Massachusetts Ballot Questions, Answered

Here’s the latest polling I could find:

Hillary is going to win Massachusetts. The down ticket races are mostly uninteresting. The ballot questions, as is often the case, are where it’s at!

Text of the questions here.

An unbiased analysis, here.

 Question 1 — Slots – YES

“A fool and his money are soon parted.”

If you want to move money from your pocket, through a slot machine at -X% implied return, and into cities and towns, who am I to stop you?

Will this project achieve the lofty returns the “pro” group is touting? Probably not. Is it immediately accretive to the state’s coiffeurs? It sure is.

Vote yes to accept tax donations from willing gamblers!

Question 2 — Charter Schools – YES

This one needed its own post, here.

Question 3 — Conditions for Farm Animals – NO

A solution in search of a problem.

The market is evolving rapidly. Walmart is going cage-free. Even McDonald’s is moving in this direction. Cage-free eggs are widely available, so if you’re passionate about this issue, you can buy them in most markets right now.

California is the only other state with similar regulations. Naturally, they now also enjoy the highest egg prices in the country.

Animal welfare matters, but there’s only one farm in the state of MA not currently in compliance with the proposed standards, which won’t be implemented until January 1, 2022. The real impact of this measure will be on egg imports. We’ll no longer be able to buy eggs from out of state producers who don’t comply with this law, closing the market and raising prices. This is why there’s no opposition from local producers. They’ll enjoy higher prices with no compliance cost.

As is the case in California, this will raise prices. I love eggs. They’re an affordable protein choice that many people enjoy. By passing this measure, we raise prices without making meaningful change in a market that’s currently self-correcting. Lower income families will be disproportionately impacted by this unnecessary regulation.

Vote NO on 3.

More excellent analysis, here.


Question 4 — Marijuana Legalization – YES

Stop the madness… the “Reefer Madness”, that is.

The arguments against this are silly. You’ve probably seen the reefer madness themed ad with pot shops on every corner and a high school kid walking out of a store with a bong and a bag full of evil weed-related product. That’s a gross misrepresentation of what this law will allow.

If you’re not yet on the YES side of this, here’s your reality check:

It’s already 99% legal and widely available. This measure, while far from perfect (it should be legal, but not so heavily regulated and taxed), reduces crime and criminal earning potential. It has the potential to create massive tax revenue. The business exists. Demand is strong. This measure helps ensure that consumers enjoy a safer product with controls around the supply chain.

This doesn’t create an industry. The industry exists and is robust. It’s currently run by criminal gangs. Let’s put them out of business, enjoy some additional tax revenue, and finally accept the fact that marijuana is no more harmful than the cigarettes and alcohol that we’re all too happy to tax and regulate. Grow up — we dish out opiates like candy. Kids are getting into them. But you’re concerned about legal weed when no one overdoses?

As an added bonus, if you don’t want to smoke weed, you still won’t have to!

Vote YES on 4.

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