Against AB-418 (California, 2023): Taste The Rainbow

In February, the California legislature introduced Assembly Bill No. 418 (AB-418), legislation that seeks to expand the state Health and Safety Code. The amendment would ban the sale and production of edible goods containing Brominated vegetable oil, Potassium bromate, Propylparaben, Red dye 3, and Titanium dioxide; by January 2025.

This bill has gained national attention for prohibiting one of the constituents (Titanium Dioxide) in the popular candy, Skittles. Mars’s use of the ingredient sparked controversy last year. In Thames v. Mars, Inc, the U.S. District Court of Northern California dismissed the complaint. Mars claimed they would stop using Titanium Dioxide in their Skittles candies in 2016. The proposed consumer protection measure is likely a response to candy manufacturers not following through on their publicized commitment.

AB-418, like all consumer protection legislation, is well-intentioned but misguided. Prohibiting certain chemicals in food products is unnecessary when market mechanisms can guide producers accordingly. If consumers are concerned about the hazards of ingesting compounds targeted in the bill, they will choose not to purchase these products. In turn, companies like Mars will respond accordingly to market pressures.

Consumer Sovereignty Can Lead the Way

Consumer Sovereignty is the concept that “…consumer preferences determine the production of goods and services..”; any competitive firm will be responsive to the needs and wants of its customers. If candy consumers are truly troubled by Skittles containing Titanium Dioxide, they will stop purchasing Skittles (other brands impacted by AB-418). Mars will then respond to the dip in sales by accommodating the preferences of their customer base by removing this substance from their products. If consumers are still buying Skittles, we can assume that they are not bothered by the fact, Skittles contains this chemical. Therefore, the implementation of a law banning this ingredient is unnecessary.

But beyond such a law is unnecessary, it also infringes upon the right to choose. An individual should be able to purchase and eat any variety of candy they so wish, even if it is injurious to their health. California’s prospective law could ruin the skittles recipe and impact the flavor. Why should companies manufacturing processed foods be forced to meet such requirements if most consumers are indifferent to these health concerns?

Product Differentiation Can Voluntarily Steer Consumers 

Product differentiation is where a firm highlights the attributes of its products or services that set them apart from its competitors. Mars’s failure to fulfill its 2016 commitment is not a reason for more regulation; but a golden opportunity for competing companies to acquire more business. Competitors can either emphasize in their branding that they do not use Titanium Dioxide or voluntarily reformulate their products. Firms placing such a focus on product quality will provide a signal to health-conscious customers; such tactics can persuade candy consumers to switch brands.

The process of product differentiation can also present an opportunity for mainstream candy companies to create multitiered product lines. They may have products containing the same artificial ingredients that compose the Skittles recipe but also offer an ultra-premium line of candies made with more natural ingredients. Such an offering accommodates concerned customers by providing a “healthier” alternative to the original mass-market product, creating a niche market for consumers willing to pay more for quality.  

Government Intervention Will Only Lead to Moral Hazard

The state of California banning specific food additives will give the producers and consumers the impression that the ultimate responsibility of ensuring safety will be on the government. This perception can create perverse incentives for firms and customers alike. 

This situation will generate what is known as a moral hazard. Moral hazard is the phenomenon where “..people tend to take more risks when they do not bear the full potential negative consequence..”. Since the government took full responsibility for determining what substances are safe to consume in food products, both parties are willing to take more risks.   Producers will be little incentive to provide above-average safety quality with their edible products because California will be the ultimate authority making this determination. Because government safety standards only provide minimum standards, they will only meet the bare minimum. Firms may hold higher safety and cleanliness standards when subject to profits guided by consumer preferences. Why? Because companies may want to increase customer loyalty by aiming to exceed their current food safety expectations. In contrast, the minimum mandated criteria imposed by California, firms will have no reason to adopt more stringent standards because there is no profit incentive to exceed government standards. Consumers will credulously accept the lackluster effort on the part of candy producers simply because they have the government seal of approval. 

