Friday, November 12, 2010

Why does it take a Genius to state the Obvious?

George Soros is a smart man. Why do I think so? Because he learns from his mistakes (see answer to "How do you stay levelheaded in the middle of a bubble?"). I think so many people don't learn from mistakes because (1) it's damn hard to admit you're wrong, and (2) religion discourages it ("blame it on the devil"). Society does a poor job of learning from its mistakes. Take drugs, for example. Inordinate amounts of money have been spent and lives have been lost because of the war on drugs. Gangs and drug killings exist mainly because protection and turf is necessary when you're dealing in an illicit substance. Arguments over legal substances are handled in a much more civil manner. An added bonus to legalization is additional tax revenue. Governments have realized this with respect to cigarettes. No state in the U.S. would want to make cigarettes illegal now---the revenue loss would be too difficult to swallow. Why can't we apply this idea to illegal drugs? Soros penned a WSJ article arguing for the legalization of marijuana. There really is no downside. Fewer addicts due to better support, acceptance and education. More tax revenue. Fewer killings and police expenses. Better relationships with other countries like Mexico. This all from someone (me) who hates breathing in the byproduct of the stuff (smoke). I'd gladly trade-in an occasional additional inconvenience of having to breathe-in marijuana smoke for the benefit of a more civil society.

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