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(The Daily Beast)   Why the war on drugs isn't working. Here comes the economics   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 91
    More: Interesting, London Stock Exchange, prohibitionists  
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6448 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 May 2014 at 10:25 AM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-06 09:00:48 AM  
'Obvious' tag too busy getting high behind the gymnasium? It has always, and will always, be a failure.
 
2014-05-06 09:14:57 AM  
The economics of the drug war is horrendous.

Think of all the poor economists struggling to cross the border simply to try to find a better life? Can we blame these people just for wanting to better themselves.

I'll never forget how moved I was watching "not without my coconuts".
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-05-06 09:17:27 AM  
Caulkins suggests that the current failures of prohibition are "overstated" and that the benefits may outweigh the costs. One example he offers to support his point is a group of friends who want to get stoned and listen to jazz but instead decide to go to a movie. "How much they actually enjoyed going to the movies is a loss whose value should be charged to prohibition," he writes.

I see problems like this in transportation policy analysis too. I remember a report saying that a highway enforcement program created huge benefits, when it was evident from the data in the report that the opposite was true. They just chose what benefits to count and what costs to ignore. The author of that report actually knew what he was doing. He had written a book showing how his own analysis was flawed. But his sponsors wanted a report saying they were on the right path, and he was an academic whore first and a scientist second.
 
2014-05-06 09:21:30 AM  

scottydoesntknow: 'Obvious' tag too busy getting high behind the gymnasium? It has always, and will always, be a failure.


Yes, and the poor tag had such potential until it started smoking the devil's cabbage. Now it's just a second-string tag, hanging around with 'Ironic' all the time. Speaking of 'Ironic', now there's a tag that never learned how to properly apply itself, and I tell you, it's going nowhere in life.
 
2014-05-06 09:30:50 AM  
Doesn't matter.  Getting re-elected.
 
2014-05-06 09:44:38 AM  

incendi: scottydoesntknow: 'Obvious' tag too busy getting high behind the gymnasium? It has always, and will always, be a failure.

Yes, and the poor tag had such potential until it started smoking the devil's cabbage. Now it's just a second-string tag, hanging around with 'Ironic' all the time. Speaking of 'Ironic', now there's a tag that never learned how to properly apply itself, and I tell you, it's going nowhere in life.


Brilliant.
 
2014-05-06 10:27:16 AM  
The heart wants what it wants. Drugs.
 
2014-05-06 10:28:08 AM  
It's not a war. Wars end.


/Haha, oh 2002. How naive you were.
 
2014-05-06 10:29:43 AM  
Why the war on drugs isn't working.

Stopping drugs was never the objective.  It was to make privatized prisons more profitable and to get minority voters off the voting rolls.  It was worked spectacularly well.
 
2014-05-06 10:30:11 AM  
The drug war is working splendidly. It is accomplishing exactly what it was intended to do. Entire industries have sprung up around it, and the minority population's influence on the political process is kept in check.
 
2014-05-06 10:31:23 AM  

scottydoesntknow: 'Obvious' tag too busy getting high behind the gymnasium? It has always, and will always, be a failure.

Actually I think the most erroneous assumption in this latest analysis, like all others before it, is that the objectives of the Drug War are to minimize the usage of drugs and the economic impact of the prohibition thereof.
A quick glance at the sort of powers demanded in the name of the Drug War tells a very different story.  When viewed from the objectives inherent in the agenda itself, the Drug War is wildly successful.  So successful, in fact, that those benefiting from it will bring all their resources to bear in maintaining the status quo.

The problem with economists is that they never work with reality.
 
2014-05-06 10:33:14 AM  
Why would you want to fight a war.....on drugs?
 
2014-05-06 10:36:41 AM  

ZAZ: Caulkins suggests that the current failures of prohibition are "overstated" and that the benefits may outweigh the costs. One example he offers to support his point is a group of friends who want to get stoned and listen to jazz but instead decide to go to a movie. "How much they actually enjoyed going to the movies is a loss whose value should be charged to prohibition," he writes.

I see problems like this in transportation policy analysis too. I remember a report saying that a highway enforcement program created huge benefits, when it was evident from the data in the report that the opposite was true. They just chose what benefits to count and what costs to ignore. The author of that report actually knew what he was doing. He had written a book showing how his own analysis was flawed. But his sponsors wanted a report saying they were on the right path, and he was an academic whore first and a scientist second.


I'm still trying to wrap my head around how getting stoned and listening to jazz is a loss when compared to going to a movie.  A loss for who?  Where's the value exchange that occurs in the one case that doesn't take place in the other?  In fact, that entire second point just went flying over my head I guess.  Cause it sounds like he supports prohibition one minute, applies a positive consequence to it, and then says that prohibition realizes a net loss...

