Author Archives: didacticpeasant

Work is desirable…?

“Work: Exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish.” That is the definition from Dictionary.com. For many of us however work is not simply the accomplishment of something. Instead it is the accomplishment of something unwillingly. We would rather do something else; instead of doing paperwork we prefer working at a construction site, or as a teacher, or as a fisherman, to break the monotonous rhythm of paperwork and excel spreadsheets. Others would break from the monotony of the assembly line, or the barber shop, or the classroom (as a student or teacher).

According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report only 30% of US employees are “engaged and inspired” at work, the rest are either disengaged or are not excited about their jobs. What is the cause of this disengagement? The sole cause of the disengagement of work is the monotonous and repetitive nature inherent in the extreme division of labour; a requirement of high productivity and subordination, thus a requirement of capitalism. Division labour is the specialization of tasks of individuals so that these tasks are carried out more effectively. The natural consequence, however, is the continuous repetition of the task as the high productivity means that the need for the individual’s input in other compartments of production become unnecessary and might even add to the costs.

A common argument might be that only low-skill work is boring. Let us consider high-skill labour. Consider those working within the corporate bureaucracy; marketing directors, managers, accountants, and their subordinates. Sure, the people in these positions might be allowed greater creative input in their work, but ultimately, the work and its product are mandated from a member of the higher levels of the corporate hierarchical chain. Thus they still have to go to work at least eight hours a day, five days a week, to sit in front of a computer to complete work over which the individual has little self-determination over. Does this sound appealing? Not in my opinion at least.

Then let us return to the cause of the monotony of labour; the division labour. We have seen that divided labour forces the individual to focus on a few amounts of tasks for a long time without being allowed to use his or her creative input. Labour is still necessary for the production and distribution of goods and services. The apparent conclusion is thus that boring labour is necessary for efficient allocation within the economy. We must remember one important fact before making this conclusion: Labour in the capitalist society is naturally alienated, meaning that it separates the individual from his or her natural way of producing. That is, labour through one’s own self-determination and creative lust, unlike the present way of producing; being told what to do without a desire to do it but earning money.

The cause of the division labour is then the alienated labour which is the root cause of the disengagement of workers from their work. Labour is separated from their essence since it appears alien, as the motivation for it is not a creative stimulus or an act of self-determination. Instead it is motivated by the necessity of a wage, making it a necessity to subordinate one-self to an employer, making it a necessity to follow orders, with the ultimate consequence; the alienation of labour. Thus alienation creates the tedious and undesirable labour.

Why not accept this as the reality of life? Because it is not. But isn’t the division of labour a necessity since it allows for high productivity? Not really. Perhaps the division of labour within the individual production units is a necessity in order to provide for the population, but not the social division of labour. What is meant by the social division of labour? That people specialize into certain productive activity so that they are forced to pursue that form of labour. So for example, the fact that we have engineers, marketing directors, assembly line workers, plumbers, (etc…) is all part of the social division of labour. If the social division of labour is eliminated then an individual can fish in the morning and work the fields in the afternoon, thus ending the monotony of production since one is not forced into producing the same commodity or service every day. The effect of alienation decreases as a result.

The prerequisite for eliminating the alienation of labour must be the elimination of the market system, as competition forces productivity to remain as high as possible thus making the social division of labour a necessity. A replacement for the market system would naturally be the infamous planning system, that is, society plans and organizes production based on needs rather than distorted consumerist desires in order to decrease the amount of labour. This would reduce the necessity of work, thus individuals experience greater freedom as they are not coerced into working during the working hours dictated by the employer, allowing the individual to work in the morning, and perhaps educate himself in the afternoon so that he can work as something else in the future, perhaps a mechanic. The first step for the elimination of boring labour is thus the elimination of capitalism.

Advertisements

The Need for Radical Solutions

The title may seem misleading, the point is not to reform the system itself, by the system I mean capitalism and its political counterpart liberal democracy, but to completetly overhaul it; to end it, destroy it, and with its destruction plant the seeds of the foundations of a less flawed system, that is, without grotesque inequities, a system that grants the rights to our truly free, natural and creative existence while still being able to preserve the positive aspects of modern society.

