IMO. It hurts the low income folks and means nearly nothing to the high income people. Yes, it draws some revenue from the underground economy but I would like to see data on that before I believe it's anything substantial.
What to help the the brick & mortar? Eliminate sales taxes entirely.
Right now, TODAY, there is great "abundance of freely-available high-quality addictive, destructive substances". No war on drugs? Please explain how we can make it more of a war. Torture suspects? Firing squads for convicts? Build more prisons? Invade another country? Do you really believe some sort of escalation of the war on drugs will decrease the circulation of illegal substances?
I've been friends with dozens of addicts/alcoholics. Friends & family. Many got clean, many died, some are still out there. I am quite aware of the damage done by substance abuse. Most of said damage is the result of alcohol abuse. Diverting the money wasted to treatment & actually decreasing the demand makes more sense than making even more of them criminals.
Here in Michigan the database of Medical users is supposed to be completely confidential, as far as that goes. Law enforcement is drooling at getting access to the database. They claim it is to avoid raiding the wrong home. Of course their first priority would be to be sure there are no leaks once they get access to it.
As much as I love some mushrooms, nicely browned in some butter or a dozen other ways, fungus has caused me never ending grief. They kill my tomato plants.
Septoria Leaf Spot, early blight, late blight, you name one, my tomato plants likely got it sometime. This past year was the worst, all plants dead by August. That is after using every possible prevention available. I may have found Interstellar more plausible than most. I've seen nothing new in years to combat blight.
This coming year I'm moving to a new community garden, one that hopefully isn't loaded with fungal spores. Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it. The new garden is organic only.
4G is all about fiber. That fiber infrastructure is built & maintained by these "land line union employees". Verizon wants to claim they need concessions because they are "losing money" on land lines when they are making billions.
My brother-in-law, now retired, ran a team at LAX (County Sheriffs BTW) that placed a cop (not TSA) right in front of the gate while a plane was unloading. The crowd would stream around him while he scanned for suspicious people. Once he saw one, that person was detained, searched, & if they had money, it was seized.
They did over 5 million in one year, as in 2010.
A "receipt" was given & if they could produce a paper trail for the money, it was supposedly returned. He claimed that no one ever carries large amounts of cash that's legitimate. He was quite proud of their work.
I've been reading about all these police incidents now for a few years & wondering if people realize that this is nothing new. The only new thing is the police are getting caught due to video recording.
I grew up in semi-rough neighborhood, had long hair & hung out on street corners, city parks, & stoops. That is what we did as teens & early twenties. Cops would regularly stop & shake us down, search us, & rough us up now & then. Weekly.
Everyone knew that one smart remark would mean a real ass kicking. A number of times friends of mine were hospitalized for "resisting arrest". White cops, white kids, it seems that race was not an issue in my experience. It's either that a gun & a badge gives power the corrupts or maybe it's that perceived power that attracts that type of person to the occupation. This shit's been going on as long as there's been law enforcement, thousands of years.
Chris Rock said it best, if they cops gotta chase you, their bringing an asskickin with im. However, now days their violence is getting recorded for the world to see.
No. Term limits are not the way. Then the unknowns (usually moronic ideologues that won't govern) with the backing money take over. Look to Michigan for a good example. They couldn't govern their way out of a paper bag.
Will not. WONT. no matter what. EVER. fix our roads.
Getting private money out of elections is the only way to start. Want to know who is in charge? Follow the money.
"pharmacy of the developing world"? Maybe headed for pharmacy for the WHOLE world. I "know a guy" who's getting 6 months supply of a medication for 90% less that here in the U.S. It's cheaper than my insurance deductible & I don't have to bother with getting it filled every month.
Politicians don't even bother to pretend they represent their constituents anymore. Maybe Dems try to make noises that they do but then they don't. This country is being run by mega multinational corporations.
I saw the headline here on Techdirt & thought "hey, this was on This American Life just the other day...". Glad to see TD referencing the show.
This American Life is an excellent program. I download the podcasts & listen regularly on my commute. Their explanation of the global financial meltdown was the best explanation I ever heard. They covered patent trolling very well also.
Why would humans be the only animal that feels emotion? I was taught way back in grade school that emotions are what separated us from "the beasts". Happy, sad, humor, jealousy, anger, I believe most animals feel all of them. It's just very hard to detect in the animal kingdom.