Time for a Marijuana Sales Tax

Time for a Marijuana Sales Tax
Posted by CN Staff on July 20, 2005 at 06:28:11 PT
By Ronald Fraser, Ph.D.
Source: San Francisco Examiner
USA -- Californians spend about $981 million each year to enforce state and local marijuana laws. What are these taxpayers getting for their money? Not much, according to a recent study.Jon B. Gettman, a senior fellow at George Mason University's School of Public Policy, prepared the study, titled "Crimes of Indiscretion: Marijuana Arrests in the United States," for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
"Marijuana arrests," says Gettman, "are instruments of a supply-reduction policy. But, he adds, "The doubling of marijuana arrests in the 1990s has produced the opposite of the intended effect in every major indicator. An increase in arrests should produce a reduction in use and the availability of marijuana. However, during the 1990s both use and availability of marijuana increased."Marijuana possession arrests in the U.S. totaled 260,000 in 1990. By 2003, that figure topped 662,000.Even failed public policies, however, can cost a bundle.Who pays: Californians are, in effect, paying for Washington's marijuana prohibition policies.Boston University economics professor Jeffrey A. Miron estimates that nationally, state and local officials spend about $5 billion per year enforcing marijuana laws. California's share of this multibillion-dollar handout to Uncle Sam includes $228 million for police services, $682 million for judicial services and $71 million for correctional services.Individual costs: The thousands of people arrested on marijuana possession charges in California each year — especially teenagers — pay extra. "Marijuana arrests," Gettman stresses, "make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens. Indeed, the primary consequence of marijuana arrests is the introduction of hundreds of thousands of young people into the criminal justice system."Once a teenager has a criminal record, a number of other penalties often follow. In California, for example, employers can ask job applicants about arrests leading to a conviction, and a criminal record may bar a person from public housing.Taking a close look at marijuana arrest patterns, Gettman notes that young people are disproportionately targeted. "The brunt of marijuana law enforcement," he says, "falls on both adolescents and the youngest adults — on teenagers. Nationally, almost 17 percent of all persons arrested for possession of marijuana were between 15 and 17 years old. Another 26 percent were age 18-20."Marijuana use: And what do Californians get for these financial and personal costs? In 2002, there were 47,988 marijuana possession arrests in California compared to 37,246 such arrests in 1995. But the number of users keeps going up. While 6.0 percent of California's population was estimated to be monthly users in 1999, in 2002 the estimate stood at 6.8 percent.Nationally, monthly users went from 4.9 percent in 1999 to 6.2 percent in 2002.The basic problem, says Gettman, is that "overall supply of marijuana in the U.S. is far too diversified to be controlled by law enforcement."If the current marijuana policies are both costly and ineffective, what is the next best strategy? Because marijuana is so widely used, Gettman recommends treating marijuana like a pharmaceutical product subject to Federal Drug Administration testing and regulatory requirements.By shifting to a policy that treats and taxes marijuana like tobacco and alcohol, Californians could gain the following benefits: a decrease in illegal activities surrounding drug sales; government control of marijuana quality; better control of underage access to marijuana; and the removal of the profit motive that attracts sellers, including a substantial number of teenage sellers who most frequently supply other teenagers.On top of that, Miron estimates a marijuana sales tax would replace the $981 million a year California taxpayers are now spending to enforce unenforceable laws, with a new revenue pipeline bringing in $96 million a year.Ronald Fraser, Ph.D., writes on public policy issues for the DKT Liberty Project, a Washington, D.C.-based civil liberties organization.Newshawk: MayanSource: San Francisco Examiner (CA)Author: Ronald Fraser, Ph.D.Published: Tuesday, July 19, 2005Copyright: 2005 San Francisco ExaminerContact: letters sfexaminer.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:NORML Miron Report Attitude Toward Pot Use Lingers Locally The High Cost of Prohibition Marijuana Hypocrisy To Save Nation Billions
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Comment #34 posted by jose melendez on July 21, 2005 at 21:01:28 PT
got treason?
"There was no information developed indicating any U.S. government agency or organization condoned drug trafficking by the Contras or anyone else." — from a memo endorsed by Henry Hyde, 1987"Fourteen million to finance [Contra arms] came from drugs." — July 12, 1985 entry in a notebook kept by Oliver North.from:
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Comment #33 posted by ekim on July 21, 2005 at 19:52:51 PT
Thank you Hope
I was watching C-Span tonight and Henry Hyde submitted a narco terror amendment to the Patriot Act. I just caught the last part -- the bill has Mandatory 20 year terms for those who deal, and their was something about conspiracy, and of coarse terrorist. It passed, seeing souder banging his fist and yelling at the camera saying 20 years was a good punishment, and lungren saying that terrorists get half of their money from narco ----i kept thinking why-----why--is the gov't keeping the underworld in sole possession of all the drugs with no taxes - no regulation - no one cking ID- no one in charge of purity of product. What the Hell is the gov't doing mandating 20 year prison sentences when we have more of us in prison then anyone else and its costing us our childrens futures.
