The chocolate ration is being increased to 25 grammes per week.

Category Archives: economy

We need to stop the war on drugs

Listen to Judge Jim Gray, a conservative, tell you why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6t1EM4Onao.

The highlights:

The six groups who benefit from drug prohibition:

  1. Drug dealers.
  2. Juvenile gangs.  Illegal drugs are their primary source of funding.
  3. Law enforcement.
  4. Politicians.  It allows them to talk tough about crime and get elected.
  5. Private sector: construction and staffing of prisons.
  6. Terrorists.  The primary source of funding is illegal drug sales.  Repealing drug prohibition would hurt terrorist organizations more than anything else we could do to them.

Who loses?  Everyone else.

What will happen if we stop the war on drugs?

  1. We would save $1B on the war on drugs.
  2. We would tax it and generate revenue.
  3. We would make marijuana less available to children.
  4. The hemp industry would be revitalized.  We currently import hemp from other countries.
  5. The issue of medical marijuana would disappear.
  6. Usage by adults might go down, as it did in Holland and Portugal.






You want fiscal responsibility? Start here.

“Because of its persistent inability to tally its accounts, the Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China’s economic output last year. — Reuters journalist Scot J. Paltrow investigates how the US military’s bad accounting not only wastes taxpayers money, but helps ruin the life of ordinary soldiers and veterans.”  [Via MeFi]

To all your supposed fiscally responsible people out there: if you want the government to spend less, then start here and not by attacking money that is directed to poor people.

On that “Farm” bill

Let me get this straight.  It’s OK to increase subsidies to corporate farms (there are few small, struggling farmers that  get subsidies anymore), while at the same time eliminating food stamps.  One kind of assistance is OK, to corporations and wealthy individuals.  One kind of assistance is bad, to hungry, poor people.

If this is some sort of game, it’s a pretty sick one.  If it’s not a game, it’s clear the GOP members in the House of Representatives have no soul.  Either way, disgusting.

UPDATE: 7/16/13

Bob Schieffer: “You pass a farm bill in the House. It gives billions of dollars, much of it to large corporations that own farms. It’s almost like welfare for the wealthy. But you don’t include a dollar for hungry people for Food Stamps. What kind of a message is that you’re sending?”

Finally someone asking the proper question.

“Naked short selling” is not a more fun version of “short selling”

Matt Taibbi, the guy who loves to write about the 2008 financial collapse, writes about a fortunate (for us!) and unintended release of documents:

Accidentally Released – and Incredibly Embarrassing – Documents Show How Goldman et al Engaged in ‘Naked Short Selling’.

I’m reading this and thinking “how did we get here?”  This practice, naked short selling, should not be possible.  It’s beyond belief that no regulatory agency or law in the US has made this illegal.

Add to the above I finally watched Inside Job yesterday.  The entire situation just boggles the mind.  The people that caused the financial collapse of 2008 came out of it without being prosecuted and with more power and money than before.

This isn’t one of those Republican rants.  In this case, both the Democrats and the Republicans set the stage for the financial collapse and neither of them are willing to do anything about the conditions that made it possible.  Glass-Steagall was repealed during the Clinton’s last term, with his blessing.  Some are calling for the return of the depression-area limits on what banks can do in the investment arena.  I really hope they do bring it back, but I’m not going to hold my breath.  The foxes are in charge of the hen house, with the revolving door between Wall Street and top finance positions in the government.

It will happen again.  We will say “why didn’t we do something last time?” and nothing will be done again.  The only way to fix this, is to outlaw lobbying of Congress.  Congress needs to do their own research on problems and vote the way that best represents their constituents.  Not holding my breath on that one, either…