Anyone want to translate point number two out of economist?
 
2014-05-06 10:36:41 AM  
Economists can explain why the drug war is destined to fail with a lesson from the first day of a 100-level Econ course.

If demand exists for a good or service, there will be a potential profit on the supply side.
 
2014-05-06 10:38:31 AM  

holdmybones: Why would you want to fight a war.....on drugs?


Why *wouldn't* you?
 
2014-05-06 10:39:40 AM  
The War on Drugs is only a failure if you think it's purpose is to get rid of drugs.  The whole point is to funnel money to friends of people in power.  Anti-drug money is one of many forms of bribery engaged in by our fearless leaders to keep their minions happy.  If they actually cared about reducing drug use, yeah, it's a failure, but the whole point is to increase prison populations and justify harassing people who won't toe the line.
 
2014-05-06 10:39:47 AM  
Prohibition doesn't work, film at 11.
 
2014-05-06 10:40:25 AM  

brimed03: holdmybones: Why would you want to fight a war.....on drugs?

Why *wouldn't* you?


it messes up my accuracy.
 
2014-05-06 10:40:57 AM  
With helpful picture of what drugs may look like?
 
2014-05-06 10:43:32 AM  

Kit Fister: Prohibition doesn't work, film at 11.


Oddly enough it seems like chapter two was dedicated to saying "prohibition is economically sound policy" with chapter 3 qualifying that assertion.

I say seems because this sentence:

"How much they actually enjoyed going to the movies is a loss whose value should be charged to prohibition"

Still makes no god damned sense to me.
 
2014-05-06 10:49:43 AM  
That article made a fair amount of sense. I'm sure political leaders will immediately heed this new knowledge, realize the error of their ways, and make changes.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-05-06 10:51:03 AM  
If you don't get the movie analogy, try reading it like this:

"Preventing people from smoking reduces their quality of life. Naïve cost-benefit analysis does not count that reduction."

We get enjoyment from various things, whether it be smoking pot, watching movies, or stomping kittens in high heels. When society decides which of those things should be illegal, the enjoyment level should be considered.
 
2014-05-06 10:51:16 AM  
This part I don't quite get.

FTFA "One example he offers to support his point is a group of friends who want to get stoned and listen to jazz but instead decide to go to a movie. "How much they actually enjoyed going to the movies is a loss whose value should be charged to prohibition," he writes.

Seems like he discounts the fact that friends are getting stoned no matter what they choose, the lost value is that they have to be treated as criminals for getting high poolside before going to movies, because listening to jazz music with Tyler is just too tiring.
 
2014-05-06 10:54:26 AM  
 
2014-05-06 10:54:47 AM  

TrainingWheelsNeeded: Seems like he discounts the fact that friends are getting stoned no matter what they choose, the lost value is that they have to be treated as criminals for getting high poolside before going to movies, because listening to jazz music with Tyler is just too tiring.


I think they're not getting high before the movies, therefore having less of a jolly time. The difference between the enjoyment of getting high and listening to jazz and going sober to the movies (their second choice, presumably for a reason) is the loss here due to prohibition.
 
2014-05-06 10:54:53 AM  
Just an hour ago I asked someone this question: given that DARE programs don't work, is it better to not fund them, and have nothing in place; or to continue funding them so as to at least show that the problem isn't being ignored/forgotten? In other words, while they don't do any good at reducing drug use, would *not* having them create a psychological "hole" that might lead to other negative consequences? Do DARE programs perform other valuable functions like providing a boost to people who might otherwise feel despair or anger at the lack of visible effort?

And yes, I know the counter-argument is that their existence also means there's less incentive for politicians, and less money for researchers, to find something effective. That's not what I'm asking. I'm asking if there's a real benefit to having a visible, in-the-community program, even if it doesn't work, than having absolutely nothing.

The person I asked only succeeded in pissing me off by getting pedantic about my casual reference to DARE getting "tons of money" when, apparently, the money they get is relatively small. Not my point, IDGAF, forget it. I'll ask Fark.
 
2014-05-06 10:55:55 AM  

holdmybones: Why would you want to fight a war.....on drugs?


It's just like "gun control".  It isn't about controlling guns, its about controlling people.

And, of course, we know that war is the health of the State.
 
2014-05-06 10:55:57 AM  

Kit Fister: brimed03: holdmybones: Why would you want to fight a war.....on drugs?

Why *wouldn't* you?

it messes up my accuracy.


Cluster bombs and napalm man. They're the new "close enough."
 
