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October 17, 2005

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I agree with his argument, but not his solution, at least in part. Why *should* drugs be taxed, anyway?

It's certainly an interesting argument. Unfortunately it looks a bit risky to test.

It's unusual to be on the same side of an argument but agree with absolutely none of the conclusions.

I can't understand how someone can see and attest to the ineffectiveness of laws and then say we should outlaw sales to minors.
I guess they believe that no one under 21 drinks alcohol and no one under 18 smokes.

Well, Jason, when you have children, I'll be happy to sell your 8 year old legalized liquor and cigarettes. Hell, I could give them to the little tyke to laugh as you fume at your child's addiction. Make that addictions: no reason not to give him legal drug lollypops as well. (NB: I'm presuming that you more or less agree with the platform of the US National Libertarian Party, which promotes all this and more. You can read a host of other libertarians spouting such idiocies at my Make Or Break Views Of Libertarianism page.)

There's nothing new about this cop's idea, and I agree that it is an excellent idea. See The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs, Chapter 69. Policy issues and recommendations. (1972) It's also linked at my Critiques of Libertarianism: Drugs page.

Mike when I have children I will teach them to steer clear of psychos and freaks like you that would consider selling an eight year old liquor or cigarettes. The premise that if something would be legal you would pursue it as a course of action speaks volumes of your lack of morality and civility. I'm sorry that you were not raised with a sense of common decency that would prevent such behavior, but I still see no need it try to legislate it.

The point is that a law has never stopped this type of behaviour. The only thing I've seen witness to curbing this type of behavior is children who were brought-up with a sense of self-respect.

Oh, by the way, very nice of you to link to your own site as if it is some reference material and not just some more ill guided dribble.

Good ideas, but I'd make the driving-while-under-the-influence laws way more strict.

Mike - Your argument is essentially blame-shifting. If an eight-year-old becomes a drug-user, then apparently, according to your conception of reality, it's not the fault of the parents (who should be watching over him/her), but those craaaaaaazy, evil libertarians who want to dope up our youth (when, in reality, they just don't believe that the government has a right to make paternalistic laws). Tell me how that makes sense.

Oh, and I read your "critiques of libertarianism" page. Can you say "straw man" (or, in this case, a whole city of them)?

Jason and ExtinctInstinct demonstrate a common libertarian method of argument that I mock in my Libertarianism in One Lesson: "Require perfection as the only applicable standard to judge government: libertarianism, being imaginary, cannot be fairly judged to have flaws."

Jason says "The point is that a law has never stopped this type of behaviour." Well, if that's what bothers you, Jason, I propose that we eliminate laws about property: thieves have been ignoring those since forever, so obviously they don't work and can't have any benefit. (ALERT for the sarcasm impaired.)

Idiotic attempts at sarcasm such as "I guess they believe that no one under 21 drinks alcohol and no one under 18 smokes" miss the point that laws about alcohol and tobacco have made huge social changes in terms of frequency of smoking and drinking in the young. And these have had huge effects in automobile accident rates and health issues.

We don't need perfect laws to benefit from laws. Only the childishly self-absorbed, focused on beating "enemy" laws, think otherwise.

Likewise Jason's "when I have children I will teach them to steer clear of psychos and freaks like you that would consider selling an eight year old liquor or cigarettes" is really funny. Jason thinks that he can be the perfect authoritarian parent, and shelter his children from external influences (including their peers) better than his parents protected him. Right. Oh, and the needed 24 hour surveilance of his child won't be any bother either. Just don't let the kids watch commercials or see advertisements for unregulated addictive "fun" and "energy" candy in your libertopia. And of course Jason forgets conveniently that before regulation, children as young as 8 sometimes were buying and using liquor and tobacco, and merchants cheerfully sold it to them. Now it happens much less often.

Mike first demonstrates an inductive fallacy called hasty generalization.
He compares my speaking of laws that prohibit drinking and smoking with crimes against property. Unlike Mikes World of Logic with his dimwitted lessons, this inductive fallacy isn't something I made up: It's something he would have learned had he really attended Philosophy classes.

Basically what Mike believes, is that as soon as you have the right to do something, some big bad corporation is going to figure out how to package it and sell it to his children. He feels that his child's supposed safety is more important than your rights.

I feel that protecting little Bobby from smoking a cigarette is Mike's responsibility and not the government's.

Seeing as though Mike is willing to offer insight on my thoughts and life I'll give you some insight on his.
You see, Mike was raised Catholic and despite not believing in religion since age 5 he stayed in the church till 15. For Mike it "hurt to leave the church" and I think he can't stand to feel that pain again. Mike defends our current rules and laws a Catholic zealot, because he can't stand the thought of loosing another paternalistic institution.

By the way, isn't "Libertopia" a little catch phrase that people lacking any real knowledge of a subject would throw out and repeat? It's truly tragic that this is a tactic that Mike accuses libertarians of using on his website of broken links.

What really pisses me off is that I posted a seven line response to an article and then this self appointed libertarian slaying jackass brings into question my ability to raise children, my up-bringing, my politiacal affiliation and my ability to form or present logical thougths. Why don't you get a real job you looser?

Mike - The point of requiring perfection in government is that government, being the agency that wields absolute authority in the realm of violence, taxation, et al., is not accountable to you and me. Therefore, when the government screws up, nothing happens. When you or I screw up, however, we're sued, taken to jail, maybe even executed. The government expects perfection from us; or, in the cases in which we *aren't* perfect, it demands that we pay for our mistakes. Why shouldn't we expect the same from them?

Poor little Jason! Victimized for no reason! Except...

First, you rhetorically pled ignorance:

"I can't understand how someone can see and attest to the ineffectiveness of laws and then say we should outlaw sales to minors."

So I volunteered a little information with the same sincerity and confidence in your intelligence that you displayed for others.

Then you cheerfully volunteered to explain what I and others think:

"I guess they believe that no one under 21 drinks alcohol and no one under 18 smokes."

So I decided to return that favor as well.

Poor baby: does it smart to be treated the way you're used to treating other people? And with better arguments than you use?

Perhaps the next time you want to start something, you should be grown up enough not to whine when you are treated the same way in return, and when your nose is rubbed in your own presumptions.

Your reactions are a stereotyped conservative behavior pattern well documented in two short notes by Phil Agre:
The New Jargon and a
RRE">http://commons.somewhere.com/rre/2000/RRE.Florida.recount19.html">RRE article.

Capsule summary:
Conservatives frequently project their own aggressive behavior on anybody they disagree with.

My main problems with the current drug policies is the punishment. You send a drug user to jail for a couple of years, give him no treatment, and then relase him, and the guy is still addicted. Not much of a good idea if you don't want repeate offences. Another problem is that it isn't consistant, for instance, if your using a drug that the middle class is using then you get less of a punishment than you get if you use a drug that innercity people use. And finally I think it a bit extream to send in a SWAT team with sub-machineguns in to arrest some drug users when the job can and should be done by a couple of police officers.

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