The government prohibiting certain food additives also generates moral hazards for consumers. If the government parentally informs you what substances are safe through legal restrictions, why do you need to do any additional research? Many people believe that products are wholesome because they are legal. But do local, state, and federal government base these determinations on sound medical research? Not always. Health and safety legislation, like other policies, can be subject to the influence of various interest groups hoping to shape regulations to their advantage (regulatory capture). One analogous example is the labeling requirements for genetically modified food because these mandates have little scientific justification. Yet, these requirements continue to be aggressively supported by coalitions that stand to gain from this regulation.

Bootleggers & Baptists LXVII- California Banning Skittles (Taste the Rainbow)

The case Thames v. Mars, Inc (2022) filed in the district court of Northern California, brought to light safety concerns regarding the ingredients of the popular candy, Skittles. Thames alleged that the fruit-flavored candies contained “..contain titanium dioxide (‘TiO2’), a known toxin..” which Mars claimed they would phase out of using in their products back in 2016. The plaintiff listed several California consumer protection measures justifying their suit against the candy maker. But in the end, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his claim against the company.

However, the concerns of Thames have not been ignored by the state of California. As the state legislature proposes AB-418 (2023-2024), which seeks to amend “SECTION 1. Chapter 17 (commencing with Section 109025) is added to Part 3 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code, CHAPTER 

17. Food Safety to ban the use of Titanium dioxide in food products by January 2025. But keeping the Bootlegger and Baptists (1983), who benefits from banning Titanium dioxide as an ingredient of edible merchandise?

The company under fire (Mars) is the true beneficiary of the soon-to-be California law. Why? A company like Mars (arguably the largest candy company in the world) has the resources to accommodate the regulatory requirements imposed by California lawmakers. Mars can (at little cost to their profits) substitute Titanium dioxide for a legal ingredient. But smaller candy producers may not be flexible and will go out of business due to these new requirements. Therefore, Mars a silent Bootlegger in this scenario.

Bootleggers & Baptists: LXVI- DeSantis, Liquor Licenses, & Christmas Drag Shows

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has recently drummed up some controversy last week when he revoked the liquor license of Hyatt Regency Miami for hosting a Christmas drag show displaying sexually explicit performances. So, what was the controversy? Not all of the attendees, were over the age of 18 (per the State Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation complaint). [1]. The DeSantis administration in Florida has expressed normative concern about insulating children from “lewd” content. Per the State of Florida’s grievance:

“…As a result, minors attended and were knowingly admitted into the Show by Respondent, including children appearing less than 16 years of age. See Exhibit 5. 9. During the Show and in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age, performers appeared on stage wearing sexually suggestive clothing and prosthetic female genitalia…”

However, viewing this situation through the prism of Bruce Yandle’s Bootleggers and Baptists (1983) framework, who benefits from this decision? Anyone familiar with the city of Miami knows that the city has no shortage of bars and restaurants licensed to serve alcoholic beverages. While DeSantis and those working for the state of Florida may be our Baptists; it is evident that bars throughout Miami are the Bootleggers of the Hyatt having its liquor license pulled. Why? Because alcohol sales equal more revenue and business. Some patrons might even avoid venues that do not serve alcohol. Other local venues stand to profit handsomely from the loss in the competition since alcohol has the highest markup of any item on a restaurant or bar’s menu.


1.) We cannot rule out the possibility of partisanship in this policy decision. It is not evident that if a father brought his 16-year-old son to a female strip club (colloquially known as a “Titty Bar”) DeSantis would have reacted with the same amount of gusto. However, considering the implicit partisanship of the American “culture war” it would be fair to suggest that California Governor Newsom would more harshly penalize the “Titty Bar” over the Drag Show. The inequitable application of the law based on the ideological leanings of elected officials is an unfortunate excess of the current American political climate.