2014-05-06 10:57:06 AM  

BeesNuts: Kit Fister: Prohibition doesn't work, film at 11.

Oddly enough it seems like chapter two was dedicated to saying "prohibition is economically sound policy" with chapter 3 qualifying that assertion.

I say seems because this sentence:

"How much they actually enjoyed going to the movies is a loss whose value should be charged to prohibition"

Still makes no god damned sense to me.


OK, I'm not an economist, but I think I can explain it. It still won't make much sense, though.

What you and I would like to do is get stoned and listen to jazz. Since marijuana is illegal, though, we can't do that. So, we go to a movie instead.

Now, assign an arbitrary "fun value" to each of those activities. Stoned Coltrane would be 100. The cinema would be a 90. Sitting at home staring at the walls would be a 0.

Since we actually did something, he's saying that the value of going to the movie, although it wan't our first idea, still has value. Thanks to prohibition, we at least did something.

//I think
 
2014-05-06 10:58:08 AM  

ZAZ: If you don't get the movie analogy, try reading it like this:

"Preventing people from smoking reduces their quality of life. Naïve cost-benefit analysis does not count that reduction."

We get enjoyment from various things, whether it be smoking pot, watching movies, or stomping kittens in high heels. When society decides which of those things should be illegal, the enjoyment level should be considered.


But like... two sentences before, the guy is touting the benefits of prohibition by saying that it "reduces dependence"

It really feels like The DB selectively edited it, ans subsequently made it a god awful mess, or the economist who wrote that just strung together words he though sounded good to make a controversial point without committing to it in any way.

Let me rephrase my confusion this way.  Does that chapter (three, it turns out.  Bullet point 2), support prohibition?  Or not?
 
2014-05-06 10:58:49 AM  

htomc: holdmybones: Why would you want to fight a war.....on drugs?

It's just like "gun control".  It isn't about controlling guns, its about controlling people.

And, of course, we know that war is the health of the State.


WHOOOSHHHHH.
 
2014-05-06 10:59:05 AM  
 
2014-05-06 10:59:19 AM  

brimed03: That's not what I'm asking. I'm asking if there's a real benefit to having a visible, in-the-community program, even if it doesn't work, than having absolutely nothing.


If it doesn't work, how is it beneficial? They completely shut down the anti-drug PSA program and no one noticed.

If anything, the DARE program is counter-productive. The lies they feed children regarding marijuana causes kids to question the information they received about other, more dangerous drugs.
 
2014-05-06 10:59:56 AM  

Gonz: BeesNuts: Kit Fister: Prohibition doesn't work, film at 11.

Oddly enough it seems like chapter two was dedicated to saying "prohibition is economically sound policy" with chapter 3 qualifying that assertion.

I say seems because this sentence:

"How much they actually enjoyed going to the movies is a loss whose value should be charged to prohibition"

Still makes no god damned sense to me.

OK, I'm not an economist, but I think I can explain it. It still won't make much sense, though.

What you and I would like to do is get stoned and listen to jazz. Since marijuana is illegal, though, we can't do that. So, we go to a movie instead.

Now, assign an arbitrary "fun value" to each of those activities. Stoned Coltrane would be 100. The cinema would be a 90. Sitting at home staring at the walls would be a 0.

Since we actually did something, he's saying that the value of going to the movie, although it wan't our first idea, still has value. Thanks to prohibition, we at least did something.

//I think


And this is that man's example in *support* of prohibition?  Give him a farking medal so he can retire already.
 
2014-05-06 11:00:01 AM  
brimed03: And yes, I know the counter-argument is that their existence also means there's less incentive for politicians, and less money for researchers, to find something effective. That's not what I'm asking. I'm asking if there's a real benefit to having a visible, in-the-community program, even if it doesn't work, than having absolutely nothing.

Having recently gone through the most recent extension of that logic, the TSA, I think I can rather wholeheartedly answer your question as: F-No.
 
2014-05-06 11:01:37 AM  

BeesNuts: Anyone want to translate point number two out of economist?


I think he's supposing that drug use is costlier in terms of care and eventual addiction. That "...there are benefits to prohibition-such as reduced dependence..." So, because they were harder to get, they did something non-drug related.

/shrug. Best I can do.
 
2014-05-06 11:02:30 AM  

Destructor: BeesNuts: Anyone want to translate point number two out of economist?

I think he's supposing that drug use is costlier in terms of care and eventual addiction. That "...there are benefits to prohibition-such as reduced dependence..." So, because they were harder to get, they did something non-drug related.

/shrug. Best I can do.


Someone needs to tell us what drugs that economist is on.
 
