Skip to comments.(Vanity) A Modest(o) Proposal, or, Keeping California Green
Posted on 03/29/2009 6:23:17 AM PDT by grey_whiskers
One of the interesting things about the economy is how fortunes change with time. In the 1970's, the Rust Belt was hit particularly hard; in the dot.com (Web 1.0) era, vast fortunes were made in California; today, it is the Deep South who prospers -- Louisiana has actually gained jobs, while New York as the financial center, and California, with its profligate spending, have fallen upon hard times. Everyone seems to know about the travails of the banking industry. What about California?
First of all, recall that their problems are not new. The Governator (and Kennedy spouse!), if you recall, was swept into office following a recall against the much-despised Gray Davis, following some shenanigans with California's purchasing of electricity at well-above-market rates, and seemingly out-of-control budgets. I remember hearing about the election a number of years ago, and cheering the news. Naïve fool that I was. Just because someone is a Republican actor from California, doesn't mean they're Ronald Reagan, "I'll be back" notwithstanding.
What has happened in the current budget crisis? Nothing much -- a tawdry little debt of $42 billion for the biennium, that's all. I understand that it doesn't sound like much, in the days of Pork and Awe, and trillions being poured down the sewers in DC. But consider this. As recently as 2007, when Ah-nuld was sworn in for his second term, the US budget deficit (the part on the books, anyway) was $162 billion. So California has managed to run up a debt of about 1/4 that of the whole Federal Government within a comparable slice of time!
What has the government proposed? More borrowing, more spending. Kind of like Obama, except without the teleprompters. Clearly this approach is not working: something more is necessary. So in the spirit of public service, bipartisanship, and public service, please consider the following Modest(o) Proposal.
I think that the State of California should legalize drugs, beginning with marijuana. No, I'm not a pot head, or anything else. I've never used any illegal drug in my life. But just consider the advantages.
First, did you know that it is not cocaine, but marijuana, which is the single largest cash crop for Mexico's narcotics traffickers? With marijuana legalized, all of the drug wars on the border go away. And with that, a big portion of the expenses for public safety, a big portion of the inspections of cars at the border. In fact, a large portion of the law-enforcement assets now used to harrass harmless tokers, can now go where they are truly needed: infiltrating seditionist groups such as Ron Paul supporters with "don't tread on me" bumper stickers on their cars, or peopel who support the US Constitution.
Secondly, the stigma of a petty criminal record can be removed from thousands of law abiding criminals. College students all over the state can light up without having to hide it. The good folks at Berkeley can get as stoned as they want, and feel good about it, knowing that they have finally won the revolution and co-opted mainstream society. (And with any luck, a number of them will get so absorbed with their own navels that they will leave the rest of us alone.) And California will become the hot new destination for Spring Break, leading to untold millions in new tourist dollars, all of which can be heavily taxed.
Speaking of taxation, now...there's an idea. Once pot has been legalized, since this is California, the first thing which will occur to the bright folks in Sacramento is to tax it. Yes, that's right. Cigarettes are currently subject to a tax by the State of California -- currently a combined 87 cents per pack. Just think of the revenue which could be brought in!
And then, of course, since we mention tobacco -- can you imagine the commercial possibilities? Pot could become a major export product! Can anyone doubt that California, with its agricultural bent, would soon become home to some *monster* marijuana growing companies? Move over, Altria (formerly Phillip Morris). Step aside, R. J. Reynolds. Big Pot is here. And we're talking *BILLIONS* annually, going into the coffers of organized crime, which rightfully belong to the government!
So there you have it. California's new, green, solution to the budget crisis. And I even have a catchy new slogan to prevent it:
"When there's a weed, there's a way."
(*) No, I don't think that this will ever really happen. But if it did, there would be some very entertaining sequelae. First (as I hinted above) many of the leading lights on the left, with not even a token (har!) reason to abstain, would light up so often that they would become entirely vacuous and unmotivated. As well as even more incoherent than now. So they'd be unable to formulate intrusive social engineering schemes, and leave the rest of us ALONE. Second, there is an old Saturday Night Live skit, an advertisement from the "American Dope Growers Union," which urges viewers to "look for the Union Label". Can you imagine, twenty years hence, when the current crop of countercultures are handing out placards and holding rallies warning against the evils of "Big Pot"?
...and don't even get me started on the possibilities for lawsuits when it is found what a lifetime of exposure to marijuana smoke does to your lungs. Calling all ambulance chasers!
And he wasn't writing about California, either.
Like, ping dude!
Author doesn't understand the difference between deficit and debt.