The common good may require limits on the freedoms of its most intelligent and capable members. The stupid ought to be able to count on a certain level of protection from the sophisticated. I say this as someone who is really smart in certain areas, but quite stupid in others. As I’ve written before, a real estate agent who was selling houses like hotcakes at the height of the bubble told me that people who had no business buying houses were taking on 30-year mortgages for $400,000 homes. They not only could be talked into buying far, far more home than they could afford, they often would not consider anything less than a big, expensive house. This was their shot at the American dream, as they saw it. This real estate agent had a bad conscience about selling houses to people she was sure would default on them (“Some of these home buyers are one paycheck away from not being able to make their note,” she said), but what was she supposed to do? This is what the customers demanded, and the banks were ready to lend them the money. These customers could not hear what this scrupulous real estate agent told them about the dangers of this kind of risk. In a previous era, bankers would not have allowed borrowers like this to take on that kind of risk — would have, in other words, protected them from themselves.
Sullivan did not:
Does David really think we cannot have a reduction in pot use under a rational legalization scheme? Didn't he just note that alcohol use - far more dangerous to society and the individual body - has declined thanks to social pressure and government information programs? As have drunk driving incidents? Did we have to make alcohol illegal to achieve these gains? Of course not.
Responses coming soon.