Yet what is it about about modern society that makes it so grotesque? Why is it that we should not accept the thesis of Francis Fukuyama in The End of History? Well, to answer those questions all we have to look at are statistics:

  • 870 million people in the world do not have enough to eat according to WFP (http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats)
  • 69.9% and 66.7% of the people in Sub-saharan Africa and South Asia (respectively) live on under 2$ a day (PPP) according to the world bank (http://data.worldbank.org/topic/poverty)
  • These statistics are naturally quite unfairly in favor of the anti-capitalist, especially while not looking at the trend of general improvement of lifting people from poverty into a relatively comfortable material existence, by no means a desirable one, but enough to get by. And for the neo-liberal status quo apologists this seems to be enough. But for the socialist this is far from enough, for although the most grotesque aspect of capitalism seems to be eliminated, there is no denying the fact that if production was organized differently those who live in relatively destitute conditions in comparison to their employers could lift themselves from these conditions to live more meaningful lives by owning the product of their labor. As opposed to expropriating the product in exchange for meager wages.

    The capitalist apologists would now make two arguements against what is said above. The first is that the exchange of the worker’s labor for wages is a voluntary exchange. This is false because the worker needs to produce in order to exist, and in order to produce he needs to enter the capitalist production relations where the owner of capital employs people to produce using the capital. Well the worker could just start his own bussiness, right? Probably not since he probably does not have the necessary human capital in order to acquire productive capital from creditors. Even if he did, say, have a genius bussiness plan, the bank would still most likely reject a loan due to the lack of a bussiness major or at least some form of higher level education diploma. Hence the exchange of labor for wages is not voluntary but coercive, not by physical forces but by market forces. The second arguement which the apologist would make is that a job is better than no job. And while this is true he or she does not look at the most obvious alternative; that the workers own the means of production themselves and have the right to set wages, employment, investment etc…

    This naturally transitions into the actual solutions to the innate inequalities within the capitalist production which extracts surplus value for the accummulation of wealth into the hands of a marginalized population. Workers control seems to be the obvious solution to general inequality, the question remains; How can it be implemented? The fact is that bussiness leaders would not sympathize with idea that the basis of their wealth should be expropriated to the workers. Hence I conclude that socialist production relations must be created within a world dominated by capitalist relations through setting up cooperatives (of which there are many successful examples in Argentina for example) to eventually replace capitalist relations. Cooperative production will eventually dominate traditional industrial production through the aid of the state by tax discrimination, creating state owned banks for cheap capital to cooperatives and other state measures.

    The Coup of The Banks

    January 20th 1981 marked the beginning of an era; an era of neo-liberalism. Market fundamentalism is an extreme comparable only to communist command economies yet it was happily implemented by the Reagan administration justified by increasing efficiency and consumer benefits. Taxes and regulations were cut together with the Economic Recovery Tax Act which was implemented in order to recover the recession which his ideological compatriot Paul Volcker agreed with and even increased interest rates to double digits. Yet like market fundamentalism’s communist counterpart the reality is inefficiency through the increase in the periodicity of economic downturn, which was realized in 1989 when restrictions to S&Ls were re-imposed through the FIRREA.

    The Economic Recovery Tax Act is in fact quiet interesting and contradictory. It cut the marginal tax rate from 70% to 28% and reduced the capital gains tax to 20%. Yet social security was going bankrupt, so Reagan eventually would increase taxes on the working poor and middle class, he would race payroll tax. This was the beginning of the class warfare of the financial capitalist class on the poor.

    Classical economic policies spread across the world and institutions such as the IMF and the WTO were setup to ensure the spread of the teachings of “The Wealth of Nations”. These organizations are centered around the Washington Doctrine and impose them with ideological dogma like the communist’s insistence on collectivization at any cost. Yet capital market liberalization has been an act of suicide as we have seen first in South East Asia and Russia in the late 1990s but also for its own exporters as we have seen with the recent crisis in which southern Europe has been plunged in fiscal crisis which is now threatening the north. Capital market liberalization allows short term and speculative capital investments to occur which are harmful to the stability of the economy as it causes excessive inflation.

    But what allowed this policy-making to occur? It was a coup, perhaps even a revolution of the financial sector or more specifically the banks. The Fortune predicted two months before the presidential election that Wall Streets campaign donations would surpass 170 million dollars which is the highest in history. Essentially the banks are buying politicians as they did with Reagan in 1980 in order to implement supply-sided economics and capital market liberalization so that more money could be concentrated in their own hands.

