Thursday, December 11, 2014

American Exceptionalism is back: End Prohibition of class A drugs


December 5 I was reading my twitter newsfeed when all of a sudden I saw a news headline on the Washington Post about Rush Limbaugh complaining about American exceptionalism being vanished.

A few hours later, a vintage picture of a man toasting with a cocktail glass popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. 

The headline went "December 5, 1933: Celebrating 81 years since the end of prohibition"
The Cato Institute decided to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the End of Prohibition with a series of initiatives aimed at evaluating the possibility of ending class A drugs Prohibition and what kind of impact such an action would bring to the American Economy.  

When I read it I was so happy I could not even speak. Immediately my mind went back to Rush Limbaugh's call to bring back America's exceptionalism.

"America is a shining light, a beacon, a guidepost for free people.  America inspires.  America promotes. That's one definition of American exceptional."

America is certainly all this and even more, the problem is that American exceptionalism has been missing for a while now, as America lost huge chunks of consent for being involved in unpopular wars abroad and domestic social tensions increased because of the Economy.

Few people understand that today like never before, Real Leadership means being ahead of social change, where social change means pursuing higher standard of living for society as a whole.

Sometimes business intelligence and social change go hand in hand like in the Cato Institute initiative aimed at understanding the possible implications of ending Prohibition of class A drugs which will definitely reduce major social problems like organized crime and drug abuse while boosting the economy.

According to Mark Thornton: "National prohibition of alcohol (1920-33) the “noble experiment”—was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America. The results of that experiment clearly indicate that it was a miserable failure on all counts. The evidence affirms sound economic theory, which predicts that prohibition of mutually beneficial exchanges is doomed to failure."

It is a fact that Prohibition only raised crime levels, illegal smuggling and alcohol consumption whilst solving absolutely nothing. 

Let's take a look at the facts:

Since Jan. 1, 2014 the state of Colorado has brought in more than $45.2 million in taxes, licenses and fees for recreational and medical marijuana. If all 50 states legalized cannabis today, they'd be collectively raking in more than $3 billion a year in taxes.

In a study just released by the Cato Institute, they estimate the impact of legalization on federal, state, and local budgets. The report concludes that drug legalization would reduce government expenditure about $41.3 billion annually. Roughly $25.7 billion of this savings would accrue to state and local governments, and roughly $15.6 billion to the federal government. About $8.7 billion of the savings would result from legalization of marijuana, $20 billion from legalization of cocaine and heroin, and $12.6 billion from legalization of all other drugs.

Legalization would also generate tax revenue of roughly $46.7 billion annually if drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco. About $8.7 billion of this revenue would result from legalization of marijuana, $32.6 billion from legalization of cocaine and heroin, and $5.5 billion from legalization of all other drugs.

Ending class A drugs Prohibition would also lead to a significant reduction of street crime, higher life expectancy, a healthier population and safer streets.

According to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University Jeffrey Miron and NYU Stern School of Business Finance Prof. Katherine Waldock "Legalization would have many effects, and opinions differ on whether these are desirable on net. Legalization will not solve America’s fiscal woes; the budget effects are small in comparison with current deficits. Yet the budgetary benefits are more than mere rounding error; for those with mixed feelings about prohibition vs. legalization, these benefits might be a deciding factor."

"Roughly half the budgetary savings comes from reduced criminal-justice expenditure on drug prohibition. For this component of the effect to show up in government budgets, policymakers would have to lay off police, prosecutors, prison guards, and the like. Reduced expenditure on enforcing prohibition can still be beneficial if those criminal-justice resources are redeployed to better uses, but that outcome is not easy to achieve."

All signs say that time has come to end class A drugs prohibition but in order to take such a decision we need Americans to stick together and wholly support such an intelligent, enlightened and long-sighted measure.

In that interview to the Wash Post, Rush Limbaugh was complaining about America not being exceptional anymore. The Cato Institute proposal is the shine at the end of the tunnel.  It took less than 24 hours to respond to Limbaugh's call. This is just to show you how easy policymaking can be when Business Intelligence and Common Sense work together.

Two months ago, the German Government scrapped tuition fees for all universities and the offer was extended to foreign students, including Americans.

Offering tuition-free college to Foreign students is certainly a great initiative that put Germany on top of the world leadership but ending Prohibition would have a planetary impact as for our civilization it would mean entering a new era of Peace and Prosperity on a global scale.

As its first direct consequence ending Prohibition would be a lethal blow to Organized Crime on our planet. Think to those drug cartels that kill thousands of people every year that all of a sudden will be laid off thanks to drug legalization in the U.S.

A UN report shows that in 2009 the global drug trade generated an estimated US$ 1.3 trillion. With a world GDP of US$36 trillion in the same year. $36 trillion that would become part of the American GDP.

Such an enlightened decision will bring wealth and health for generations to come. Implications of ending Prohibition are of stellar magnitude in terms of Evolution for our Civilization and whoever would lead the way to such an objective will achieve Eternity. No question about it.

If the Cato Institute will manage to convince  Policy Makers to end Prohibition, that would allow our planet to make a light-year jump foward into the future. A future that America and the world have been craving for the past hundred years. We need the Cato Institute to keep this initiative alive with all of their strength because there's the most invaluable thing at stake: our future.

While achieving such an enormous accomplishment America would get back its exceptionalism while giving the world a lesson on how real leadership works and who's in charge of the show.

E Pluribus Unum

Gianluca D'Agostino



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