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on July 21, 2005 at 09:34:30 PT
Just Me Again
I haven't found any news to post so far. I will keep looking. We are so busy with the bank and contractor and all the stuff that needs to be done that I might be a little slower then normal but within a week or two I should be back to being totally focused again! I mind saying it's hard work because that's Bush's expression but it is! LOL!
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Comment #31 posted by afterburner on July 21, 2005 at 09:28:53 PT
You have mail
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Comment #30 posted by jose melendez on July 21, 2005 at 08:59:14 PT
Prohibition is illegally fueling drug dependency
Column: More Harm than Good"America has the harshest punishments and the highest addiction rates in the free world. There has never even been a government claim of reduced addiction in the past 30 years."
Proof Drug War is Illegal
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Comment #29 posted by afterburner on July 21, 2005 at 07:49:09 PT
'Underground' Economy vs. Regulation: Your Choice
Toronto StarJul. 21, 2005. 12:20 AM 
Drug tunnel found in B.C.
Secret passage runs under borderDEA and RCMP involved in bustSEATTLE—"American authorities shut down a drug-smuggling tunnel, built under the Canadian border between Langley, B.C., and Lynden, Wash., a U.S. government source said last night. ...""In March, the Bush administration's drug czar complained that a surge of high-potency marijuana illegally smuggled into the United States from Canada was fuelling a rise in drug dependency among young Americans."more (free subscription)
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on July 20, 2005 at 23:02:37 PT
ekim...after a couple of hours of searching
This is the most recent word I could find on the mill and it's four years old.
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Comment #27 posted by Hope on July 20, 2005 at 21:55:32 PT
oooh...that had to hurt, Jose!
But Way to go! You never cease to amaze me."Got that, Joyce? Love ya, despite your lies!"
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Comment #26 posted by ekim on July 20, 2005 at 19:34:33 PT
thank you ^^^^^^^^^^^^^Spirit Aid ^^^^^^^^^^^^
Comment #17 posted by Jose Melendez on July 20, 2005 at 15:10:17 PT 
capitalize on eco-friendly hemp 
Spirit Aid has developed a plan to replace Afghan opium - 75% of the global supply - with industrial hemp.
 Jose ever wonder when the Afghans lost the use of a age old plant that supported the people for countless generations. We here on the other side of the globe lost it in 1937. Right around the time those Afghans and other Middle Eastern Countries were broken up for OIL/ And all the respect for this Green Giant was demonized over night but how could that have happen.rub the little Aladdin's lamp and ask the ol history gene which of the great leaders of old -sold out the Hemp plant and the People in favor of OIL. How were the God fearing ones brainwashed into going against the Cannabis Plant that had nurtured Humans since time memorial. 
If three wishes were granted one might be to bring said demonizser back for all to see and hear the whole sorted story. {like our traderous Harry Asslinger}second wish might be to show all of the Kingdom or Empire at its Hemp Glory Days for all to see the wondrous qualities of finished products and how the Cannabis Plant dated back as far as Humans in that region of the planet. How those products were send out all over the known world.number three might be a vision of what the land would look like with fields as far as the eye can see of lush flowing green, with wind mills, and solar collectors. 
I over heard a millwright say that he had worked up in Winsor Canada in a paper mill that was using Hemp for feed stock. I often wonder what ever became of Woodys papermill venture. And why i never see reports of hemp being used for papermaking, all of the paper used in the Kal Gazette says made in Canada on it.
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Comment #25 posted by Taylor121 on July 20, 2005 at 19:34:29 PT
Iowa City Fails to get signatures
(Iowa City – KCRG) -- An attempt to legalize marijuana for medicinal use in Iowa City failed a second time. On Tuesday night, the Iowa City City Council ruled there weren't enough legitimate signatures to allow an initiative onto the November 8th ballot. A group called Progressive Approach gathered the signatures. Earlier this year the council said there weren't enough names, but the group asked for a review.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on July 20, 2005 at 19:13:48 PT
Just Found This Link In My E-Mail!
Go Willie! Enjoy clips from CountryMan! I am playing it everyday!
