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Libertarianism vs. common sense.

Dave Seely in his letter to the editor ("Libertarianism," November 13, 2006) makes the case that just as the free market self-corrects, so would vice (self-inflicted harm) self-correct if left unchecked, and so vice laws aren't necessary.

He considers the so-called "war on drugs" a complete failure because, even though billions of dollars have been spent and our jails filled, drugs are easily available thanks to an elaborate black market. He claims the "economic cost and the moral costs of freedom would be far less than that of government intervention," i.e., the government war on drugs.

I am assuming he is advocating the legalization of drugs. Under such a plan, the idea is that legalization would mean the costs of drugs to the user would plummet, thus reducing crimes committed for stealing to buy drugs (because supply would skyrocket to meet demand). If a person destroys himself, so be it. The only person being hurt is the drug user. This is my take on Mr. Seely's message. If only that were true.

There are social and health costs too numerous to enumerate here. What about young people who are too immature to realize what they are doing to themselves when they take drugs? Lives are completely ruined in many cases.

Also, the fact is that there is no real war on drugs. If we wanted to eliminate the supply of drugs to this country, like Singapore and Arabia have accomplished, simply make the risk/reward ratio too great to even consider getting in the business. When your head is on the line, all of sudden things look different.

Plus, not all market corrections are a good thing. Take the rental market here in Orange County. Starting in the mid-'90s, because of a huge influx of immigrants, most of which were and are illegal aliens, an influx that continues to this day, rents started to escalate and are still rising.

Supply-and-demand economics would project that an apartment-building boom would take place to absorb the new immigrants and a rental stock shortage would soon abate and rent rates would level off and then come down as housing stocks increase. It didn't happen. Orange County is out of land. The remaining land for apartments is being used for three-story luxury apartments and now even high-rise condominiums. So what has happened is that greedy landlords discovered that these Third World immigrants were and are willing to double and triple up in their apartment, thus increasing the income available to pay the rising rents. Most landlords look the other way as to how many are actually occupying their units.

For native Orange Countians who refuse to live like a Third World immigrant, they have had to just find a way of paying the huge rents, or leave the area totally, which many have, my daughter included. Single people cope by bringing in roommates. In 1996, average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in OC was $800 per month. That same apartment today is now renting at $1,500 per month! This dilemma was caused by uncontrolled immigration, which Libertarians advocate.

RICHARD AVARD

Costa Mesa, California
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Title Annotation:LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Author:Avard, Richard
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 19, 2007
Words:520
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