Thursday, April 06, 2006


Drug Commercials

I remember that it went something like: "this is your brain...this is your brain on drugs(frying egg). Any questions?"

Just recently I saw another commercial about this very underinflated girl and her best friend. The best friend was complaining to someone (I guess other kids) that her friend (who appears to be "high") is no fun anymore. Apparently all her friend does is sit around and its like boring and junk.

One question: Why do you still hang out with her then? Why is she still your friend?

This advertisement shows the absurdity of the current anti-drug prohibition. Apparently drug use (specifically marijuana) causes idleness and unproductive activity (laziness and sloth). So what's the point exactly? The problem stems from a commonly held economic fallacy that an individual's decision to not maximize productivity is some how a "drain" on society. That these sort of idle and potentially self-destructive activities are negative externalities associated with the underproduction of goods and services and a decline in overall GDP.

This problematic assertion regularly comes up in the smoking and obesity debates. Moreover, this fallacy could only be true if there was no such thing as self-ownership and if there were currently no private markets where varying levels of productivity were rewarded with varying levels of compensation.

What are some other problems with these commericials and the current drug policy?

Oh yes, let's not forget to thank the current propaganda machine called the Ad Council for much of this misinformation. They have done an excellent job over the years -- almost as good as the public schools!

For your entertainment: some well known public service announcements.

Solid post. I also hated it when someone tried to figure out how much productivity "we" would lose from the ACC or NCAA basketball tournament.
I never thought about it Chris, but I think you're onto something. This commercial's entire argument against drug use is based upon the bourgeois work ethic.

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