Why Liberalism is Worth Pursuing

Photo by Quang Anh Ha Nguyen on

Liberalism has not failed but has never been fully pursued in public policy. True liberalism, classical liberalism, is the Lockean philosophy that protects natural individualistic rights or negative rights from the authoritarian restrictions of government fiat. But in contrast to the current perversion of liberalism in the form of Progressive ideology that seeks to expand the breadth of state authority purportedly in the name of equality. The regulations we assume are legitimate conflict with true liberalism by giving the state more power to interfere with private affairs. Sincere liberalism protects private property rights, individual liberty, and economic liberty from the coercive tentacles of state intrusion, even if these measures yield equitable results. It may be reasonable to assume liberalism has failed when filtered through the prism of Progressive thought, but this is not true liberalism. Actual liberalism allows individuals to pursue their happiness without the restrictions imposed by contemporary liberalism.

Bootleggers & Baptists: LXV- Randy McNally, TN LGBTQ Laws, & Political Optics

Trafalgar Square – gay rights protest by Chris Allen is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

The current controversy surrounding Tennessee Lt. governor Randall McNally is a boon to the Left-wingers in this political climate amid America’s “Culture War”. He has tacitly supported several laws that the Human Rights Campaign believes targets the LGBTQ+ community [1]. Notably, SB0003 (2023) which places restrictions on drag performances, has been a hotly debated topic on editorial pages coast to coast. Why has McNally’s stance on Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation recently come under fire? McNally has recently interacted with a gay social media figure liking several sexually provocative posts, creating a gap between his political positions and his personal opinions. The TN Lt. Governor has expressed; that his replies were misinterpreted and did repudiate the perception that he was anti-LGBTQ, but never stated that he wasn’t a homosexual [2].

In the context of Bruce Yandle’s Bootleggers and Baptists (1983) framework, who benefits from these laws regulating sexuality and gender? We don’t need to look too far to see who the Baptists are, clearly the Conservative (most likely religious) lawmakers, because they are enacting these laws in the name of morality and the wellbeing of the youth. McNally himself is probably the most salient beneficiary of these laws. Why? Since he either sympathizes with the LGBTQ community or is a closeted member, he can easily refute any association with this enclave of sexual minorities within the state by pointing (free-riding) to the laws he implicitly endorsed. The optics of McNally not appearing to be openly pro-LGBTQ is imperative in a staunchly conservative state like Tennessee. If his open support is off-putting to state voters, he might as well kiss his cushy seat in the state house goodbye.  


  1. This essay is merely an application of Bruce Yandle’s coalition model and is not a commentary on Tennessee state laws, McNally, or the LGBTQ+ community.
  2. Interesting observation, but speculating about the nature of McNally’s sexual orientation is slightly outside the bounds of my analysis. 

Bootleggers & Baptists- LXIV- Section 230 & Gonzales v. Google (2023)

The debate on reforming  Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act (1996) is one of the few issues in US public policy that has bipartisan support. Both parties have different objectives for abolishing or amending the law. Conservatives want social media platforms to be regulated as common carriers, to avoid the “censorship” of conservative users[1]. There may be some veracity to the claim of social media bias towards conservatives, since 35 % (the highest percentage of any other ideology polled) of participants identifying as “strong conservatives”, in a survey conducted by researchers at the Cato Institute, have experience having content penalized by social media companies. On the other hand, liberals challenge the status quo of Section 230 on grounds that social media firms are not sufficiently blocking the dissemination of misinformation. Despite their conflicting interests in reforming the law, both parties form an “odd bedfellow” coalition for Section 230 reforming. Making the bipartisan zeal for change an example of a Bootleggers and Baptists (1983) coalition.

What is Section 230

Many readers may be wondering what Section 230 is. Section 230 was the 1996 amendment to the Telecommunications act which has been dubbed by the media as the “.. 26 words that created the internet..”. These twenty-six words state:

“…(c) PROTECTION FOR GOOD SAMARITAN’ BLOCKING AND SCREENING OF OFFENSIVE MATERIAL- (1) TREATMENT OF PUBLISHER OR SPEAKER- No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider…” (p.101).

