Why Poorer People Can Afford To Get High

2583 words - 10 pages

"To abstain from the enjoyment which is in our power, or to seek distant rather than immediate results, are among the most painful exertions of the human will" (Senior 1836:60). Divulgence for recordation of leisure necessitates overlooking stereotypes to ultimately develop new faculties of thought and analytical tools in attempt to maximize social benefits while minimizing undesirable social costs. Without thought, it is easy to justify drugs are cheaper for rich people because rich people have a larger supply for capital, thus making it easier for the rich to consume illegal drugs. In order to prove the preceding assumption untrue, one must economically and empirically evaluate the current implications and interpretations of leisure, drug prevalence, demand of euphoria, and shadow prices with the incorporation of the popular theories of addiction to demonstrate illegal drugs are in fact cheaper for poorer people than for rich people.To understand drug consumption’s benefits and costs, one must first assume most recreational and habitual illegal drug consumption occurs in ones leisure time as a source of entertainment. Tibor Scitovsky helps define entertainment and leisure in his article “The Desire for Excitement in Modern Society.” He first defines entertainment as “the sensation due to the increasing arousal of the nervous system that accompanies the process of being stimulated when the stimulus is fairly strong—strong enough to pose a challenge or threat and so demand one’s active response” (Scitovsky 128). The assumption drug usage is a source of entertainment, however, is only a sufficient condition of entertainment because one’s utility can be satisfied though many aspects of one’s life without drugs: education, employment, family, friends etc. Moreover, Scitovsky assumes the optimal level of entertainment is the midpoint between undesirable boredom and overwhelming excitement (Scitovsky 128).Accordingly, Scitovsky has assumed leisure time has economically evolved into a goods-intensive consumption pattern that requires a lot of consumption skills and leisure time. Furthermore, our newfound economic security has provided people with a sense of social security that enables a higher demand for consumption of exciting goods to replace the boredom (Scitovsky 129). Scitovsky classifies these types of consumption patterns as giving us either pleasure or comfort. Pleasure consumption generates satisfaction through the stimulation of the intellect or enrichment of ones faculties (Bianchi 396). Focusing on the latter, comforting consumption is intended to alleviate pain or discomfort (Bianchi 395). Many addicts will attempt to satisfy their demand of comfortable consumption through a drug induced escape of reality.With an interpretation of leisure satisfied, one must now attempt to locate the owners of the scarce and abundant resource. Steven Landsburg in his article “The Theory of the Leisure...

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