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Friday, March 30, 2012

America Has The Richest Poor People in the World


Can we even call people on public assistance in this country "poor" anymore? It’s the ultimate conclusion of the Robin Hood parable: robbing from the rich to give to the poor. Now it’s the people who pay who go without so the people who used to go without can have more.

In other countries the poor people live in holes in the ground, have no shoes and scavenge the dump for what they can. Or they live in corrugated shanty communities with no running water or electricity. Nobody can dispute it, they POOR.
But here in the USA, there are satellite dishes on the roofs of subsidized or rent controlled 3 bedroom apartments with cars less than 5 years old in the drive. There’s a fridge with soda, frozen veggies, hamburgers, chicken, milk and perhaps beer in them. Growing up, I knew what poor looked like but now I have a hard time distinguishing the poor from the “unpoor” these days.
 
What we used to call "Charity" is now part of the "Safety Net". What used to be given as a temporary helping hand is now a right.  Welfare, and it's not even called "Welfare" anymore, was once handled by local state communities, by people who knew who deserved it and who didn't. But since Welfare has been handled by the nameless, faceless Federal Bureaucracy, they can't be bothered with such things. Their job is to redistribute money. Other people's money.
 
And for all this, for them, roughly 1/3 of my income is taken in taxes. I would certainly be living better if I got to keep that money for myself and my family instead of it going to somebody else’s. It's especially insulting since THEY didn't earn it, I did.
Is it easier now to take the path of least resistance and remain uninvolved with working society than to strive for betterment and meaningful work? After all, the government will only take a good sized portion of it anyway. Isn’t it easier to just have the government provide? We're only working for the difference between what we get paid and what the system will pay us. Is the difference between what our perpetual unemployment system pays and what a real job would pay actually worth getting a real job? Where is the incentive? The joy of earning your first paycheck fades quickly these days when you look at how much the government takes out of it for taxes. So why bother?

But it is a fool’s paradise. By taking the short money, one will never know how far they could have gone in life or the things they could have had. By joining the ranks of the government dependent, you sure aren’t going to get anywhere. You’ll just be the same. And over time, maybe less so. 
But these aren't poor people we're talking about. People in Bangladesh living on the coast during Monsoon season, they’re poor. What we have here in the U.S. are just wards of the State. A State dependent wearing a government diaper, crawling to the polls every election to vote for their supper and it’s the working people in this country who are stuck wiping their ass when they crap.
It’s now the taxpayer who goes without or pays full price, makes a choice of staying home rather than take a trip, brown bagging it for lunch instead of getting take-out and choosing a state school over a private one for their kids even though they’ve worked for it.
Shortages, inflation and price hikes affect we the taxpayer the most now as the "poor" are insulated from such things. But for how much longer can this go on? Eventually we will reach a point where we just can't pay it anymore and the system will collapse. 
What will happen then?  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pat Robertson and the Legalization of Marijuana

One could say that Mr. Robertson, Evangelical Christian broadcaster and one time figurehead for the Moral Majority, has found “enlightenment” concerning the failure of the nation’s drug policy. He is right, of course, the U.S. War on Drugs is a failure. A long and costly failure in both monetary terms and in lives lost.

This is not about supporting “Hippie Culture” whatever that is these days, it’s about recognizing and admitting failure and then actually proposing an actual solution rather than letting the failure perpetuate itself into an ever darkening future for our youth, our cities and our nation. And it’s not doing Mexico any good either.

Pat Robertson has done something our elected officials nationally have not; he has applied logic to the situation. He has asked: “What’s the difference between marijuana and alcohol?” Well, from as near as I can remember, we already tried to ban alcohol in the past and it was…wait for it…a FAILURE!

We are not going to win against a market force since the reality of the illegal drug trade reveals that it’s really that old demon Capitalism once again driving all before it and casting asunder the structures of good intentions and leaving its illogical wreckage for all but the most na├»ve among us to see. There is a great demand for these drugs and a greater demand for the money the underground trafficking of these drugs brings in. We see the illegal drug trade being used to fund terrorist activities all over the world in the purchase of weapons and in the recruitment and training of terrorist minions. We can stop all this.

So what is the answer smartass?

Easy. Replace a market with a market.

Creating a LEGAL market for these particular drugs of choice and providing local supply, will eliminate the need of going to the cartels and the terrorist supply chains. It doesn’t take an economics degree to see that by providing legal competition for these drugs in the marketplace, that the underground activity will be severely impacted. Unless, of course, you actually LIKE going into seedy neighborhoods late at night with cash in your pocket to deal with people you don’t know and can’t trust.

When the federal government says that buying illegal drugs fuels terrorism they are correct but that’s only because it’s illegal. If these were legal purchases, that money wouldn’t fall into terrorist hands. That is, if you’re not counting the federal government.

I haven’t heard of a study on it yet but I’ll bet money that the decriminalization of marijuana and the availability of the drug for medical purposes (from a legally grown source here in the U.S.) has had an effect on its underground trade in those areas where it is available.

A clear thinking person would acknowledge that there is a legitimate market for Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin and Hashish to the point where people will pay for them no matter how they are obtained and no matter the penalty. Marijuana is but a part of a larger picture. If we are able to expand upon the legalization front, the United States, as the largest consumer, can become an economic engine that will roll over world-wide illegal distribution and the money currently used to fund the global terror network will dry up;. Add to that National Oil independence and the enemies (external) of our State will be hard pressed to fund their terror network. That’s the big picture.

The obstacles to this effort will come from the federal and local governments themselves. They have a vested interest in keeping the Drug War going. If they didn’t, they would have stopped it long ago. So what if police are getting killed out on our roadways and in our inner cities in an effort to enforce the unenforceable? It’s a living!
What a world we live in where drugs like Oxycodone and Ritalin are legal and marijuana isn’t, where pushers in lab coats have the governments blessing and support (we refer to them as Doctors) yet everybody else is a criminal. Where a straight arrow like Pat Robertson has found clarity and our bent men in Congress have not.
                                                                                           
Until they figure it out, the blood will continue to flow.