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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Libertarian Marshals Police Salary Data On S.F. Chronicle's Site

Starchild, 1998-2000 Chair of the San Francisco Libertarian Party, provides a steady stream of commentary (RSS feed here) in the lively user comments sections of the San Francisco Chronicle. This, along with media coverage of his pro-freedom activism, keeps his name in front of voters should he again run for supervisor or school board trustee. This morning he published a comment on a story about the ineffectiveness of San Francisco police efforts to stop drug dealing. In it he documented the $185,063 compensation of the cop who the Chron quotes as admitting "It really doesn't matter what's being sold".  Starchild's comment:

Government enforcer Jim Miller of the SFPD makes an extraordinarily frank though probably unintentional admission in this article:  "The kids don't see whether it's cocaine or a pill - all they see is some drug dealer across the street selling drugs," he says. "It really doesn't matter what's being sold - it still has the same impact on the kids."
In other words, if the unlicensed neighborhood entrepreneurs (aka "drug dealers") were selling lemonade or carrot sticks, it would have "the same impact on the kids" as long as the kids didn't see precisely what was being sold.
It's good for the public to hear even a police officer confirm that witnessing drug selling on the street doesn't harm children any more than seeing anything else sold on the street. The more people hear this message, the faster we can bring some sanity to the drug laws, reduce the violence caused by prohibition, and save billions of dollars a year in stolen taxpayer money in the U.S. alone.
But, you may be wondering, if they realize the impact of black market street sales on the children is the same no matter what commodity is being sold, then why are members of the "black-and-white-car gang" concerned about these sales?
Consider for a moment what it means for children to grow up in the presence of unlicensed economic transactions without suffering any harm from the contents of those transactions. This means they are growing up with the knowledge that it is possible to peacefully coexist with people engaged in such entrepreneurial activity.
If most members of the next generation understand this by the time they reach voting age, armed government agents like the wealthy Lt. Miller ($185,063 total salary in 2008 -- see http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/01/09/sfpay2008.DTL&appSession=181113415448937) no doubt worry about the impact this will have on the public's respect and support for the laws criminalizing these activities: "If that respect and support disappear, what will happen to my high salary, my job security, my lucrative benefits?"
We the public may be confronted with the question of whether some of the money saved from following the Constitution and ending the huge expense of arresting and prosecuting people under unconstitutional and illegal drug laws should be used to fund job training for unemployed police officers and prosecutors, or whether all the savings should go toward helping their millions of victims, the legions of people wrongly incarcerated, fined, and/or otherwise penalized for the political "crime" of putting what they chose into their own bodies or helping others do the same.

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