betiko wrote: BigBallinStalin wrote:
no, you haven't read my position corectly. what I said is that you really love chicken and right now given the price of chicken you can afford 18 pounds; if tomorrow price is divied by 10, you will probably buy 27-36 pounds of chicken. Also we are trying to see drug addicts as rational people, that's a fail!
Okay. Is a change in price the only thing that motivates people to change their current consumption habits?
it's not. but a lot of poor people buy little meat because they can't afford more, if they had all the money in the world there would be a break even point in their consumption. The break even point for drug users could be quite dangerous and excessive.
Other factors would be in the ballance of course, but after all rational factors would be difficult tu measure, but the more you consume the more you are addicted and so on.
Right, a "break even point." In other words, there is some unknown
quantity at which the felt uneasiness of not having a good is satisfied. Given a specific income, individuals allocate it and other resources among various goods at various quantities--depending on the prices of these goods and their proportional preferences for these goods. However their apportioning this income depends on the opportunity cost of each purchase. For example, if I wish to purchase $100 of cocaine (quantity = 100 grams), then my opportunity cost would be the value of whatever else I could have purchased with that $100 at the time of that decision.
The problem is that we do not know exactly the opportunity costs of these individuals, nor do we know their future changes in consumption given a price change. In other words, future subjective values can't be graphed. That's one of my points here, yet you presume that we do know.
Second, that "break even point" can already be attained by many individuals--even given a high price of the good they desire (e.g. cocaine in black markets). In order to afford the price, the individual would decrease expenditures in other areas (e.g. food, housing, whatever). So, this problem which you're concerned about is already occurring--even in the prohibition. One unintended consequence of prohibition is that these consumers will incur more costs (e.g. less food, housing, whatever) since they forego higher levels of consuming these goods in order to secure more income for paying that higher price of illegal cocaine.
With legalization, the price drops, and "the break even point" still remains, yet more income is freed up for other valuable uses
(more food, housing, whatever). It isn't always the case that people would consume MORE of the illegal drug. We should also realize that the freeing up of more income enables consumers to not reduce expenditures on non-drug goods. It's an additional benefit, thanks to legalization.
And, the problems of addiction and misuse can still be addressed even with drugs being legalized. Certain drugs can become "over the counter," and/or new research into previously illegal drugs can allow for innovation. For example, maybe we could develop cocaine without the harmful side-effects---thanks to their production and testing being legal, as well as being open to a much larger market.