Thursday, September 30, 2010

Until the town went dry.


Prohibition era music is rather fun. I think Boardwalk Empire is going to be pretty successful as a show. And there's more than a few good parallels to draw to the prohibition of marijuana.

It seems odd that there's more money in an industry that is kept illegal. As such, there is considerable economic power behind marijuana and it's presently the main cash crop of the United States dwarfing corn, but wouldn't it fall down to the price of about wheat or sugar beats if it were fully legalized.

And if California legalizes and taxes it, isn't that just a way of profiting off the sustained efforts in other states to keep it illegal. Some analysis suggest that legalizing marijuana would net very little money for the California because without it being illegal the prices would drop rather quickly, but that would only happen if the rest of the states also made it legal.

So isn't that pretty much just a state monopoly brought about by silliness. I mean if you outlawed tobacco everywhere but North Carolina, then there'd be insane profits to be had by the state selling it at huge profits by funding the local white markets as well as the non-local black markets.

Is it really fair to profit off something that doesn't really do anything good? I mean, casinos are pretty nice, but if they went bankrupt would people be better off? I know Nevada would largely fade away and become a ghost town of producing nothing. And what if all the paper pushing money creation on wall street didn't exist. What if there were some many trillions of dollars that isn't backed by anything or produced by nothing more than slight of hand and bad investments. The first rumblings of that going away sent shockwaves through the economy and caused real hardship to real people. Why is it that fake economies are so successful at creating real wealth and real prosperity? Or is it all just a silly illusion? Are such things the economies form of digging and refilling a hole? Or are diamonds really worth what they cost in the store,  or are they worth what you can't really resell them for, or are they worth as much as a shiny bit of crystallized carbon should be worth, as in a few cents?

Prohibition brought about huge crime issues, and did mark the first time women (who weren't prostitutes) could drink with the men, and diamonds are bought and sold as blood diamonds to fund private wars, murder, and slavery. Are black markets crime simply a biproduct of undervalued resources being hugely overpriced? Would we be better off without casinos, wall street credit default swaps, overpriced shiny rocks, and illegal marijuana. Or would the economy really suffer without this fraud.

In an ecological system, it's almost never the plants that are the most interesting clunking along changing sunlight into usable energy, it's all the critters that eat the plants, and eat the critters, and live on the critters. It's all the parasites that makes nature so beautiful, it's only the plants that do the real work, but the rest of it is absolutely stunning. Do we need pointless do-nothing rules to make a vibrant economy? If we only employed people who made things, the unemployment rate would be much much higher than it is today and people wouldn't be able to buy things that the people made.

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