Venezuela’s Socialism has given it one of the World’s highest Murder Rates

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 11th, 2014

Week in Review

President Obama is launching a war against income disparity.  Because under his 5 years or so as president the rich got richer while the median family income fell.  This income gap is the source of all our woes.  Or so he says.  And it can lead to other bad things.  Like violence between the classes.  Which is why he’ll say we need to raise the taxes on the rich.  To help everyone else who has suffered under the Obama economic policies.  So everyone has everything they could ever need or want.  And be happy.  Where people will live together in peace and bliss.  Like in socialists countries.  Where they put people before profits (see Former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear slain resisting robbery by Jorge Rueda, The Associated Press, posted 1/7/2014 on The Star).

Assailants shot and killed a popular soap-opera actress and former Miss Venezuela and her Irish ex-husband in the presence of their 5-year-old daughter when they resisted a robbery, authorities said Tuesday.

Monica Spear, 29, and Henry Thomas Berry, 39, were slain late Monday night on a roadside near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela’s main port, after their car broke down, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement…

Venezuela has one of the world’s highest murder rates and violent crime is so rampant that Venezuelans tend to stay home after dark…

According to the non-profit Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, the oil-rich South American country’s murder rate was 79 per 100,000 inhabitants last year.

Hugo Chávez was an extreme anti-capitalist.  And he turned Venezuela into a socialist paradise.  Putting people before profits.  But like all other planned economies it just led to shortages of everything.  And because the state couldn’t provide like a free market could a profitable black market developed.  Where what limited goods there were ended up selling at higher prices.  Leading to great income disparity.  As people with money could buy what they needed from the black markets while the poorer people could not.  And went without.

Deprivation and corruption led to ever greater income disparity.  As criminals and those in government lived well.  While the people suffered abject poverty.  Leading to a society that became so lawless that the people hid in their homes after dark.  This is what you get with socialism.  Well, that.  And an oppressive police state.  To keep those suffering abject poverty from rising up against the government.  So those in government can continue to live the good life.  While they continue to ‘fight for the people’.  Who never seem to escape from their abject poverty.

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Grizzly Child Murders not connected to Drug Crime but to Drug Use

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 8th, 2012

Week in Review

One argument for the decriminalization of drugs is that it will reduce violent crime.  Because a lot of violent crime is connected to the illicit drug trade.  So decriminalizing drugs would make more crime-free cities.  That would be a good thing.  A very good thing.  But is there a downside to decriminalizing drugs?  For if people want to get high in their own house isn’t that a victimless crime to begin with?  And by dropping the ‘crime’ from ‘victimless crime’ drug use would just be victimless, yes?  So how could anything be bad that has no victims?  I mean, it’s not like we’re hurting children when adults use drugs (see Two Grisly Child Murders Prompt PCP Crackdown in New Jersey by CHRISTINA NG posted 9/7/2012 on ABC News).

Authorities in New Jersey are cracking down on PCP, a hallucinogenic drug that has been involved in two grisly murders of children in less than two weeks in the crime-ridden city of Camden, N.J…

“Violent behavior with PCP, that’s nothing new,” Police Chief Scott Thomson said. “It’s happening on a daily basis in Philadelphia and urban centers all over the country. But what has us concerned is the attacks on small children…Is something being added [to the PCP]..?”

Osvaldo Rivera, 31, told police that he smoked “wet,” a combination of PCP and pot before he allegedly slit the throats of a 6-year-old boy and his 12-year-old sister in the middle of the night in their Camden, N.J., home on Sept. 2…

On Aug. 22, authorities believe Chevonne Thomas was smoking wet before beheading her 2-year-old son Zahree in Camden…

“You’ve got paranoia, anxiety, delusional behavior, hallucinations and then you add to that a disconnect between the mind and body so the person doesn’t feel pain and can behave as if they have superhuman strength,” Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, told ABCNews.com. “The consequences can be dire…”

The effect of the drug mimics the effects of schizophrenia, including hallucinations, extreme stress, delusions and disordered thinking, according to NIDA…

PCP can even do permanent damage.

“If somebody is vulnerable, it would be possible for somebody to smoke it once or twice and develop psychosis that could last months, years or could not be resolved,” Galynker said. “It makes people psychotic and I don’t understand why anyone would ever use it.”