    Yet the spontaneous coup was not only limited to the political arena but also in the media which convinced and still convinces that trickle down policies are legitimate. If you watch BBC or CNN news network the commercial breaks are filled with various commercial banks and investment banks and their cheesy advertisements, but the banks are not depended on CNN or BBC they make enough money, CNN and BBC are depended on the banks for a chunky amount of their revenue comes from advertisement. This way the BBC and CNN are forced to bring on Reaganites and economist from the Chicago school to criticize rational political economy and praise Reagan trickle down policies. And so this market fundemantalist dogma has persuaded the public just like communist propaganda.

    Perhaps this is a social revolution- a change the social relations by the alteration of the forces of production-according the dialectical materialism. Maybe its a transitional stage into a new mode of economy or super structure where the means of production are owned by another class, a class of lenders and investors; the banks. This however is perhaps a silly thesis because it first of all makes little sense in marxist terms in which the theory is derived from.

    On a more serious notion we must look at the effects of the coup and the effects of neo-liberalism which are unfortunate, in fact the results of market fundementalism are much more detremental than post-Stalinist policies in the U.S.S.R. In fact before the market liberalization imposed on Russia by the IMF it was a Second World country, now it is undoubtedly a Third. Similarly the IMF imposed policies in favor of the banks dictated by the Washington Doctrine in Asia in the 90s and Europe in 2008 when entire financial systems collapsed-yet magazines like The Economist still call for capital market liberalization.

    The development is alarming; it is centralizing the political spectrum and limiting our democracy through false claims of prosperity. The banks are essentially taking over government by controlling politics and the media and are making Europe and the US-like Noam Chomsky says-”commit suicide”.

    What is True Progressivism?

    This 1978 DSOC pinback button features the log...

    I was talking to my friend on the way back from school when he asked me what I meant with true progressivism. Since the name of my blog is called The Left Progressive, and since the word “progressive” is commonly used and generalized in the modern context thus being diluted by liberal worshippers like The Economist, it would be appropriate for me to manifest my interpretation of the word. The premise of progressivism is to establish pragmatic policies which do not favor particular interest groups based on partisan populism; instead it creates a political program based on necessary laws in order to ensure the welfare and will of the nation and its people. The growth of progressivism was a natural effect of the extension of universal suffrage between 1870-1945, in which the will of the growing proletariat and the sympathy for the workers entered the political arena through the growth of socialist parties and the growth of their influence.

    Although my leftist views may be a contradiction to the non-partisan aspect of progressivism, (as progressivism is based on pragmatism not partisan ideology) I truly do believe that socialism will provide for a sustainable economic and social future, and therefore I consider myself a “true progressive”. The fact that capital can flow in and out of nations freely and unrestrictedly creates financial instability as well as economic inequality. The fact that investors can determine staple food prices through speculative investment which causes deadly inflation. And the fact that banks can unlimitedly issue loans causing credit bubbles and dissolution of our financial sytem. All of this is part of an inefficient form of capitalism where the 1% exploits the rest through their capital, creating economic hardships like the one following the financial crash in 2008. Instead I opt for pragmatic solutions to these problems through promoting the implementation of a public banking system, restricting capital flows and creating a more democratic capitalism which is not based on top to down corporatism, but through democratic enterprises where decisions on the allocation and production of resources are made by the producers, not the owners at Wall Street.

    Yet true progressivism does not merely address economic issues, in fact the reason for addressing economic issues is for social purposes, because the current elitist mode of production prospers the rich but impoverishes the poor (see sustainability). Healthcare, education and poverty are all social issues which must be solved through progressivism. 2.1 billion people in the world do not have access to essential medicine, (World Health Organization)this is proof of the deficiencies of modern capitalism. Statistics from before 2012 showing the amount of people uninsured in the US clarifies the failure of privatized healthcare even further. As a progressive, I believe that free and public healthcare ensures equality and universal access to treatment which is a human right according to article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Similar trends can be seen with both education and poverty. Privatization of higher level education systems means that only the rich elite will profit from graduating from university as lower members of society are required to take out student loans, which in many cases take lifetimes to pay back. This can be solved through a public higher level education system ensuring social mobility and increased innovation. Poverty is the cause of western imperialism both through traditional and modern means such as the World Bank and the IMF, as well as unequal “free trade” agreements such as NAFTA. If these institutions were abolished it would allow for an end to western protectionism (which is limiting the growth of developing nations) thus creating free and fair trade and therefore reducing poverty.