This section of the law insulates platforms from being liable for the content created by users. Effectively, there is a certain degree of rent-seeking implied; by this immunity, this privileged separation between the platform and the user is the proverbial glue that holds the internet together. Message boards, social media platforms, pornography, video-sharing websites (YouTube), and even blog-hosting websites would not exist without 230. These protections provide platforms with the incentive to be more permissive with what they allow users to post. If users find the content moderation from current social media applications restrictive, a world with this section nullified would be even worse. Freely allowing users to post any content they wish; would be a costly risk.


Gonzales v. Google (2023)

The public debate over Section 230 is now coming to fruition in the form of two twins (based on the same facts) in Supreme Court cases. The first case Gonzales v. Google concluded the oral argument on February 21st,2023. The facts detail how the father of Nohemi Gonzales, Reynaldo Gonzalez, a U.S. citizen killed in a terrorist attack (2015) orchestrated by Isis in Paris filed a lawsuit against Google. Gonzalez asserts that Google (the parent company of YouTube) was complicit in the attack for YouTube’s algorithms leading users to terrorist recruitment videos posted on the platform. The next day after the attack, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a YouTube video. The district court dismissed Gonzales’s claim against Google based on Section 230 and the court of appeals affirmed. The U.S. Supreme court granted certiorari on October 3rd, 2022.

In the oral argument, the attorney on the side of Gonzales, Eric Schnapper, argued (p.17) that Google so much didn’t fail to take down the content, but actively encouraged it through their algorithms. Schnapper implies that driving viewers to such content is outside of the scope of Section 230[2]. However, in the process of questioning Schnapper, the Court was seeking to determine if Section 230(c)(1) applies when platforms utilize “targeted recommendations” predicated on “..information provided by another information content provider..” The verdict is still pending on the case; only time will tell what the fate of Section 230 will be.

Twitter, Inc. v. Taamneh (2023)

In the twin case for Gonzales,  Twitter, Inc. v. Taamneh, was only argued a day apart from Gonzales (02/22/23). The facts of the case were a copy-and-paste of  Gonzales, but the scope of the argument was to determine if Google, Facebook, and Twitter were liable in the context of anti-terrorism statutes. Per Oyez:

“…The district court dismissed the claims based on aiding-and-abetting liability under the Anti-Terrorism Act, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed…”

The court was attempting to validate whether the above-listed platforms assist terrorist organizations by not having an extensive prevention plan (in the context of 18 U.S.C. § 2333 ). Also, the SCOTUS attempted to answer if “..internet platform whose services were not used in connection with the specific “act of international terrorism” that injured the plaintiff still be liable for aiding and abetting under Section 2333..”.

Bootleggers & Baptist Analysis

While the SCOTUS deliberates on the future of Section 230, it is still worthwhile to evaluate who truly benefits from reforming this law. The bipartisan support for amendment/abolishment of this law; makes this determination a close call. The assignment of the role of Bootlegger and Baptist can be determined by ideological preferences, like in the scenario of Qualified Immunity reform. In the name of objectivity (for the sake of positive analysis), one faction within this coalition has more to gain than the other. While liberals get to cloak themselves in the robes of the white knight saving us from misinformation, this pales in comparison to what conservatives have to gain from overturning or revising this law. Social media platforms have an obvious left-leaning bias; conservatives are disproportionately penalized for their content. If social media companies block conservative content, right-wingers gain substantially through having more forums for disseminating their ideological message.

However, it would be shrewd to warn conservatives about pursuing this end too aggressively. This is the conservative version of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Why? In the Masterpiece case liberals were hoping the court would rule in favor of violating the rights of the bake shop owners by legally forcing them to bake the gay wedding cake. Thankfully, the court ruled in favor of the bake shop; but making liberal social media platforms host conservative posts is just as transgressive as forcing right-wing Christian bakers to make gay wedding cakes. Firms operating in the private sector; have the right to exclude users for any reason they deem fit. It is frequently unwise to discriminate against platform users, but that is the Firm’s prerogative. If conservatives cannot see the irony of this inverted scenario, I am at a loss for words and can only believe that such obtusity is the byproduct of partisanship.


