22 thoughts on “What Border Crisis?”

  1. I’ve seen maps like that before. It always amazes me that Cabo, and everything within 100 miles of it, are considered Cartel controlled. Having been there many times over the years, and even violated the never-leave-the-resort rule on occasion, we’ve never seen any indication of that. Guess we’ve just been fortunate. With Southwest now flying daily direct DIA-Cancun we probably won’t be going back again anytime soon.

    At any rate there are other options. See the Sicario movies for one example.

    1. “Controlled” has many meanings.

      It doesn’t have to (and mostly doesn’t) mean “cartel troops swaggering around with rifles everywhere”.

      It really just means they have enough power over local government to do what they want.

      (Which is also, ref. Cabo, “mostly leave American tourists alone if at all possible”, because they do not want that kind of direct attention from the US government.

      It’s bad for business, and hassling tourists isn’t a good revenue stream. I’d be more worried about being held up for bribes by the local cops than narcos, in most of Mexico.

      [Nor is kidnapping them, for the most part, since most tourists aren’t rich. And, again, too much of that nonsense leads to … awkward and unprofitable attention from Uncle Sam.]

      And if they do enough that tourism suffers, it might make local government inclined to fight back rather than take money and let them operate.)

      1. Yes. I remember a blog post a couple of years ago from an American who retired to Mexico, where he said he doesn’t worry about the cartel because they have a long-standing rule of not messing with Americans who don’t mess with them. The longer they can pretend Mexico is a country and not a criminal gang, the more money they can make.

  2. Well, legalizing the trade worked to stop Al Capone, so I doubt it wouldn’t work here too. But opioid addiction is a problem which I have not heard a good solution other than banning it.

  3. Hmm. The claim was made that legalizing pot would lead to a reduction in crime but while arrests for pot went down, other crime not so much.

    Drugs, like meth, remove a person’s agency. Legalizing them wouldn’t stop the crime that addicts engage in. Other people who are drawn to a criminal lifestyle, would just find something else to get their crime on.

    1. Legalizing drugs reduces organized crime. Retail crime is a separate issue, but someone is more likely to commit crimes to pay for expensive drugs than inexpensive ones.

      1. Why would drugs be less expensive? In Washington, they restrict who can grow and sell weed and they tax it at a high rate. It is more of a government run cartel than a free market.

        I’m fine with legal weed (and possibly some other drugs.) It isn’t a great hobby to engage in but it isn’t nearly as horrible as other drugs, like meth. The cost isn’t what causes people to engage in crime per se. What causes the crime is that addiction prevents people from living any semblance of a normal life. It removes agency over their actions. Not many functional meth heads out there.

        These people will engage in crime if the drug is at any price because they are unable to function in a world where they need a job.

        Would we have a big government program to cook meth and provide food, housing, clothing, and medical care to meth heads?

        We live in an imperfect world. Not all drugs are created equal. Anything that would be done to discourage use or treat addicts could be done without legalizing most drugs. I understand the libertarian perspective but I don’t think it is applicable across the board.

        1. “It is more of a government run cartel than a free market.”

          That’s the problem with legalization…you are just exchanging one cartel for another. The government doesn’t care about outcomes other than more tax money and FAR more opportunity for graft.

          1. Colorado made it legal for people to grow their own. I’m not sure what the barriers to entry are for opening a business but at least people have a way to opt out. Ideally, it wouldn’t be any harder to open a weed store/factory than any other business but some states restrict who can do it.

            I know for a fact, from talking to people in the industry, that there are a lot of corrupt practices that these companies engage in. I don’t think they could get away with it if there wasn’t corruption higher up the political and regulatory food chain.

            My biggest issue with it is that the taxes are regressive and impact the poor the most. It is the state taking advantage of people addicted to a product and encouraging their addiction. It is an example of perverse incentives.

        2. Government monopoly Opium Dens? That is the question: where do you draw the line between the GoodDrug and the BadDrug ?

          1. Yes, that really is the question. Comparisons to alcohol only go so far and while some drugs, like mushrooms, are extremely mind altering when someone is on them, they don’t lead to uncontrollable abuse.

          2. Comparisons to alcohol only go so far

            Comparisons to alcohol go pretty damn far. Sorry, you have the basics: an addictive drug, widespread prevalence (and abuse among youth at huge levels) beyond that of all of the illegal drugs combined, and some of the worst withdrawal symptoms (for habitual users) of any drug used for recreational purposes, including opioids and meth.

            Yet society manages.

    2. Not really. Going to other types of crime often leads to resistance including the kind that dial 1911. Selling drugs is mostly to people that want your product. Legalizing eliminates a major revenue stream, which is the source of the cartel power.

      If making it illegal deters 500 out of a thousand and lands a 100 or so in jail while 400 keep on doing it, is it really worth the cost and destroyed lives to keep it illegal? Cost benefit ratios should be addressed. Make work for cops, prison guards, lawyers and judges is not benefit.

