Sunday, February 2, 2014

The weather has broken for a short interlude.

Last night it warmed up and started raining which is a good thing. It's still raining and most of the snow has been eaten up by it. I suppose you know I am no fan of snow. I hate the stuff.

Let's talk a little about recent governmental stupidity.

I say a little because if I get started I can write a set of volumes that would dwarf the Encyclopedia Britainica by a factor of 12 before I even got warmed up. So to keep it to a managable level I'll just cover a few things I have seen recently.

Colorado just legalized recreational marijuana which is fine by me even though I don't use it. There are a number of reasons that maybe it was a good idea and some that maybe it wasn't a good idea.

As a basic libertarian I'll say that maybe it was a good idea.

I suppose it has created above ground jobs as there are probably a number of retailers out there that have either opened stores or added marijuana as another item they sell.

Great! I suppose that Colorado has figured that taking out of the alleys and dark corners of the netherworld will reduce crime and violence.

In a way it was probably a good move. Marijuana is an illegal drug in most places and because it is legal it is untaxed and part of the underground economy. The income derived from it is also untaxed.
Now that they legalized it it is a taxable commodity and that ain't a bad thing at all.

Except the the Colorado government has gotten greedy and levied a 25% tax on the stuff.

The government doesn't know it but they have just $hit and fallen back in it and they are very likely back where they started. Twenty five percent is too much tax to pay and an awful lot of people simply won't pay it.

Enter the dealers that are now in business and will sell their dope cheaper than the legal stores can. While it's likely the state could have taken 5% or so without any problem, they got greedy and it's likely they'll be paying for it in the form of somewhat less revenue. That, of course, accompanies crime.

It doesn't take much to see that heavy taxation leads to people trying to skirt it and anyone that has ever seen a drop of moonshine knows that. Moonshine is untaxed liquor and the business still prospers and has since the governments got greedy and taxed it heavily.

Of course, a lot of people think that moonshine is some kind of rotgut liquor and the truth is some of it is. However, I have had reports that a lot of it is a pretty smooth product.

At any rate, the practice of moon shining still flourishes. Likely this will happen with marijuana in Colorado after the state decided to get greedy.

The other thing that Colorado has done is chase away businesses with their new gun and magazine laws.

Magpul is leaving and setting up shop in Texas and Wyoming. Both places are greeting the soon to be former Colorado business with open arms. Can't say as I blame them. It'll mean jobs for Texans and the people in Wyoming.

It will likely mean that people in Colorado will lose jobs, too. Not just at Magpul, but at a lot of other places, too. The local businesses in the areas will be injured, too as the people that are not working at Magpul are not going to be spending paychecks in the Erie area much longer.

Connecticut is in the middle of creating a crime wave. They have required all residents to register certain kinds of firearms and the last I heard is that 30,000 have been registered.

Non gun owners are crying out that they have achieved a great victory and likely politicians will crying out that the project has been a success. Now the truth is, it is highly likely that all they have achieved with this is about 10% compliance and 90% illegal unregistered guns.

People are not stupid. They know that registration is only a stroke of the pen away from confiscation. They are not really too willing to hand in a $1000-$3000 piece of equipment without compensation. 

Most are not willing to turn in a firearm with compensation. I know I wouldn't like to. I don't even know if I would.

An unregistered firearm in that state can not be sold to another resident legally or taken to a dealer for sale where the buyer has to go through a background check per federal law.

This means that most likely a lot of firearms are eventually going to be hitting the street over time because the illegal owners can't sell them legally.

Incidentally, with about a 10% compliance rate you can pretty much bet that the police department has better things to do than chase down people that haven't bothered to register their firearms.

More than likely there are an awful lot of cops that are not interested in enforcing laws they are breaking themselves.   

Another thing I have noticed is that the DUI business has gotten a bit out of hand. These days it seems to be more of a revenue generator than a public safety issue.

A while ago in a lot of places they dropped the threshold from .1 down to .08 and it really never had a change in the accident rate. In short it did nothing for public safety.

Rather than raise it back up to .1 and go about their business, it now stays at .08 and makes it easier to get arrested and fined.

The insurance companies like it that way because if someone gets nailed their rates go up. The governments like it because they can gouge more money out of people.

The public really isn't being protected because keeping it at .08 isn't making them any safer. It just adds one more straw to the pile of governmental annoyances.

While driving drunk is a pretty lousy thing to do and shouldn't be permitted, the name of the game is to make the streets safer. It's not supposed to be about revenue generation.

The truth is when you think about it that government does a pretty good job of creating its own crime.

Government reminds me of the carpenter and the electrician that teamed up on a big job once. The carpenter started drilling hole and the electrician started pulling wire through the holes. The wire was just plain wire that wasn't doing anything and the whole scam was just for a couple of guys to look busy.

When the wiring was discovered they assigned the same pair to remove the wire and fill in the holes.

In many ways this is not much more different than the way governments sometimes do things except that governments do it on a bigger scale.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of what the EU did with the light bulbs.

    "No! We must ban zze old bulbs for they are evil! You are only allowed to buy EU approved energy saving bulbs from now on!"

    What really happened is that this created a run on old type bulbs. People were stockpiling them. Heck, I did. Everyone I know did. They were cheaper than the officially approved type and superior in light output. And in the wake of it, it was also found out that the new "energy saving" bulbs aren't really that great and have major issues in recycling (something the old ones didn't have.)

    Of course you'd think the EU would learn from this... WRONG!

    Back in the 90s, when I was working on my driving license, Austria had a pilot project "drive with light by day". Supposedly it made traffic safer. In theory. It was generally encouraged, and law required it under certain weather conditions.

    After 15-odd years Austria dropped the idea because there was simply no significant change in traffic safety. People still drove like idiots and wrapped themselves around trees anyway. So the project was dumped. End of story?


    Last year (or was it in 2012, I forgot), the EU decided that every car must soon have special lights that are on at all times when the car is operated. Because it would make traffic safer. In theory. Despite reality showing that this isn't the case. Yeah...

    The EU also decreed that vacuum cleaners are now allowed to have only a power of 1,600 Watts max. This is sold as "energy efficiency" and the usual suspects whining about "man made global warming" also hail it as such.

    Of course it has nothing to do with energy efficiency, and all with the EUSSR controlling every minute details of the people's lives.

    An energy efficient vacuum cleaner is one that requires less electricity to achieve the same power output. Now the output is set at 1,600W, how one achieves that... who cares.