All posts by James W. Breckenridge

Frank Wirrell Cannabis Part 2

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.                                                                                                                    John Adams

Mr. Wirrell accuses the media of accepting Prime Minister Trudeau’s “ridiculous and stupid statement” on cannabis legalization without any “statement to support” what the Prime Minister states. Mr. Wirrell then proceeds to make numerous statements without citing any supporting proof..

In fact in stating the legalization of cannabis will “work in favour of the dealers” with users beating a path to dealers doors to avoid government taxes Mr. Wirrell does not simply fail to cite any evidence to support his statement but ignores obvious facts that show his assertion to be false.

Illegal grow operations need to be hidden and any illegal grow operations discovered result in the loss of crop and equipment. These significant additional production costs for illegal cannabis production over legal cannabis production leaves a healthy margin where even government greed should leave the price of legal cannabis at a level that provides no reason for consumers to run the legal risk of buying from illegal sources.

Furthermore buying from dealers remains illegal and government has demonstrated elsewhere that it will protect its tax revenue by prosecuting consumers buying from illegal sources.

Most importantly, buying from legal sources removes the concern about whether anything has been added to the cannabis [meth, crack, heroin] to increase the market for other substances.

Also, if avoiding taxes was the most important motivator for those consuming mind altering drugs there would be a huge moonshine industry for those whose choice is alcohol.

Mr. Wirrell states “the costs to our medical system will escalate dramatically” but provides no facts to support his assertion that cannabis legalization will increase healthcare costs at all, much less dramatically.

Mr. Wirrell compounds his assumption that cannabis will increase healthcare costs by using tobacco health statistics in his argument against cannabis.

Comparing apples [tobacco] and rutabagas [cannabis] is an interesting example of ‘How to Lie with Statistics’ [a how to book written by Darrell Huff in 1957] but actually detracts from Mr. Wirrells argument, smacking as it does or Harry S. Truman’s “if you can’t convince them, confuse them”.

When it comes to costs Mr. Wirrell totally ignores the reason more and more US states are defying the US federal government and treating cannabis as if it were legal. Yes the tax revenue is a nice bonus but the real benefit for the states is the $$$$ it cost to have cannabis illegal. A cost that continues to in effect bankrupt states which enforce laws against cannabis and force continual cuts to state services.   

“Making this dangerous drug legal places our future generation at risk as many young people will think it is something to try.”

“Many young people” would be an improvement over the overwhelming majority of young people who considered cannabis something to try – and tried it – when cannabis was illegal.

If one is truly concerned about the wellbeing of young people vis-à-vis substance use and not just making a spurious hypocritical argument, one would be fighting to have alcohol – the most harmful drug [The Lancet – the world’s leading independent general medical journal], made illegal.

The reality is that youth experiment. Reality, the outcomes experienced, are clear that it is not the availability of drugs that determines whether people [youth, adult, senior] misuse or abuse drugs it is the experiences and learnings of their lives that determines whether they misuse or abuse drugs.

Blaming the drugs is far more comfortable – and easier – than dealing with the reality that parents and society determine whether someone will misuse and abuse drugs.

Our unwillingness to accept responsibility for our actions and/or the consequences or our actions, together with the discomfort and the blow to our ego in facing and addressing the reality of substance abuse is why substance abuse continues to exist and continues to grow.

Legalization of cannabis was an acknowledgement of reality, it eliminated the need to ignore the law on cannabis or self-destructively enforce the law and it eliminated the Hypocrisy of cannabis being illegal while the most harmful drug [alcohol] was legal.

What is notable about Justin Trudeau legalizing cannabis is that legalizing cannabis was a rational action consistent with the true realities and facts – therefore inconsistent with usual government behaviour – and despite all the hand wringing and catastrophizing, legalization was pushed it through

Capitalism creates widespread prosperity – or does it?

Friedman stated that the only cases in recorded history in which the masses have escaped from gruelling poverty “are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.”

It is a truism often stated by economists and politicians and widely accepted as true by the public. The question is: did the masses escape from gruelling poverty because of capitalism or in spite of it?

Continue reading Capitalism creates widespread prosperity – or does it?

 Which Economy

Reading Terence Corcoran’s  ‘Milton Friedman is right, profit is a company’s only purpose’ in the National Post raises several questions for a creatively maladjusted polymath. The first being the 1970 economy versus the 2019 economy.

The question is which economy?

The one we want to exist or the economy that actually exists? There is a widening gulf between the two as the economy created by the fundamental economic changes that have taken place over recent years diverges from the economy that was created post WWII

Continue reading  Which Economy

Terence Corcoran: Milton Friedman is right

Terence Corcoran
National Post January 18, 2019
Milton Friedman is right, profit is a company’s only purpose

Terence Corcoran takes on the Nobel economist’s growing league of critics, arguing companies that focus on making shareholders money are just what society needs

In his inimitable way, and with a Canadian union twist, Jerry Dias is on a mini-crusade to overturn the foundations of modern corporate capitalism. As the president of Unifor ratchets up his actions against General Motors Co. over its plan to close the automaker’s Oshawa, Ont., assembly plant, he is deploying some of the ideas from the burgeoning movement to replace profit maximization with a greater focus on employees, communities, social issues, national impacts and global concerns.

Continue reading Terence Corcoran: Milton Friedman is right