Saturday, May 30, 2009

Legal, regulated, taxed?

Today, for a change of pace, I've decided I'm going to try to think of a list of things that I think can be questioned on moral grounds, or on the grounds of their social cost, but should be legal - since making them illegal causes more problems - but carefully regulated, and that are worth taxing to recover the full social cost of the enterprise.
  • Tobacco
  • Meat
  • Alcohol
  • Driving
  • Firearms
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Hunting
  • Sharp pointy things
  • Marijuana
  • Prostitution
This list is sorted by approximate increase in mortality caused by allowing them in the US, so far as I could tell. Prostitution is at the bottom, because as best as I could tell from the comparative statistics and studies, legalizing prostitution seems to actually reduce prostitution-related mortality. Curiously, it's the least lethal two at the bottom that are most often illegal in this country.

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