2014-05-06 11:03:31 AM  

incendi: TrainingWheelsNeeded: Seems like he discounts the fact that friends are getting stoned no matter what they choose, the lost value is that they have to be treated as criminals for getting high poolside before going to movies, because listening to jazz music with Tyler is just too tiring.

I think they're not getting high before the movies, therefore having less of a jolly time. The difference between the enjoyment of getting high and listening to jazz and going sober to the movies (their second choice, presumably for a reason) is the loss here due to prohibition.


btw, the real tragedy here is that my side-bar about point number two has distracted the thread from what you did up there ^^^.
 
2014-05-06 11:06:53 AM  
If authorities can't keep drugs OUT OF PRISON then what the FARK makes them think they can keep them out of a free(sih) society?!?!?
 
2014-05-06 11:07:36 AM  
Where's the government going to get that cheap prison labor if drugs are legal?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-05-06 11:09:54 AM  
Has anybody found the report itself? It isn't on the web page it is suppose to be on (http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/news/archives/2014/05/EndWarOnDrug sR eport.aspx). We're arguing over a poorly written summary.
 
2014-05-06 11:10:50 AM  

i.imgur.com

 
2014-05-06 11:11:26 AM  

ZAZ: Has anybody found the report itself? It isn't on the web page it is suppose to be on (http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/news/archives/2014/05/EndWarOnDrug sR eport.aspx). We're arguing over a poorly written summary.


that is an improvement...We usually argue over poorly written headlines.
 
2014-05-06 11:12:34 AM  

ZAZ: Has anybody found the report itself? It isn't on the web page it is suppose to be on (http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/news/archives/2014/05/EndWarOnDrug sR eport.aspx). We're arguing over a poorly written summary.


Yeah, I realize that.  Didn't mean to come off as argumentative, it just bothers me when I see word salad in ostensibly scholarly writing.  If anyone finds the original, I'll happily read the whole chapter and report back with whatever understanding I glean from it.  Off to look myself.
 
2014-05-06 11:14:36 AM  
 
2014-05-06 11:18:21 AM  
London School of Economics  is stupid  And dumb  And utterly blind to facts  Short sighted  and completely lacking in relevance Part 1  Part 2   Part 3
 
2014-05-06 11:20:42 AM  

ZAZ: Caulkins suggests that the current failures of prohibition are "overstated" and that the benefits may outweigh the costs. One example he offers to support his point is a group of friends who want to get stoned and listen to jazz but instead decide to go to a movie. "How much they actually enjoyed going to the movies is a loss whose value should be charged to prohibition," he writes.

I see problems like this in transportation policy analysis too. I remember a report saying that a highway enforcement program created huge benefits, when it was evident from the data in the report that the opposite was true. They just chose what benefits to count and what costs to ignore. The author of that report actually knew what he was doing. He had written a book showing how his own analysis was flawed. But his sponsors wanted a report saying they were on the right path, and he was an academic whore first and a scientist second.


Damn has he gone to the movies recently? Staying home and getting stoned would be cheaper than going to the movies.
 
2014-05-06 11:23:33 AM  

BeesNuts: Got it.


And it's confusing because the man was doing a cost-benefit analysis, trying to be as fair as possible to prohibition.  While defining some cost parameters, including liberty and direct cost of enforcement and incarceration to the public, he mentions that classic economics assumes a consumer will spend money on what he gets the most pleasure out of, and if this is inaccessible he goes to the second best thing, etc.  He then goes on to claim this loss of pleasure as an economic cost of sorts.

DailyBeast just pulled the paragraphs they understood out of the report and called it a summary, as I assumed.

Carry on.
 
2014-05-06 11:24:01 AM  

Gonz: Economists can explain why the drug war is destined to fail with a lesson from the first day of a 100-level Econ course.

If demand exists for a good or service, there will be a potential profit on the supply side.


Came in here to say this.  Any strategy that doesn't take this into account is doomed to failure from the beginning.
 
2014-05-06 11:25:07 AM  
I don't get why druggies feel the need to bring up all these arguments involving economics, etc. Just say what you mean: you want to get high.  We know it. You know it. Your arguments about how legalizing drugs would save such-and-such amount of money from this-or-that budget, or about how making shirts and houses out of hemp would save the planet..? All bullshiat, and we all know it. Just state your actual desire and those of us who don't do drugs would have a  lot more respect for you than when you make shiat up and try to make it about economics, environmentalism, crime, or any other cause.

You want to get high. Just say it. Really, you're not fooling anyone by acting concerned about how full the prisons are or how much money is being spent on drug prohibition.  Just say it. You'll feel better.
 
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