    Progressivism has however been used in inappropriate ways by liberal populists, most recently by the neo-liberal magazine The Economist. In its article “Policy Prescription: True Progressivism” it says “A freer financial sector [in China], with market-driven interest rates, would remove a potent source of income concentration and economic distortion.” They do not understand that the liberalization of financial markets was the prime cause of the financial collapse in 2008 due to the growing credit and housing bubble sponsored by Wall Street. And now they are calling for China to free the financial sector from capital regulations in order to increase capital flows? This is especially ironic when the highly statist economy in China has been achieving on average 10% annual growth rates since the early 1990s. Furthermore, in the subtitle it says, “Bold moves are needed to tackle inequality”. Essentially they are promoting policy-making that increases inequality, not tackling it. This is not progressivism. Progressivism is about being a revisionist and learning from historical mistakes. Instead of admitting that large financial sectors are the cause to economic instability (as they are the cause of speculation driven inflation and the fuel for credit bubbles) they blame low growth on “big government”. It is hypocritical, but a good example of the failure of corporate media.

    Progressivism is not about expanding the financial market and allowing capital to squander the economy, while the bankers get richer through the “too big to fail” concept. It is about providing healthcare and education for the general population as well as economic stability and development. This cannot be achieved through the present corporatist model, only through democratizing the economy and granting greater influence over production to the actual producers. We need to re-initiate the progressive surge from 1870-1945 in order to overcome these issues. The problems cannot be solved by implementing Reaganite neo-liberal imperialism through institutions like the IMF and World Bank. I call for true progressivism, a progressivism that will change the world from exploitative to sustainable.

     

     

     

    A Socialist’s Critique of Obama’s Presidency

    Official photographic portrait of US President...

    Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Today Barack Obama was announced victor of the extensive and corrupted presidential race over his republican contester Mitt Romney. I am not relieved, sad or filled with joy at this result; in fact my response is indifference. Not because I am nihilist or because I don’t care about the elections, it’s because both candidates are representatives of Wall Street, and both candidates will or would have offered little progressive change to Capitol Hill that is necessary in order to create a more sustainable and developing society in the US. I was listening to a debate between students during lunch regarding Obama’s success during the presidency. The students in favor of Obama’s policy claimed that his presidency has bolstered social programs for the underprivileged and unemployed, when in fact Obama’s presidency and social programs favoring the poor are totally irrelevant; policies favoring the poor are even anti-theses of Obama’s presidency.

    The only major bill which did favor the poor and underprivileged was the Affordable Health Care Act which was passed November 7th 2009. This act included an expansion of people eligible to Medicaid programs, increasing benefits to low income Americans for healthcare and prohibiting insurance companies from refusing coverage based on one’s medical history. This bill was more an act of emergency than of solidarity considering that 32 million people were uninsured, which is scandalous for a nation with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. However claiming that the bill was merely an act of solidarity for the underprivileged is naïve; in fact the biggest earners from the bill were Wall Street having large investments in HMOs and insurance companies. This is because it brought 32 million people in to the market, increasing profits. If the Affordable Health Care Act was a true legislation of solidarity, then the health care system would be nationalized in order to eliminate health care inequality and increase the quality of healthcare for the poor and low income earners. Public health care could be implemented and financed through military spending cuts by 50% (US would still have the largest military expenditure by 300 billion dollars) and increasing taxes for the rich and incorporating the Tobin Tax for Wall Street fat cats. This would be a truly progressive healthcare system where the rich as well as the poor have access to the same level of healthcare and where quality is favored over profits.  Instead Obama is opting for the Wall Street version.

    Although the Affordable Health Care Act may seem as an act of solidarity and pragmatism as well as progressivism, the rest of his domestic policy has lacked the same success. His attempt to revive the US from recession through the Stimulus package was successful in retaining economic growth however it did not provide the general restructuring that the economy needed in order to return to the growth before 2008 and reduce unemployment. Through this bill he cut 120 billion dollars’ worth of taxes including income tax credit for middle income earners and low income earners, as well as investments in infrastructure and renewable energy. As much as I believe in relieving tax burden on the poor, the reason why economic recovery has been so slow is because of the household debt which is worth 13 trillion dollars in the US, which is only 2 trillion dollars short of the total economic output. This has serious effects on consumption and is the reason why companies are hoarding 1.3 trillion dollars’ worth of liquid assets, the money is there but businesses are not willing to invest due to the lack of demand from private debt. Only by restructuring debt through buying mortgage loans and eliminating interest rates can consumer confidence increase. Not through measures like Quantative Easing which is only injecting money into Wall Street to serve investors. And especially not through cutting taxes which will only go into savings even though interest rates are at a record low.

