9 comments on “Timmy Elsewhere

  1. As the commenter on the ASI inferred – why are you supporting government subsidy of addiction and the drug trade?
    Or have I misinterpreted you?

    Tim adds: Given that the drug trade makes its profits from addicts, “subsidizing” addicts (in fact, supplying them at cost) will crowd out the drug trade. I tend to be a “pragmatic” libertarian. The externalities of the War on Drugs (not least in the loss of civil liberties necessary to close it down purely using the punitive aspects of the law) mean that I’ll support government intervention and even subsidy here. After all, there are plenty of times when even the most rigorous classical liberal (perhaps especially the rigorous ones) will support Govt action to correct markets.

  2. I would guess because public money is being speny anyway, and it would be preferable to spend it on a course of action which has at least an evens chance of working.

  3. Ian
    by ‘working’ I guess you mean weaning them off the drugs? Or stopping theft? Or both?
    Why should any of that be the governments responsibility and the taxpayers’ expense. The the police are there for the theft (well, ok – in theory at least).

  4. Doug, I agree that it shouldn’t. Personally, I’d legalise all drugs and abolish state welfare so if drug users become ill or incapable of work as a result of their habits, they pay the price personally. But given that the state is spending tax money in the alleged attempt to prevent drug use from adversely affecting the rest of us, spending it in a way that might accomplish that end is better than spending it in a way that doesn’t have a hope in hell of doing so.

  5. I agree with Ian; its not a nice situation to be paying for someones habits (I dont agree with free smoking patches on the NHS for example, but I see the point) but the splash effect of providing these drugs via the NHS would eliminate much of the associated crimes and the hold drugs lords and gangs have on many urban areas. However, historically any form of welfare benefit eventually becomes corrupted from its original altruistic purpose; look at the NHS and its comprehensive moves towards profits whilst marginalising patient care, or pensioners/benefit recipients not being able to save for fear of losing what little pension/benefits they receive.

    Abolition of the welfare state is a bad idea; abolition of the current ideology behind it – that it is a panacea for social ills rather than the cause of many, is the key. Maybe making such drugs, and other “benefits” of living in a civilised society time and license dependant? Enforce additional health insurance coverage for licensed drug users and receipt of other benefits with friendly-society-esque insurance schemes?

    Pipe-but-nice dreams….

  6. Dr Crippen (where has he got to?) once pointed out the futility of the present drug rehabilitation system in concept by getting people to imagine a similar system whereby we give recidivist thieves, burglars and shoplifters hi-tech electronic goods, slowly ‘weaning’ them down to just a DVD per month.

    The one issue I would mention in this that by putting the drug trade through legal channels you are effectively dealing with supply, whilst the present system has always tried to understand demand (i.e. the incessant whining about”root causes” of drug addiction by the left). An experiment in the 70s called Rat Park by Dr. Bruce Alexander showed that a significant portion of addictive behaviour can come from environmental/emotional factors; this makes a lot of sense if you listen to the back story behind many addicts lives. This is what confuses me about the support secular organisations get compared to Christian or religious organisations like Teen Challenge, which has a much higher success rate than comparative government schemes (not hard I know). The difference comes from dealing with these said internal issues – not forcing them to deep down by feeding the habit that binds these feelings. Not saying no to legal drugs; just wishing people wouldn’t be so against religious intervention in government.

  7. Ahh, but does it pass the lifeboat test?

    I don’t think the drug trade does make it’s profits from addicts – though obviously that’s part. It makes massive profits from recreational users.

    So how many recreational users are going to declare themselves addicts to get free/cheap drugs – a developing culture of cheating? Of course, then we’ll have to have more officials to prevent this, and more and more …..
    And then addiction becomes an illness – a disability – which means more welfare.

    Might it not also remove a disincentive for recreational users to take more drugs and risk becoming addicts?
    I am not arguing for the status quo here, I am just questioning this alternative presented – I don’t have another one yet.

  8. Tim
    government will supply at cost? Who will do the buying – the officials who negotiated with the doctors or the wise men in charge of the IT contracts?

    Tim adds: That’s current NHS costs.

  9. Why do people assume that low life scum bags steal because they need money for drugs? What if they steal and take drugs because they are low life scum bags? No one forces anyone to take drugs. Everyone knows what the consequences are. The people who do it make a fully informed personal choice – presumably because it is illegal and, as I may have pointed out, they are low life scum bags. Providing them with free drugs won’t make any less low life scum bags. Why do you think that it would stop them stealing? If anything we’d be making stolen DVDs cheaper and I don’t see that they could get much cheaper.

    If you must legalise, do so for the right sort of libertarian reasons. But if we are going to keep drug illegal, punish the low life scum bags that break the law. Not give them free drugs.

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