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Building an Open Future [This Network is not currently active and cannot accept new posts] | | Topics
Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!Views: 159
Mar 25, 2009 11:56 pm re: Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!

John Stephen Veitch
Too many things all confused here Lamar.

I agree that California needs to increase taxes, unwilling though you may be to see that happen. I thought the cap on property taxes had caused the problem originally. Californians have to choose what they want. That's not a political issue, left or right, it's just a case of paying your way.

The drug issue is a minefield of propaganda and disinformation. Worse in the USA than it is here I believe. (But we've got our problems too. "P" is being manufactured and sold by the gangs at the moment.)

There is no consistency in the way we deal with marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, party pills and other drugs. Making them illegal causes all sort of problems, so it's my personal view that they should either all be illegal, we shut down the alcohol industry and the tobacco industry. Or they should all be legal and controlled. I have no idea how that view sits on your left/right way of looking at things, but in my view it's neither of those.

Since these drugs are presumably legal, the question of appropriate taxation arises. For me this is not about revenue raising but about harm minimization. In NZ a policy of high taxes on tobacco and anti-smoking publicity plus a health care policy to help people quit has halved smoking rates, and reduced the number of smokers to less than 20% of the population. Failure to act against alcohol in the same way has been causing problems in all our cities.

As for marijuana and "p" the law here is inconsistent and foolish. Politicians simply can't get their act together.

I understand from Catherine Austin Fitts, that drug law in the USA is used by property developers to milk funds out of the government. Moreover she says the government is an active and willing partner in this crime. The policy works against young black men in particular. They become part of the prison population, a strange by-product of property speculation and civic neglect.

It works like this. The most rundown part of town is left to decay. City authorities have regulatory ways of preventing any real development. Owner residents leave and the area is populated by "renters". Drug sales in the area are poorly policed, (so say encouraged). This adds to the decline of the area, invites the gangs in and forces property prices down. Now the place is unfit to live in and government assistance to "rescue" it can be requested. Mrs Fitts tells of schemes to rebuild urban housing where the contract let is $300,000 for a flat that is worth only $150,000 finished. Or where the government buys the land and pays too much for it. Then they package it up in more usable land titles and sell it at auction, or by tender, often accepting prices that are far too low.

(Fitt's used her private company to show HUD how to vastly increase the return to HUD on these transactions. She was very successful saving millions of dollars, but she was stopped, because the developers complained. Their perks for insiders were gone.)

Fitts, is saying that private business friends of the administration are being feather bedded all the way to the bank with public funds. (No favourites here, same policy under both Republican and Democrats)

Fitts also says that under GH Bush, funds voted to HUD were being used for arms deals and drug smuggling by US government agencies. As Secretary of HUD in that administration she challenged this action and was promptly dismissed from her position.

(These a similar story about the woman who worked at the Pentagon who challenged the cost plus contracts awarded to Halliburton, under GW Bush. She was quickly moved aside too.)

John Stephen Veitch
Open Future Limited - http://www.openfuture.biz/
Innovation Network - http://veech-network.ryze.com/
Building an Open Future - http://openfuture-network.ryze.com/

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