    Obama’s presidency has done what Wall Street wanted. Preferably the bankers would have liked further extensions to the Bush era tax cuts in order to increase their private wealth; however he has spent billions of dollars on ineffective tax cuts further increasing public debt so that Wall Street can feed off of government bonds, while the federal reserve is buying “toxic” assets from the bankers in order to alleviate and increase their billion dollar profits from mutual funds, hedge funds, increased savings and the bond market. He has however served some of the poor through funding their health insurance, but then again, this has also increased the wealth of Wall Street investors and venture capitalists that get increased returns from their CIGNA investments. All in all the Obama’s first mandate was essentially a mandate serving Wall Street fat cats while doing little to alleviate the increasing private debt of the middle and lower classes. While approaching the “fiscal cliff” in which Bush era tax cuts will be suspended and payroll taxes will rise, as well as huge cuts in public spending, congress and the white house will obviously need to address this issue but not through excessive austerity. The cliff needs to be tackled by progressive tax reform. Considering Obama’s promises of further tax cuts for the middle class and spending cuts, the future looks grim for the US. In any case, I am not looking forward to it.

    Savior of The Euro: EU Public Banking System

    Since 2008 the peripheral Eurozone states have been in a continuous recession as a result of public debts that have skyrocketed, further complicating recovery from the financial collapse. In addition to the crisis itself, the debt stricken states requiring financial aid are forced by financial institutions known as TROIKA to implement severe measures of austerity in order to safeguard the greedy banks of Germany and France. In essence the reason for austerity is to prosper the financial sector that created this mess in the first place, and instead of paying for it themselves, they make the people suffer. Instead of increasing privatizations and cutting key safety nets for the poor and the growing unemployed, I propose punishing greedy investors and banks through eliminating them through nationalization and creating a public EU banking sector to provide capital for businesses and mortgages for the people as well as bonds for government.

    According to the Guardian in 2011 the public debt in Greece was worth more than 130% of GDP, in addition the balance of payments deficit was worth 9%, this debt was bought by the banks as a mean of increasing profits. Now when they realized that Greece might not be able to return the payments, the bond market is increasing yields on new bolds thus higher debt servicing for Greece. The debt will essentially prosper the banks and investors who are protected by Germany and France since most of them are German and French banks. As a result to this Germany and France wish to keep their money and so impose draconian austerity on the Greek, the Spanish, the Portuguese and the Irish, to save the excessive wealth of the bankers. Greece has cut their pensions by 40%, half of the 1.2 million people unemployed cannot afford health insurance as unemployment and family benefits have been ruthlessly slashed, in addition to the billions of euros cut in health expenditure. Is this fair?

    No it isn’t. However there is an alternative to austerity and poverty, an EU public banking sector. If the banking sector was to be nationalized and brought under the hands of the EU then the debt could be defaulted without significant effects on the economy as long as the banking sector is recapitalized by the members of the union and that initial liquidity is ensured. As foxerblog.oanda.com states, the increase of private debt due to the credit bubble and the eventual collapse that followed, has decreased consumption per household by 3.3% and 3% in countries like Denmark and the Netherlands, the numbers are much higher in countries like Greece. If the banking sector was nationalized without compensation this debt can be completely written off as long as the banks are recapitalized through public funding, meaning that private consumption will increase and that public spending will not have to be cut so drastically as all pasts debts from the private sector are defaulted.

    Until right now, and probably for the rest of this recession, EU states have favored the banks over the people by making the people suffer through harsh austerity measures. If we nationalize what belongs to the 1% and carry out similar operations via the state, we do not only ensure long term economic efficiency as credit bubbles can be dealt with better, but we also alleviate the pressure on the people and the government and spending can return to reasonable levels. In addition the factors which contribute to the fact that Greece and other southern European states remain in recession, will successfully be overcome. These factors include low demand and consumption, and public and private debt which can be defaulted. The public banking system is the ultimate remedy. Bail out the people not the banks!

    Drug Legalization! Yes Please!

    Marijuana

    Marijuana (Photo credit: warrantedarrest)

    English: Number of arrests in the USA, by drug...