Apparently we are hurting children when adults use drugs.  Sometimes through neglect.  Sometimes by setting a bad example that draws them into the world of drug use at a young age.  And sometimes by killing them.  The people that do are obviously out of their right minds.  And it is probable that their drug use put them out of their right mind.  Which is a salient point.  These children did not die because of the criminal activity associated with these drugs.  They died because of the effects of taking these drugs.  Which would have happened even if these drugs weren’t illegal.  And if some people did this after using drugs it is likely that more people will do these things when there are more people taking drugs.  Which would probably happen if we decriminalize them.

If one smoked a combination of PCP and pot one would have to assume that one smoked marijuana at one time without PCP.  So one drug was probably a gateway to the other drug.  Now with people saying marijuana is so harmless it is probably less harmless than PCP.  And therefore the gateway drug to PCP.  One could even go further to suggest that without ever having used the gateway drug (marijuana) that it is unlikely that someone would experiment with drugs for the first time with something as powerful as PCP.

So there are strong arguments against decriminalizing drugs.  Of course some will counter that it’s not right to condemn all drug users because of the actions of a few.  We don’t bring back prohibition because some drunks beat their wives or cause a fatal car accidents.  Which is a good point.  But here’s a better point.  Alcohol can make you a stupid drunk.  But it won’t make you psychotic.  And when you’re drunk out of your mind you don’t get superhuman strength.  Often times you actually regress to childhood and travel on your hands and knees. So there is a difference between being falling-down drunk and slashing throat-high on PCP.  One is clearly more dangerous than the other.  Finally, who are the people who most want to decriminalize drugs?  Apart from the addicts?  The same people we make wait until they are 21 to drink.  Teenagers and young adults who have a propensity to make bad decisions.  So you know that this is yet one more bad decision from those of us who are least responsible.

Interestingly, we have raised the drinking age for teenagers and young adults but not the voting age.  In fact, there are some who want to lower the voting age further.  Those on the Left, of course.  Who need more people who don’t know any better to vote for them.  Because the older and more responsible people get the more they tend to vote conservative.  Just an interesting side note.  Perhaps we should counter their argument (to lower the voting age) with a simple question.  Do they also want to lower the drinking age?  If not, why not?  It would be entertaining to hear them tap-dance their way around that answer.

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LESSONS LEARNED #84: “The bigger and more complex government gets the more unintended the consequences.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 22nd, 2011

Prohibition had Popular Support from Wives, Progressives and Organized Crime

The Progressive movement began changing our lives in the beginning of the 20th century.  Thanks in large part to the American Civil War.  After a generation of American fathers were killed by the ravishes of war a lot of sons grew up without a manly role model in their lives.  They had no father to learn manly chores from.  To go hunting with.  To beat the crap out of them when they misbehaved.  To toughen them up for the real world.  Instead all they got was the loving and nurturing stuff from their mothers.  And when they grew up they wanted to be mothers, too.  And nurture the American people.  For mother knows best.

When these children grew up they changed government.  Instead of it being the limited government of their fathers they wanted an activist one.  To make our lives better.  More fair.  And safer.  Which is why they supported the temperance movement.  And took it to Prohibition.  To save the American family.  To stop drunken husbands from beating their wives.  To prevent poverty by keeping the money in the family.  And out of the saloons.   To stop the epidemic of venereal disease.  Spread by prostitutes who frequented saloons.  Trying to get some of that family paycheck.  Before the saloon owner got it all.  So Prohibition had popular support.  From wives.  Progressives.  And organized crime.

This was an unintended consequence of Prohibition.  For the law prohibited “the manufacture, sale, or transportation” of booze.  But not the drinking of it.  And when there’s a will there’s a way.  There were people who still wanted to drink.  And could without facing any consequences for it if caught by the law.  So they kept drinking.  And there was a booming demand.  And a willing albeit illegal supply network to meet that demand.  So life was good.  For those who liked to indulge in inebriating beverages.  And for those who provided those inebriating beverages.  Especially the providers.  Because when you make anything illegal that is in high demand means only one thing.  High profits.

There’s a Profit Incentive for Criminals because Illegal Stuff Costs More than Legal Stuff

At first everyone laughed as they flaunted the law.  It was, after all, a victimless crime.  People wanted to buy.  And the underworld wanted to sell.  No harm.  No foul.  For awhile.  Until the gang violence spilled over into the public streets.  When innocents saw this violence up close and personal.  Some even dying in the crossfire.  Like in Chicago.  Owned for a time by Al Capone.  King of the bootleggers.  Who killed off the competition.  The Valentine’s Day Massacre being the tipping point.  When the cops started fighting back.

