition) and that the people responsible for this (our elected officials) have not changed this simply because the metaphorical glaziers have too much to lose.

Actually now that I'm reading your post again I think that's what you were actually arguing. :oops: I actually really like that quote at the end though, it sums things up quite tidily.
Yakk wrote:'course, the future demand can't lobby for the change, while the past demand can lobby against it. ;)

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Postby elminster » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:30 am UTC

Personally i think alot of drugs need to be reevaluated. The average person cant deal with physical addiction (a "need"), the majority can mostly deal with physiological addiction (a "want"). Cigarettes should definitely be more restricted, for example.

Some drugs could be legalised and sold heavily taxed, in low concentrates. Would have to be only psychologically addictive though. Id probably suggest pills with 15mg of E (1/6th a normal pill) at £3, giving huge profit margins, lowering violence, increasing productivity (weed/alcohol hinder it alot), reducing death rates, reducing hospital expenditures, etc.

Saliva is legal in the UK, and from everyone i know whos tried it, gave the strong opinion that it shouldn't be, considering its effects.
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Postby Belial » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:33 am UTC

E...is horrible for you, over extended use....

As one of my rather brain damaged friends will tell you...
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Postby elminster » Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:07 am UTC

Belial wrote:E...is horrible for you, over extended use....

As one of my rather brain damaged friends will tell you...

In the same way i could list of people that contract cancer and lung damage from smoking, or liver damage from drinking, or diabetes from incorrect suger intake, etc.

Although id like to see a comparasion of total effect between E and other drugs, because that fairly recent study late last year would say otherwise.

Also a large problem with it is the concentration, even redbull has been considered dangerous by a number of people in the medical profession, simply because it offers high-ish concentration. Hence i said offer it at low concentration.

side note: better idea... ban boxing first, thats 1000+ times worse.
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Postby Belial » Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:35 am UTC

Wasn't saying anything should be banned. Just, if you were going to just legalize one drug, E probably shouldn't be it.

And personally, I consider brain damage a lot worse than lung damage...
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Postby Castaway » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:21 pm UTC

If you're going to legalize one drug it should probably be weed, because it's the most popular, so there is the most to gain by legalizing it (jobs, taxes, etc.)

Also, nobody's talked about the new jobs that would be created by legalizing drugs. Farmers, inspectors, retailers, researchers, etc.
You've just lost twenty dollars and my self respect.



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Postby Yakk » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:38 pm UTC

mattmacf wrote:The point I was trying to make was simply that there exists a great deal of slack within our economy at the moment.


That is an astonishing statement. Which society? What facts backup your claim?

The idea is (I think what Belial was trying to say, but I'll clarify) that at the moment, the fight between drug dealers and law enforcement adds no value to the economy. I'll like again to the Broken Window Fallacy. Paraphrased, it reads as such:

A young child breaks the town baker's storefront window. By doing so, the fallacy goes, he has stimulated the economy by providing work for the glazier (the window maker/fixer dude of yore). The baker pays for the new window and the glazier uses this money to do whatever he like with it, furthering the good of the whole. However, what isn't considered is that had the window not been broken, the baker would have had extra cash to spend elsewhere. The glazier would not have as much money, and perhaps he would have to find an alternative career and benefit the economy in a different way.

In this case, the prison guards, police officers, etc. represent the glazier, and the illegalization of drugs represents the broken window. By not breaking the window (legalizing drugs), the glazier (the law enforcement system, as well as the drug dealers, actually) is put out of business (or diminished significantly. My beef with this issue is that the window keeps getting broken artificially (psychoactive prohibition) and that the people responsible for this (our elected officials) have not changed this simply because the metaphorical glaziers have too much to lose.

Actually now that I'm reading your post again I think that's what you were actually arguing. :oops: I actually really like that quote at the end though, it sums things up quite tidily.
Yakk wrote:'course, the future demand can't lobby for the change, while the past demand can lobby against it. ;)


Some Glaziers are put out of business. But that money that would go to fixing the broken gets spent elsewhere, or it is saved and used to generate more wealth.

Breaking windows and fixing them is a waste of human effort. Both the effort to break the window, and the effort to fix it.

Take both of those efforts, and say, turn them into a massage. The money to pay for the broken window is used to pay for the massage, and the labour to fix the window and break the window is used to do the massage.

So we have two universes, with the same amount of effort expended in each, and the same amount of money spent on the effort: yet in one of them, the baker has a massage, and in the other, he doesn't.

While digging holes and filling them in can have positive macroeconomic effects, it is better to build roads, bridges, schools and spaceships than dirt-filled holes. They have the same macroeconomic advantages, and you get stuff from it as a bonus.

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Postby Belial » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:39 pm UTC

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