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Comment #23 posted by jose melendez on July 20, 2005 at 16:19:33 PT
thank you all, this is a wonderful community
thanks for the kind words, gwI don't pretend to know the answers to these complicated issues. I seriously doubt that an income cap would ever work, any more than a prohibition against cannabis has ever worked. If anything, it might serve to stimulate many to  bypass such an artificial restriction.Certainly, since cannabis prohibition was implemented, marijuana smoking went from an obscurity among Americans to greater than half of all U.S. high school seniors participating in the practice, for many decades now.Still, I hope for peace to all, even those who consider us their enemies, and pretend to protect youth despite such demonstrable truths.Got that, Joyce? Love ya, despite your lies!
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Comment #22 posted by Taylor121 on July 20, 2005 at 16:15:15 PT
New Zealand Decrim; Vote in Web Poll
Hey who said just certain American states, parts of Europe, and parts of Australia can have all the sensible cannabis policies? The Green Party in New Zealand has proposed partial decriminalization similar to that of twelve states here in the U.S. although it also decriminalizes personal cultivation. This is a policy step that is in between prohibition and legalization, but it is a step in the correct direction. The policy is summed up here:,2106,3350094a6160,00.html-people aged over 18 with up to 28g of cannabis or 5g of cannabis preparation would get a $100 instant fine, rather than a criminal record; 
-adults growing up to five small plants at home would get a $100 instant fine, rather than a criminal record, unless there was evidence of selling; 
-in addition to existing provisions people younger than 18 found with cannabis would be fined and referred to an approved drug education provider; 
-also, in addition to existing provisions anyone smoking or cultivating cannabis within 100m of a school or other area mostly used by youth would get a $500 instant fine; 
-cannabis would be covered by the Smokefree Environments Act; 
-selling any amount of cannabis would remain illegal and subject to the same penalties as at present; 
-possession of more that 28g of dried plant or 5g of cannabis preparation would remain illegal and be subject to the same penalties as at present; and 
-revenue gathered from cannabis infringement fines would be earmarked to fund drug education and drug treatment provision. This sounds fairly practical in order to get a serious debate started. Of course whereas in America we have two irrational parties, New Zealand seems to have something similar:..United Future leader Peter Dunne said the bill was "thin-end-of-the-wedge stuff" towards legalising cannabis and his party would oppose it...Sounds familiar: it a backdoor attempt to legalize marijuana, Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., said it was "shysters and quacks" that were prescribing it. Peter Dunne taking notes from Mark Souder,fantastic. Let's just export our hypocritical rhetoric to everyone! Oh wait we have already done that by forming treaties and pressuring other governments to enforce their prohibition laws.National MP Judith Collins said the Greens' policy was dangerous and would put children in danger. "Any relaxation of the law will put more of our children at risk. A National government will not legalise cannabis," she said. At least an expert disagrees:,2106,3352070a6160,00.htmlProfessor David Fergusson, director of the 27-year-long Christchurch Health and Development Study, said he strongly supported the bill, introduced as a private member's bill by MP Nandor Tanczos...
...Fergusson said the Government should liberalise cannabis laws and then study the consequences. Liberalisation in South Australia and Canberra had not resulted in higher use of cannabis. "What the Greens are proposing is a thoughtful, mainstream bill," he said...On they currently have a poll up so visitors can vote on if they support the decriminalization measure. So far:Do you support the Greens' bill to partially decriminalise cannabis?Yes (707 votes, 42.2%) 
No (968 votes, 57.8%) 
Vote here: not a representative sample, it's still looking rocky. Generally when Americans have similar polls online, they are heavily tilted towards liberalizing the laws. Perhaps the trend is the opposite in NZ. From:
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Comment #21 posted by global_warming on July 20, 2005 at 15:49:14 PT
re:comment 13
"The theory, however, was not abandoned; it became a tenet of the opponents of socialism. It was credited with lowering consumer prices by eliminating the high costs of competition. In that way, the emphasis in laissez-faire theory was shifted from competition to the importance of profit as an incentive to production and of individual initiative as necessary to economic progress."It is that last line about economic progress that has me confuesd. Where did this concept creep into our world. The old testament has some stories of people who prospered and found favor in the eye of the lord. Was not Christianity an effort by the founders of this way of thinking, that man did not live by bread alone, but by the grace of god, to promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity?That bag of silver, may remind some how close they live with betrayal, certainly not the brightest places to dwell with. Jesus may have been elevated to godlike status, and while some Christians, amen themselves to the promised land, they only hasten their indenture and final enslavement.Some may consider, that this particular crucifixion, marks the place and time, in this world, when some people realized, the error of a belief system that "economic progress" was leading the children of Israel astray.Mercy, is a child of Christians, which has no place in smoked filled rooms of greedy capitalists, while the bottom line is analyzed, some of us may fall in love, and our little children, we would defend, with our last breath.Mr. Jose,
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on July 20, 2005 at 15:44:55 PT
That's ok. Just curious. Surfed around their sites and could go through their pdf format of the actual paper but I don't have the time for that right now. It wasn't on the front page though. There is another story in the same paper about a prohibition related death of an eighteen year old. They called it "supposedly drug related"...but I call it "supposedly prohibition related". The young man set out, according to reports, to buy some marijuana and wound up dead. It's a shame it couldn't have been purchased like wine or cigarettes and someone else would likely still be alive. 