      1. Selling drugs is mostly to people that want your product.

        Sure, and most of the violence is inside baseball. What the regular public experiences are the crimes inflicted on them by addicts. I don’t necessarily disagree with you in all cases but certainly in some cases. I think you also have too look at the costs of making it legal, which are not insignificant.

        It reminds me a bit of the move to decriminalize certain types of crimes like shoplifting and then being surprised that shoplifting goes up. But why would anyone who doesn’t own a shop care? At least the prisons have less people and if the prisons have less people, then everything must be ok.

        I’ve always thought of the libertarian argument as being one of having knowledge of risks and willingly engaging in certain activity. The problem with a lot of drugs is that this decision making process can not take place. There is no individual agency.

        I live in a place where a person slumped over passed out on the sidewalk is a common sight. Giving the cartels a business license wouldn’t lead to less of that. Our current efforts are not effective in changing people’s behavior, especially in other countries, but I don’t think the libertarian solution would solve the root problem, although, in some very specific circumstance it might be OK.

        1. Whoever suggested legalizing shoplifting? Certainly not a libertarian. It is theft of another’s property, plain and simple.

          Drug prohibition presents two major problems: 1) The more you try to restrict the market, the higher the price goes, so the more people will try to make a profit on it, despite the increased risk. 2) When you ban the mere possession of any object, you make it possible to frame any innocent person by placing that object on them, forcing them to try to PROVE their innocence; this is why many unscrupulous cops (hopefully a small minority) carry a little baggie of (insert drug of choice here) in their sock to plant on whoever they arrest, because they just *know* that person is really guilty.

          1. Whoever suggested legalizing shoplifting?

            It was an analogy.

            1) The more you try to restrict the market, the higher the price goes, so the more people will try to make a profit on it, despite the increased risk.

            There are a lot of factors that go into cost but focusing on cost ignores the actual problems of drug abuse. It is all a nice utopian theory but reality is a bit more complex.

        2. Decriminalizing shoplifting is stupid from any angle. As a non-shop owner I care because it increases the cost of operating the store which raises my prices. Also it attracts low life freeloaders that I prefer to avoid.

          They are slumped over on the sidewalk from illegal drugs? And that is an argument against legalization?

          My prescription for legalization. Free market with some regulation and reasonable taxes. Someone commits a crime while on something, take their ears or scalp to the courthouse for the bounty after you shoot them. Let them get jobs at whatever price a person or business will pay so they can support their own stupidity. Provide roads out that let the individuals earn their way to sobriety. There are functioning alcoholics as a guide.

          1. They are slumped over on the sidewalk from illegal drugs? And that is an argument against legalization?

            Shouldn’t people who advocate for legalization be concerned with solving the problem they claim they want solved? Would legalization lead to more people abusing heroine and meth like legalizing weed has? You do realize these people aren’t just “sleeping” right?

            Let them get jobs at whatever price a person or business will pay so they can support their own stupidity.

            I don’t think you understand what some of these drugs do to the human body. It is like the saying, “the real minimum wage is zero.”

            Provide roads out that let the individuals earn their way to sobriety.

            This is actually sensible. It doesn’t require legalization. I am not sure what the best solution is, other than people not doing some of these drugs in the first place.

            Is there a libertarian alternative that doesn’t require taxation, regulation, creation of new government agencies, and big government programs with a perverse incentive not to solve the problem?

            There are functioning alcoholics as a guide.

            Some of these things are not like the other. I encourage you to do a little research on the specific drugs you think should be legalized. I agree with legalizing some drugs but I don’t think the utopian theory is universal in applicability.

  4. It is not that drugs aren’t dangerous. It is that the vast infrastructure used to keep them illegal has costs on society well above the costs that would be imposed if they were legal. Among other things, the cartels would be mostly defunded. and lose much of their capability to damage Mexican society. Dealers in this country would have to get jobs and wouldn’t be on the streets fostering various mayhem. Keeping them illegal has costs on the users that close off many avenues for self help and keeps them in constant contact with the dregs of society..

    I have worked with people that have many of these problems from drinking to crack cocaine. At some point, it needs to occur to some people that passing a law against something is not the same as stopping it.The illegal doesn’t stop the problem, it just makes it possible for some people to get elected and others to feel self righteous..

  5. We don’t have to legalize drugs. We just need to legalize Mexico.
    I’d think 32 divisions including 8 heavy armored divisions with full air support using 12 tactical air wings could do the job in about 3 weeks. With follow on 6 months of 12 divisions to conduct pacification, until we can get their constituent state constitutions to align with our federal constitution. We might want to consolidate some of the independent Mexican states to reduce the amount of administrative overhead and cut down the number of stars we’d need to add to the flag. The Dems would love it. All those new voters to pander to.

  6. Hey, here’s an interesting question related to drug legalization!

    And it is: who owns my body? If one of you can prove that you do, then I’ll concede your right to dictate what I can or cannot put in it.

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