1.) There is a wide variety of views from conservatives on how they desire to reform Section 230 reform. Ranging from a tear-it-down methodology to a moderate approach to amending it. In his article Section 230—Mend It, Don’t End It, Klon Kitchen, former Director at the Heritage Foundation recommends an amendment strategy over abolishment. 

2.) At many points in the oral argument, it appears that Schnapper fails to convey a convincing argument upon further scrutiny from the Justices. Schnapper obtusely justified culpability peripherally through JASTA. Justice Sotomayor calls him out on deviating from the initial complaint of YouTube being derelict for failing to remove ISIS videos when at oral argument, he shifted to claiming the algorithms were the issue (p.19-20). She further prods at the veracity of the claims of YouTube aiding and abetting ISIS; when the algorithms on their face are neutral and not tailored to support explicitly pro-ISIS videos (p.25). Justice Thomas also struggled to see how “inaction” ultimately led to “aiding and abetting” (p.33).

How Women’s Day Validates The Strategic Depth Theory of D&I

The below corporate communication only validates The Strategic Depth Theory of Diversity and Inclusion. Why? Superficially, this does appear to be a sincere effort to address the Gender Pay Gap (I am not entirely sure this does exist because several confounding variables are muddying the relationship in this perceived correlation) between men and women. To critique the below screenshot, let’s assume there is a notable difference in compensation by gender and that it is a systemic issue. This may be merely a thinly veiled attempt by the executives to engage in social rent-seeking (Tullock, 1967).

It may appear on the surface that the firm that produced this below electronic message, companywide, is socially conscious. However, it may be cheaper, in the long run, to articulate this messaging and implement corporate initiatives to increase compensation for female employees than to whether ligation and bad publicity. Both are difficult to calculate but can have a devastating effect on the company’s bottom line.

D&I measures can be labeled as a form of rent-seeking because these programs shield the firm from ligation without any direct benefit to their customers (analogous to lobbying). Instead of improving the products and services (R&D, employee training) offered to the customers, these programs reallocate resources to internal initiatives that yield little external economic productivity. D&I programs are merely the new façade of what was previously known colloquial speak as  C.Y.A  policies. Corporations use these programs to discredit ligation or to deflect accusations that they condone a hostile work environment.

Bootleggers & Baptists LXIII- The US Tiktok Ban H.R. 1153

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

The Chinese social media app TikTok is currently in the crosshairs of U.S. lawmakers. Representative Michael McCaul (R., TX.) has proposed bill H.R. 1153 that confers to President Biden the authority to ban application in the United States. On Wednesday (03/01/23), “..the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee..” approved the bill; however, per Reuters:

“…The fate of the latest measure is still uncertain and faces significant hurdles before it can become law. The bill would need to be passed by the full House and U.S. Senate, which is controlled by Democrats before it can go to Biden…”.

The bill still has a few bulwarks to clear before becoming law. The content of H.R. 1153 justifies the prohibition of social media applications on the grounds of national security concerns. The bill cites “..espionage action..” from data collection, election interference, and the use of algorithms to target content to promote the interests of the Chinese government. There may or may not be any veracity to these concerns.

In the context of a Bootleggers & Baptists (1983)  coalition, who truly benefits from the United States restricting TikTok? Our Baptists in the effort to ban TikTok are the Republicans. This is not an endorsement of the political party; but an objective acknowledgment that a national security argument could be considered moralistic.