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Comment #19 posted by runderwo on July 20, 2005 at 15:30:42 PT
the solution to fascism
A flat tax per individual plus a property tax.What are you paying the government for? Protection of life, liberty, and property. Everyone's life and liberty costs the same to protect, but those with more property exert a disproportionate load on the system because their possessions must be defended by the government.Note that I exclude investments here. (Wealth = property + investments) Investments are a form of individual wealth that benefit the economic engine of a free market society. Investment should be encouraged and accumulation discouraged, and we would accomplish that through a tax on accumulated property. People would be motivated to invest instead because they are going to be losing money on everything they own.Have to be careful pitting workers vs executives in terms of salary. In most cases it is not the executives who are taking advantage of the workers, but the owners. But, the owners collect no salary, only a return on their investment. I think the fundamental problem here is that the owners and PACs have far too much influence on the government so they can obtain fascist legislation that oppresses blue-collar workers (after all, they're a dime a dozen) and enriches shareholders. And all the while, the corporation's limited liability privilege is riding on the backs of every taxpaying citizen, even while the owners (in most cases the rich 1%) take advantage of those citizens that are guaranteeing their windfall if the company collapses, and frequently absolving the owners of responsibility when the company harms those citizens.A solution here lies in getting the average person more involved in politics, so their will is placed up against the will of the "rich 1%", who are invariably involved in politics because it is very profitable to do so... Most people make excuses that they are too overworked to bother with politics, or that they simply don't feel they can make a difference. These excuses may sound like whining, but in a way they are right. With the enormous influence and power of the federal government, a single point of political influence has been constructed that continually is ruled to override local concerns. Corporate owners can afford to throw PACs and lobbyists at the federal government all day. But the average worker's voice is drowned out in this sea of winking and handshaking, if he can even afford to travel, be informed about all the political connections and who is on whose side, and have his voice heard. Federal politics is a rigged game in the rich man's favor simply because of its remote location and its thick walls.The solution(s) are obvious to me. Cut back the federal government. Enact state cooperatives to replace federal funding sources, and replace federal authority with state and local authority. Only when it is within the average worker's means to make a difference in politics that favors his interests will he do so. When the state has authority, it's a half day of driving at worst to visit the state capitol and have his voice heard. At the state and local level, ANYONE can make a difference, and a corporation would have to buy off all 50 states to continue the favorites game. There may still be states where corporations call the shots, but the difference is that I would have the choice not to live in one.On the federal level, more representatives are necessary. With few representatives, voting districts are huge which contributes to apathy, but also congresscritters are more vulnerable points of corruption because it doesn't take much to buy off the few people acting as representatives. Multiply the number of congresspeople by 10 and carve up the existing districts. Let's see a company try to buy 5,000 representatives off! If it continues to be a problem, just increase the number of representatives to where it's a diminishing return for any company to try to exert influence. There has to be a breaking point. Paying the salaries and administrative overhead would increase the tax burden on the citizen, but it should be a drop in the bucket in a country of more than 300 million people.Anyway those are my thoughts, but I'm a libertarian and a traditionalist. I do believe fascism has this country in its grip and it is up to us to propagate reasonable policies, or run for office and implement them, before one day we forget what America was all about and sink back into a modern form of feudalism.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on July 20, 2005 at 15:16:02 PT
Too Much Money
This is a very interesting thread. Thanks everyone. I also think a cap on wealth wouldn't be a bad thing. I don't think it would work though. People that always want more stuff will get more stuff. Greed is something that consumes. If more corporations cared about the people that work for them and special causes that matter to them then greed would be naturally checked. 
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Comment #17 posted by jose melendez on July 20, 2005 at 15:10:17 PT
capitalize on eco-friendly hemp
from: Aid has developed a plan to replace Afghan opium - 75% of the global supply - with industrial hemp.	
