Debating *whether* to legalize pot is pretty pointless. The important debate now is *how* to legalize it. Some notes toward an essay on that topic.
Debating whether to legalize pot is increasingly pointless. Unless there’s an unexpected shock to public opinion, itâ€™s going to happen, and sooner rather than later.
The important debate now is how to legalize it. The results of legalization depend strongly on the details of the post-prohibition tax and regulatory regimes. In the current situation, continued prohibition might be the worst option. Full commercial legalization on the alcohol model might well be the second-worst. But thatâ€™s the way weâ€™re heading.
I’m preparing an essay about designing a post-prohibition regime. After the jump is a set of topic sentences and paragraphs for sections of that essay, not yet in a well-defined order. (UPDATE: Numbers inserted to facilitate comments.)
Substantive comments are welcome. Rant and snark will be ruthlessly zapped.
Continue reading “How to legalize cannabis”
Love this account of a pissing match between Warren Buffett and Mitch McConnell.Â The Senator from Kentucky has been urging the Sage of Omaha to make voluntary contributions to the Treasury if he felt he was undertaxed.Â Buffett has now responded that heâ€™ll match any such contributions made by Republican Senators.
This dialogue makes in a different form an argument offered by that raving lefty Milton Friedman.Â Voluntary contributions to reduce poverty (or do any of the other things we rely on the government to do) are insufficient, because everyone would be willing to pay his/her share only if s/he could be sure that everyone else would be willing to pay his/her share.Â Otherwise, no dice.
Doubtless McConnell will ignore Buffettâ€™s challenge and continue his nonsensical bluster about Buffettâ€™s freedom to pay extra if he feels â€œguiltyâ€ about his low tax rate.Â But the point isnâ€™t, of course, how Buffett feels, or even what he doesâ€”itâ€™s what everyone else does.Â And if McConnell and his buddies donâ€™t donate to the Treasury, then they are poster children for the free-rider problemâ€”thereby proving Buffett right: philanthropy is not sufficient and taxation is necessary.
H/T the indispensable Rick Cohen at The Nonprofit Quarterly.