The FBI eventually got Capone.  On tax evasion.  But it didn’t end the violence.  You know what did?  The repeal of the 18th Amendment.  And letting the people drink again.  Which they really needed during the depressing New Deal programs of FDR.

By decriminalizing alcohol they removed the profit incentive for criminals.  Because illegal stuff costs more than legal stuff.  So there’s no market for bootlegged liquor anymore.  So the gangs turned to another illegal substance.  Drugs.  Whose criminalization has far worse unintended consequences than Prohibition ever had.  We can trace most violent crime in the U.S. to drugs.  From theft to support a drug habit.  To Capone style gang warfare to protect turf.  To the unspeakable horrors on and south of the US-Mexican border.

The Decriminalization of Drugs:  Damned if We Do.  And Damned if We Don’t.

So what is one to do?  Decriminalize drugs?  Not quite the same thing as ending prohibition.  Drugs are a little more potent than alcohol.  Especially methamphetamine.  Crystal meth addiction destroys lives.  Which is why it’s such a lucrative drug.  You can manufacture it anywhere from chemicals.  And it’s addictive.  Addiction provides a steady demand.  And its chemistry provides a readily available supply.  That you can hide.  Unlike Coca fieldsPoppy fields.  Or marijuana fields.

Meth has a strong foothold in the drug-taking community.  Despite it being illegal.  One shudders what would happen if we decriminalized drugs.  Like meth.  It’s potent.  Addictive.  And popular with the kids.  It takes a fake ID to buy alcohol when underage.  Because there are few pushers selling cases of beer and wine coolers on the street.  But if an adult can buy it legally it could be hard for a drug dealer to pass up the underage market.  I mean, there are no empty bottles or cans to trace back to a store.  And if you’re caught carrying, hey, it isn’t illegal.

So we’re damned if we do.  And damned if we don’t.  The war on drugs has a devastating cost on society.  But the drugs are so harmful.  And helping users break their addiction also costs society.  Broken families.  Lost jobs and careers.  Children addicts can no longer provide for.  Infectious disease.  Overdose.  Violence.  Criminal activity.  And decriminalizing drugs won’t make any of that better.

The Poorer You are and the More Children You Have the More Money You Get on Your EBT

America has been fighting another war.  A war on poverty.  Which probably has been more destructive than the war on drugs.  Economist Thomas Sowell blames the welfare state for the destruction of the black family.  By subsidizing failure.  Providing incentives not to succeed.  A disincentive to be responsible.  The very programs to help the poor have destroyed the poor.  With unintended consequences that have destroyed generations.

This video was from 1980.  Fast forward to today and you can see this put in another way.  Perhaps a little less elegantly.  But it reinforces Dr. Sowell’s argument.  There’s a video on YouTube that praises the EBT card in California.  A program to help poor single people with children.  Depending on the number of children and your circumstances, the government loads a dollar amount on the EBT card.  You then use it like a debit card.  At any store that accepts EBT.  The government then reimburses the store owners.

So the poorer you are and the more children you have the more money you get on your EBT card.  As Dr. Sowell pointed out, this may be a disincentive to be responsible.  And the YouTube video shows this.  We should note, though, that the rapper who made this video said that “it was meant to be satirical and poke fun at a real issue.”  Some have called it inappropriate.  You can judge for yourself after you watch the video.  (NOTE:  If you’re at work or are in a public place you probably should wait until you get home to watch this video.  It contains very graphic language (as in the ‘f’ word).  And may be racially insensitive.  Please exercise due discretion when viewing It’s Free, Swipe Yo EBT.)

Government may have Meant Well but the Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

Prohibition made it harder to manufacture and distribute alcohol.  But people still drank.  Because it wasn’t illegal to drink.  At first it was just a game.  Imbibing at the speakeasy.  Then buildings exploded.  And bodies littered the street.  Much like they are in Mexico today.  And along the US-Mexican border.  Because well organized enterprises are trying to meet a lucrative demand north of the border.  That our drug policies made lucrative.  Just like Prohibition made bootlegging a lucrative business.

Unintended consequences are a bitch.  And whenever government tries to fix something we often get something worse.  Prohibition and our war on drugs have given us organized crime to deal with.  And our war on poverty has destroyed poor families.  By incentivizing irresponsible behavior.   And making generations dependent on government.

At every time, though, government meant well.  They always say that they had nothing but good intentions.  But we should remember what they say about good intentions.  That the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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