    After reading many articles on drug legalization over the past few days and after talking to friends about it, I felt that it was appropriate to express my own view on drug legalization and the war on drugs. To me it’s not understandable that we have declared war on something that cannot be defeated, and instead of exploiting the trade in our favor we are plunging other states into underdevelopment when the drug trade can give them so much potential.  I think there are two  main implications which must be taken into consideration when discussing drug legalization; the economic effects and most importantly the effect on health. All of which clearly points in favor of legalization.

    Let me start with the effects on cost. So far this year 34 billion dollars have been spent on the war on drugs in the United States according to drugsense.com, moreover it is estimated that the total money spent on drug crackdown since the declaration of the war on drugs by the Nixon administration accounts for one trillion dollars, which is data published by the New Internationalist magazine. These costs include the arrest and detainment of people who were accused for 1,400,000 drug offenses this year; every 19 seconds someone is arrested for drug law offenses (drugsense.com). These costs also go to police training funds in Central and Latin America which either, in the case of Mexico, ends up in the pockets of bureaucrats, or used to bolster the machine of terror and repression instead of drug crackdown. One trillion dollars is enough money to socialize healthcare in the US or provide free college education in order to find remedies to more solvable issues such as student bankruptcy and house disclosures, or even investing it in rehabilitation programs and drug education in order to restrict the abuse of drugs. It is definitely worth relocating the funding of the war on drugs to more pragmatic issues such as education and healthcare.

    In addition to the positive fiscal domestic effects of legalization of drugs, thereby ending the war on drugs is the economic development of areas which are hit hard by the criminalization of drugs most like in Columbia. The problem with the criminalization of drugs is that the middle men between the poppy plant farmer and the consumer are the ones that gain the largest share of profits for the transaction sales. This is because the farmers cannot sell their produce directly to the market and cannot set the market price, while the consumer of the drug is also paying higher than the actual market price due to the illegality of the drug and the costs of smuggling the drug. Therefore the mafia and drug gangs are free to exploit both the consumer and the producer of drugs. Legalizing drugs would mean the end to the middleman and therefore the farmer will be able to sell his produce directly to the market, thereby increasing efficiency and market welfare as price reduces to its natural equilibrium, and increases profitability for both the consumer and producer.  Also the fact that the crackdown on drug farmers will be stopped, means that there will be an increase in productivity, and the ability to allocate more resources to the production of drugs meaning market expansion and economic growth and an increased income for farmers in Columbia or Bolivia or any other producer of drugs in Central and Latin America.

    In addition to the increased economic efficiency in the underdeveloped regions, States can also tax the industry in order to improve underfunded services such as healthcare and education. It is estimated that the total value of the drug market is between 320-400 billion dollars, thus legalizing the market would eliminate current deficiencies and expand the value of the market. With the current market value, if the drug trade was taxed by 10% it would lead to at least an increase in revenue by 25 billion dollars considering that the demand for drugs is relatively inelastic and the market size reduction due to the tax would not have a significant effect on sales.

    What is more important than the economics behind drug legalization is the health improvement. With the legalization of drugs also comes the ability to regulate the content of drugs. At the moment drug dealers may mix the cocaine with rat poison in order to make it heavier to sell for a higher price, in essence the drugs consumed can contain anything as there are no law enforcement agencies determining what goes in the drugs. Also through drug legalization limits on buying heavy drugs like cocaine and heroin can be established by reserving sales rights to state pharmaceutics companies which can track individual’s consumption, even though that would keep the illegal trade alive, it would still reduce the consumption from illegal trade as it will be more expensive. Decriminalization of drug use has had positive effects in the country where it has been instituted, Portugal. Since 2001 (when decriminalization was instituted) the number of addicts on hard drugs went down from 100,000 to 40,000.

    The legalization of drugs has a huge potential of increasing economic development in underdeveloped regions heavily dependent on the drug trade, while also decreasing health and security costs in the North America and Europe. It is almost disgusting how drug legalization was not ever mentioned in the US election by the two mainstream parties while it is very likely that it can improve the situation for the key issues; legalization can give the rise to a new industry in America thus creating new jobs, and it is also a source of tax revenue for increasing income to solve the rising debt. When asking classmates and friends all agreed that drugs should be legalized to some extent, although I believe in full legalization of all drugs, drug legalization of at least marijuana seems universally accepted. Then why isn’t it becoming a political issue for the mainstream parties in both the EU and North America?