Amelioration of today’s drug problem requires Americans to
understand the significance of the 80-20 ratio. Twenty percent of
American drinkers consume 80 percent of the alcohol sold here. The
same 80-20 split obtains among users of illicit drugs.
About 3 million people — less than 1 percent of America’s
population — consume 80 percent of illegal hard drugs.
Drug-trafficking organizations can be most efficiently injured by
changing the behavior of the 20 percent of heavy users, and we are
learning how to do so. Reducing consumption by the 80 percent of
casual users will not substantially reduce the northward flow of
drugs or the southward flow of money.
Will-like, he ignores the real reasons we’re locking up so many people
(corporate greed), but he does get at the consequences:
Continue reading →
Local food is more than healthier, it’s even more than tasty.
It’s also local economy and local community.
In the U.K., small local shops are being replaced by big-box supermarkets.
A widespread argument for this conversion is that consumers get
Peter Wilby wrote in the Guardian 3 May 2011 about
why that’s not good enough:
Even the “good for consumers” defence of the big stores requires
scrutiny. Supermarkets may offer mangoes and kiwi fruit as a blessed
relief to generations who recall the surly greengrocer grunting “no
demand for it” when asked for anything out of the ordinary. But the
option to buy locally grown produce is increasingly closed off; many
varieties of English fruit disappeared long ago. Supermarkets stock food
not for its taste, but for its longevity and appearance. Conventional
economists count numbers, assuming that a huge increase in toilet roll
colours represents an unqualified gain to the consumer. They neglect
more subtle dimensions of choice.
The central issue, however, is whether “what the consumer wants” should
close down the argument. What people want as consumers may not be what
they want as householders, community members, producers, employees or
entrepreneurs. The loss of small shops drains a locality’s economic and
social capital. Money spent in independent retail outlets tends to stay
in the community, providing work for local lawyers and accountants,
plumbers and decorators, window cleaners and builders.