Industrial hemp is perhaps the only economically and environmentally viable alternative to opium cultivation in AfghanistanHemp is a fast growing, legal cash crop that presents a host of immediate benefits to Afghan society, including a potentially lucrative source of foreign exchange earnings.The hemp tree is part of the cannabis species, which includes marijuana plants. However, leaves from hemp trees carry very little of the psychoactive components of the marijuana plant that makes it popular among drug users.It can be used to produce heating and cooking fuel, thereby ending the need for people to cut down and burn their remaining forests during severe winters.Using hemp in this way would also help prepare areas of land for future tree planting projects.But there are other benefits to cultivating hemp.Renewable energyAt the moment many Afghan children are malnourished. Hemp produces a fruit boasting the nutritional qualities of soya, oily fish and wheat combined.Hemp trees
Hemp trees - can make the world a healthier placeHemp can produce quantities of wood equivalent to four times that of trees over a similar period of time. This biomass can be used in the production of clean, renewable energy, biodegradable plastics and building composites.Hemp is currently being grown for these purposes in 36 countries around the world, including Canada and some European Union countries.If hemp could be successfully introduced in Afghanistan we believe that:# Those who depend on the 90,000 hectares of land dedicated to opium poppies in Afghanistan would instead be able to cultivate industrial hemp to provide heating, shelter, food and would have an alternative source of revenue# Communities in the West would no longer be flooded with cheap heroin in this supply-driven industry# The world would become a cleaner, healthier and more secure place as the need to cut down old growth forests and burn the remaining oil, coal and gas reserves is reduced.Unique opportunityIndustrial hemp is perhaps the only economically and environmentally viable alternative to opium cultivation in Afghanistan.Colombian military
Is Afghanistan heading the way of Colombia?It presents an opportunity to satisfy the immediate fuel, fibre and monetary requirements of two million farming households struggling to survive in one of the most dangerous countries on Earth.Hemp cultivation also presents a unique opportunity for environmental improvement in Afghanistan.Crucially the international community has a moral obligation to prevent a Colombian-style "war on drugs" from taking hold in Afghanistan because if this happens we can be certain the violence, and supply of opium, will never end. 
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Comment #16 posted by unkat27 on July 20, 2005 at 14:52:19 PT
Put a Cap on Capital Gains
Agreed, there is much confusion about the theory of capitalism and what it has evolved into (I sometimes call it 'the beast').My main problem with capitalism, after the fact that government has become corrupted by it and has too much control over it, is the fact that, while enforcing all these damn petty regulations on the market, the one thing that it doesn't do that it probably should, is limit the amount of personal wealth an individual can possess. It strikes me as one of the greatest mistakes a so-called democratic government can make, letting millionaires become multi-millionaires and billionaires, while so many poor working-class people waste their lives away doing dirty work for small change and getting nowhere. Furthermore, perhaps the very worst effect of such open-ended accumulation of wealth is the very corruption and above-the-law manipulation of government and law that we're seeing so much of in our world today. Millionaires are bad enough, multi-millionaires and billionaires are like vultures and vampires, feeding off the little people like so many pieces of meat exposed in an open desert. I'm not opposed to the accumulation of wealth, I'm just opposed to such acumulation with no cap on it, and the way the wealthiest capitalists so often turn from tycoons into tyrants.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on July 20, 2005 at 14:46:15 PT
Here's the link to the article. I don't know if it was in the paper or online only. Someone that gets the Examiner would know.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on July 20, 2005 at 14:18:27 PT
This article is great.
FoM, do you know what page and section of the hard copy this article appeared on?
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Comment #13 posted by jose melendez on July 20, 2005 at 13:58:46 PT
false claims act pushed on drug firms
laissez faire firms taxedfrom: Attorney General Charlie Crist filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing generic drug makers Mylan Laboratories Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. of conducting a $25 million Medicaid fraud.The lawsuit alleges the companies inflated prices in a way that allowed pharmacies to receive excessive reimbursement for generic drugs for depression, schizophrenia, seizures, angina and other serious illnesses . . .reference:·sez faire also lais·ser faire (lĕs'ā fâr', lā'zā) pronunciation
n.  1. An economic doctrine that opposes governmental regulation of or interference in commerce beyond the minimum necessary for a free-enterprise system to operate according to its own economic laws.  2. Noninterference in the affairs of others.[French : laissez, second person pl. imperative of laisser, to let, allow + faire, to do.]
