After spending $700 billion to bailout the banking industry (although apparently there's some shady business going on with that), now the auto industry wants a bailout too; in the interest of fairness, Obama supports this, I do not. Granted, he's more qualified to speak on this in his sleep than I ever would be, but I still have to disagree with it. I know it would be bad for the economy and could potentially leave four million people without work, but you know what? Nobody is going to bailout Circuit City employees.
Here's the deal - Ford, GM and Chrysler are in trouble because they've done nothing but present shitty cars that nobody wants to buy anymore. GM passed on the patent to the Hybrid car several years back because it "didn't make business sense" and now they're trying to tout how much they care about the environment with their SUVs that get a whopping 22 mpg! Yeah, let me know how that makes good business sense when gas goes back up to $5 a gallon.
We love to talk about free market capitalism, but when things get REALLY ugly, our government - Republicans and Democrats - go running right to socialism to save it. The Big Three have all been prime examples of what happens when you let greed and irresponsibility run rampant in business with absolutely no regulation and we can't keep giving these people the so-called "golden parachute." Let them all fail and let it be a sobering wake up call to any business that thinks the practices of the last thirty years - downsizing, slashing benefits, killing off pensions, etc. - is the way to run a business. Just a little fun fact to illustrate how out of hand big business has gotten - twenty years ago the average CEO earned about $35 to every employee's $1, today, they earn $475 to every dollar.
But it's pretty cold to just let all those people that depend on the auto industry to go without work, right? You're right, I'm way too liberal to just let these people fend for themselves, so let's put all those people back to work in a budding new industry - marijuana!
Yeah, I said it. While the American auto industry rebuilds itself to provide consumers with cars that serve a better purpose than compensating for men with small penises, all those people that are out of work can work in the marijuana industry. Come on, if we're going to get serious about fixing this economy, there's no better way to do it than the complete legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana. You might think I'm crazy, so let's go to tale of the tape:
That's how much money is spent per year in the War on Drugs by federal and state governments. Just typing the numbers isn't enough, so let me spell it out - forty-five billion dollars per year! That's almost double what the auto industry is asking for in their bailout. Now of course, not all of that is just spent on marijuana and there's no way I'm going to convince anyone to legalize all drugs (that would just make too much sense), but marijuana is the most widely distributed illegal substance, so it probably takes up a good portion of that $45 billion.
That's how much money state and the federal governments receive in tax dollars per year from tobacco sales. Some analysts say that if marijuana were taxed like alcohol and cigarettes, it could bring in at least $6 billion per year in taxes. Sounds like a lowball figure to me, tax it a little extra and get it into the tens of billions, people will pay... it's legal weed.
The number of people over the age of twelve that have admitted to smoking pot in their lifetime. Now imagine if it were legal and people didn't have to go to the ghetto or call their creepy dealer to get it.
If this were the Price is Right, that would be the estimated retail value of the illegal marijuana trade according to a study done by Jon Gettman, a pothead with a PhD in public policy and regional economic development. He estimates that of that $113 billion, at least $30 billion would go to the government in taxes... what could we buy with all that money? Some new schools, new roads, fix our failing bridges, and oh yeah - bailout the automakers.
Hey, if we're "going green," let's get serious - all this pot isn't going to farm, grow, distribute, and sell itself. And you know there isn't going to be one brand of weed - all those potheads you went to college with are going to start their own businesses and turn marijuana into BUDweiser, Miller HIGH Life, and Rolling Blunt. Think about how many people are employed by the liquor industry and think of how many people would be employed by the pot industry if it were legalized. It would be a billion dollar industry, boost sales for Frito-Lay and could totally save our economy... and even if it didn't, we'd all think everything was just fine anyway.