The US has been fighting a quixotic war against drugs for ages now, focusing on tougher penalties for both dealers and users and targeting the supply in a global game of cat (e.g. DEA) and
mouse bigger cat(e.g. drug dealers). The only things which have been accomplished are hollow political “victories”, a huge expenditure of public money and an epic waste of limited police resources. A persistent suggested alternative is to legalize drugs (and tax the sh*t out of them) since they don’t hurt anyone but the user anyway and most of the violent crime related to the drug trade only exists because it is illegal. It might also counter-intuitively reduce the use of drugs. Cigarettes have had so much sh*t taxed out of them that their use has been declining consistently — see it works!
Why stop with cigarettes and drugs? Everything illegal should be made legal and have the sh*t taxed out of it.
Suicide? Who does it hurt but me? Let me do it whenever I get that feeling, but be sure to tax the hell out of it. This is called turning a cost center (all the government expenditure associated with oppressing consumers who want to enjoy some suicide in the confines of their own home or the public’s bridges) into a huge profit center.
Murder is a crime and a horrible thing….but at what price is it a great deal for the Government? I work in a high stress environment and I would pay a tax to let me kill a homeless man with a shiv when the blood urge compels me. A human life has an assignable dollar value — tax me that value for taking one. This would better allocate murderable resources with murder demand.
Plus think of all the job creation which could come about! A whole new industry would be created because in order to collect the tax revenue generated by legalized crime, you’d have to be able to account for it. Governmental life valuations agencies, third party appraisors, a whole new subindustry would have to be built to support this initiative, leading to job creation.
Recommendation: This concept is still in the infant stage, and we are working internally to see how this can best make Government provide greater freedom and greater choice to its citizens.
Editor’s Note 10/31/2006: This is in state of revision due to constructive reader feedback, bear with us as we make this idea better and basically make it work.