lais'sez-faire' adj.Encyclopedialaissez-faire (lĕs'ā fâr') [Fr.,=leave alone], in economics and politics, doctrine that an economic system functions best when there is no interference by government. It is based on the belief that the natural economic order tends, when undisturbed by artificial stimulus or regulation, to secure the maximum well-being for the individual and therefore for the community as a whole.Formulations of the DoctrineHistorically, laissez-faire was a reaction against mercantilism, a system of commercial controls in which industry and trade, especially foreign trade, were merely seen as means of strengthening the state. Navigation laws, trade monopolies, taxes, and paternalistic regulations of all kinds bore heavily upon the rising class of merchants in the period of European colonial expansion. It was on behalf of this class that the French physiocrats, pioneer economists in the 18th cent., first formulated the principles of laissez-faire. With the physiocrats, state noninterference became a cardinal teaching; they especially opposed the taxation of commercial pursuits.Opposition to mercantilism and state paternalism also motivated Adam Smith, father of classical economics, whose name more than any other is connected with British laissez-faire doctrines. Smith believed that individual welfare rather than national power was the correct goal; he thus advocated that trade should be free of government restrictions. When individuals were free to pursue self-interest, the “invisible hand” of rivalry or competition would become more effective than the state as a regulator of economic life. Smith did not believe in laissez-faire in an absolute sense; he found a place for government activity in public works, such as the building of canals and docks to facilitate trade, and in the regulation of foreign commerce to protect certain home industries.In the hands of Jeremy Bentham the doctrine of laissez-faire became a philosophy of individualism and of utilitarian ethics, and John Stuart Mill brought it to what was probably its highest point. The strong individualism of the theory naturally appealed to the factory owners and merchants of the Industrial Revolution, whose attempts to transform society along capitalistic lines were often hampered by old laws and the opposition of landed interests.The so-called Manchester school of economics, especially Richard Cobden and John Bright, popularized the doctrines of free trade and laissez-faire, which, after initially being considered radical doctrines, were becoming the accepted theory of classical economics. Cobden and Bright, both successful businessmen, brought laissez-faire into the arena of politics: they secured the repeal of the corn laws—mercantilist import duties that raised the price of food needed by the industrial workers—and they opposed even the minimal provisions of the factory acts that Parliament had passed in order to regulate such abuses as long hours and woman and child labor. Laissez-faire principles were nowhere embodied fully in legislation. Governments, at the very least, continued to levy tariffs as a means of protecting domestic manufacturers.ModificationsAs the system of capitalist enterprise evolved in the 19th cent., more and more businesses found it in their interest to combine with their competitors in huge trusts or cartels in order to control prices and production. Competition, which had been expected to regulate the market, seemed instead to be encouraging monopoly. The principle of state noninterference was discarded; indeed, during the 20th cent. the state was often called upon to restore and preserve freedom of competition where it appeared to be in danger of disappearing. Agreements in restraint of trade and practices of “unfair” competition were outlawed. Thus the practice of laissez-faire was modified. The theory, however, was not abandoned; it became a tenet of the opponents of socialism. It was credited with lowering consumer prices by eliminating the high costs of competition. In that way, the emphasis in laissez-faire theory was shifted from competition to the importance of profit as an incentive to production and of individual initiative as necessary to economic progress.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 20, 2005 at 13:50:13 PT
Thanks Taylor
I know that I believe that if a person wants to make their own way in life and not work for companies it can be done most times. It's hard but when they shipped my husbands work to Mexico back in the 80s ( ten years at General Electric ) we had to figure out how we would make it. We decided to go into the Satellite Installation Business and then we went into Videos. We opened our first store, then another one and helped set up another business for someone else. Then we went into the movie trading business and it was good for many years. Is that Capitalism? I don't like the word Capitalism. I don't like the word Liberal or Libertarian either. The word liberal means selfish to me. That's what I think of when I hear those words. I believe that our government is a Corporation because the Government is controlled by the Corporations. The Corporations say jump and our Government says how high.
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Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on July 20, 2005 at 13:46:22 PT
I like the website too, you think like I do. Don't underestimate how many greedy, arrogant, capitalists are using the herb though - almost all of the ones I know get high! I think though, as a generalization, your analysis is right on target.Also, I consider myself to be a capitalist! I think the whole communist vs. capitalist issue is yet another wedge to mask the real issue: rich elite 1% vs. everyone else.  Many of the abuses identified as Communist were really Totalitarian actions, not Communist. And much of the problems with US government are because it's not capitalist. The FDA, DEA, ATF, ONDCP, etc, are the direct opposite of capitalist entities. They all serve to control the free market.  In a true capitalist society, cannabis and opium would quickly become the 2 most used medical drugs, as they were for decades before federal "regulation" of health care came into being in the early 1900's.Libertarians are actually the ultimate capitalists. I am not 100% Libertarian, I believe in governmental functions like environmental protection, single payer health care, & others. But I believe that a Libertarian philosophy could be instilled over every layer of a working government in those areas. For instance, instead of a minimum wage, why not just mandate that no employee of a corporation can make more than 10 or 15 times as much as the lowest paid worker? This could be pitched as a basic human rights issue - no person's time is worth 2000 times more than another person's. This proposal makes me a Communist! It's a great idea though. To me it seems like almost every political issue boils down to corrupt or incompetent performance by the government, which gets worse every year as the government expands. There's a dichotomy, those in the political class play but one set of rules, the rest of us play by another set of rules. For instance, the political class gets a fat pension, fat health care benefits, early retirement, etc, etc. How many people do you know that currently have a pension? For me, the answer is zero. I've never met anyone who doesn't work for the government that expects to be receiving a pension when they retire.FOM, investing in your house & land is a good move, if the collapse I predict occurs. A house is still a house, if there's massive inflation or a collapse of the US dollar, you still have the house. However, if the collapse does come, I think we could see property taxes quickly rise to absurd levels. Governments simply refuse to lay off people & cut costs, if massive inflation or a huge drop in real estate values happens, the property tax rate will skyrocket, and the government can easily take anyone's house who doesn't pay their taxes.
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Comment #10 posted by Taylor121 on July 20, 2005 at 13:28:47 PT
OT: FoM Capitalism
Laissez-faire capitalism is the doctrine that markets function to the greatest good when government does not thwart the operation of free markets (accidentally or purposefully) through intervention.Many say that the phrase "laissez-faire capitalism" is redundant, pointing out that the common definition of capitalism explicitly refers to trade occurring in a "free market." These people thus assert that the concept of "capitalism" is a laissez-faire system by definition.Economist Milton Friedman and the Cato Institute consider Hong Kong the best example of laissez-faire capitalism model. mixed economy is an "economy that combines capitalism and socialism" [1]. Some sources prefer the use of "command economy" over "socialism" in defining a mixed economy (see external links below). Relevant aspects include a degree of private economic freedom (including privately owned industry) intermingled with centralized economic planning (which may include state ownership of some of the means of production).Most Western countries, including the United States, have a mixed economy. of the problem with the mixed system is the line between who is government and who is corporation blurs. Private companies are so twisted into the lobbying efforts in DC that it is like we rub your back you rub ours and alas, corruption. What we have today is an insult to the very word capitalism. Folks like Ron Paul recognize that. The problem is there aren't enouhg folks like him.
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Comment #9 posted by unkat27 on July 20, 2005 at 13:14:16 PT
Thanks for the feedback
FoM, thanx for the support and the link to the counter, that's something I've been contemplating.Taylor121, your point is well taken. I probably should make a note of pointing out that Libertarians are the rare exception.But look at it this way for a second. Time and again, we are being referred to economic reasons for the continued criminalization of marijuana. Many of the most intelligent, practical conservatives fall upon economic excuses for preventing marijuana legalization, after they willingly admit that as an adult vice, marijuana is no worse than alcohol. These people are capitalists and the US economy is a 'capitalist' economy. If they can use 'economic' excuses for preventing cannabis legalization, then it would seem that their version of capitalism is the problem.But your point about the Libertarian position is well taken and it should probably be hammered out in another article, which i have already begun to consider. True, laissez faire capitalism has been rendered into a dilute dissolution by some very selfish, manipulative politicians and their corporate sponsers.
Mad Krow
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 20, 2005 at 13:02:23 PT
As you know I am not political but what actually is a capitalist? I believe we live in a society where people can make their dreams come true as long as the dreams are reasonable and they know how hard it will be. 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on July 20, 2005 at 12:52:22 PT
Good job! It's such a great feeling to learn and put a web page online. I spent many a sleepless night when I started learning how to make my personal pages. I don't have any computer training so it was all trial and error. I have tried different hit counters but the one I use and have used for quite a while is You have to put the code on each page you want counted but it really isn't hard and has been very helpful. They even have a forum for questions. 
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Comment #6 posted by Taylor121 on July 20, 2005 at 12:46:13 PT
It looks like an interesting site and it is obvious the pharmacy companies do not want marijuana in its herbal form legal. I can attest to marijuana helping anxiety disorders, but it is all about the user. For some people, other medications will work better. However, a true capitalist would want marijuana to be legalized under a free market system. Ron Paul is a capitalist. Basically, I think the writing was great and all, I just think directing the negativity at all at capitalists (I am one) might push away many libertarians that would otherwise love to hear what you have to say. 
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Comment #5 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on July 20, 2005 at 12:42:40 PT
Well Said Sam
If you let corporations buy their way into laws, they get rich while the majority of the population gets poor. Not to mention disasterous concequences for our planet.All of this is truely sickening.
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Comment #4 posted by unkat27 on July 20, 2005 at 12:31:55 PT
Need more like R. Paul
Sam, I agree with the article by Ron Paul. He's a rare republican amongst a bunch of neocons and war-party hawks.I just recently uploaded my first site to the web, and among other things, it covers the war on drugs. I'd like to share it with the good people here and welcome feedback.This link will take you directly to the drug war pages:
Mad Krow
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 20, 2005 at 12:22:24 PT
I want to comment on this sentence you posted.You said: What fun it will be to watch you life savings disappear into thin air as the US dollar collapses.***I personally never was into saving or investing money in the stock market. I always think of the stock market as a big pyramid scheme. Only those at the top make out and everyone else loses. The only thing we have ever put our money in is our home because the value of land and homes keep rising. That way when retirement day comes we can sell our place if we want and buy a motor home and live til we die.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on July 20, 2005 at 12:09:18 PT
OT: CAFTA and health freedom
Just stumbled across this excellent write-up by Ron Paul, thought people here would be interested:"Pharmaceutical companies have spent billions of dollars trying to get Washington to regulate your dietary supplements like European governments do. So far, that effort has failed in America, in part because of a 1994 law called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. Big Pharma and the medical establishment hate this Act, because it allows consumers some measure of freedom to buy the supplements they want. Americans like this freedom, however – especially the health conscious Baby Boomers.This is why the drug companies support WTO and CAFTA. They see international trade agreements as a way to do an end run around American law and restrict supplements through international regulations.' found this article to be very thought-provoking. It demonstrates my "levers of control" theory - that throughout human history, those in power suppress the normal means of human satisfaction, so that everyman's happiness is tied directly to the goals of the controlling elite. I mean that they go after sex, love, family time, natural "drugs" and other things that used to give enough pleasure & satisfaction to people to enjoy their lives. I guess "health" needs to be added to the list. You're no longer free to enjoy sex or a little herb, now health is a privilege that can only be granted by the ruling elite as well. To me, the most interesting part is that this whole power-aggrandizement that is going on right now at the local, state, and federal government levels is doomed to defeat. We are heading directly down the same path as the Soviets (not to mention the Romans).How long can our economy last this way? With everyone paying 3 or 4 times the normal value of drugs, supplements, and medical procedures so that a few corporate masters can buy massive castles in Palm Beach and Montana, how will we have enough money left for food & housing? Not to mention taxes? By the time everyone works at Walmart and Target (all other jobs gone to Asia), how can we possibly afford to pay inflated costs for health care? Along with the tab for prisons & cops for the drug war, $800 billion per year for the Iraq party, etc, etc. And soon nearly one-half of the population will be retired! Post-Soviet Russia isn't in the news much anymore, with good reason. They don't want Americans to see their own future. Total collapse. What fun it will be to watch you life savings disappear into thin air as the US dollar collapses. What fun it will be to try to get food when the entire economy has collapsed.  
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Comment #1 posted by Taylor121 on July 20, 2005 at 08:01:11 PT
New Zealand Green Party Wants Decrim
Green Party MP Nandor Tanczos is pushing for instant fines for cannabis use by adults rather than a criminal conviction.The partial decriminalisation proposal comes in a member's bill, which will form the basis of the Greens' cannabis policy.The bill would introduce $100 instant fines for people over 18 found with up to 28 grams of cannabis, or those growing up to five small plants at home for personal use.Anyone smoking or growing cannabis within 100 metres of a school would be fined $500, in addition to existing penalties. Selling any amount of the drug would remain illegal.Tanczos says his proposal to partially decriminalise cannabis is moderate and a practical solution to the political impasse on the issue. He says the current law wastes huge amounts of police time and resources and he says instant fines would still send a symbolic message to discourage cannabis use.But National says any move to decriminalise cannabis would result in more young people using the drug.National families spokesperson Judith Collins believes such a move would be dangerous and she says if Labour forms an alliance with the Greens after the election then the cannabis laws would change.However, Prime Minister Helen Clark is downplaying any potential problems dealing with the Green Party over cannabis, after the election.Helen Clark says the cannabis laws are not an issue that is raised often with her by the public. She says it is unlikely cannabis would be dealt with as a government issue and is more likely to be handled through a conscience vote.United Future says the Green Party's plan is the thin end of the wedge and retaining the current law will remain a bottom line for the party.Under United Future's support agreement with Labour, the government is committed to retaining the current cannabis laws. Party leader Peter Dunne says his party will insist on the same deal in any post-election negotiations.
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