Now, this begs the question, who are the Bootleggers? The most obvious answer would be competing social media platforms, but these firms are tangential actors in this scenario. If American-based social media companies conspired with Republicans in the house to propose this bill, that is next-level four-dimensional chess. A more likely situation would be that the Democrats are the real beneficiaries of the nascent stages of outlawing TikTok. Why? If a politician’s objective is to retain their seat in office, then Democrats have a lot to gain; because Gen-Z is the largest constituency of voters who use TikTok. An estimated 60% of all TikTok users are members of Generation Z. Only to up the stakes, the fact that Gen-Z is more likely to vote for Democratic candidates.  Since Gen-Z also is the majority of TikTok users, pandering to this patch of voters through opposition to the ban is imperative.

Outside of Democratic politicians, there is an additional agent(s) that could stand to benefit from the direct fallout from H.R. 1153, and that is the ACLU. There is the possibility that the organization spoke out against the bill for reasons of ideological leanings (left-wing proclivities), but it is more likely the ACLU desired positive publicity. The ACLU is an organization that defends civil rights, publicly denouncing the proposed law as a threat to the First Amendment and perpetuating its public image. More positive publicity may entice donators to give more to the nonprofit and assist them in furthering the ACLU’s advocacy goals.

Why The Zombie Drug Should Remain Unscheduled

The emerging street drug “tranq” is dubbed the “zombie drug” due to leaving users with open sores and a disoriented gait. Tranq, better known to veterinarians as Xylazine, an animal sedative, has been making its way into batches of illicit opioids in cities coast to coast. Xylazine is currently not a scheduled narcotic, but there will be calls from public health officials, law enforcement, and the public to criminalize the use, possession, and sale of the substance. An early example is the Illinois legislature’s proposed bill SB2089 which amends the state control substances act to recognize the additive as a Schedule I controlled substance (“no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”).

The horrific images of the carnage created by the drug are enough to provoke calls to have it criminalized. But such outcry for reactionary measures to reduce the presence of Tranq on the black market is misguided. Not only does expanding the scope of our failed five-decade War on Drugs will end up only harming society. Here are some reasons why the sale and use of Xylazine should not be prohibited.

It Would Justify Prolonging the Drug War

The budget for the National Drug Control Program agencies in the fiscal year 2023 is a staggering $42.5 billion. It is estimated;  trillions of dollars as been squandered on the Drug War in total. What has gotten with this exorbitant multi-decade expenditure? It has done little to stifle the progress of drug cartels. The illicit drug trade remains immensely prohibitable, yielding “..estimated annual revenues of between $426 billion and $652 billion..”. By the government’s admission, the cocaine supply remained steady during the pandemic; the supply of heroin and fentanyl remained high. In addition, the black market for methamphetamine has expanded to regions of the United States where the drug has traditionally been scarce. The excessive expense of the war has done little to curtail the exponential increase in drug overdoses over the past 20 yearsalmost 75 % of all overdoses in 2020 were opioid-related. Any cost-benefit analysis would indicate that the Drug War has been a colossal failure, dedicating more time and resources to combat newly prevalent street drugs, even if one of the side effects is rotting flesh.

Placing another intoxicant on the Schedule I list would only expand the scope and authority of law enforcement agencies. The civil liberty violations perpetrated in the name of this paternal public health crusade would continue. Examples include civil asset forfeiture (four states have abolished this practice as of 2021) and the controversy over no-knock warrants (which violates the knock-and-announce rule in Common Law). It chilling to contemplate the innocent lives lost due to such aggressive tactics (exacerbated by the militarization of the police during the 1980s) to enforce drug laws. Many innocent people have died due to such procedures; high-profile examples include Rev. Accelyne Williams and Breonna Taylor. Tranq is not an excuse to continue the failed, costly, and unjust policies of the Drug War is irrational and irresponsible. All of this is for criminalizing voluntary exchange between consenting adults!

Treatment and Harm Reduction Are More Effective Than Jail

The rate of recidivism is high among addicts for violating drug laws. The observation that treatment has been more effective and less costly than incarceration has been enduring. As long as the possession and use of addictive drugs remain illegal, addicts will fear seeking treatment and medical attention. The legal system operates as “a barrier to treatment”(due to fear of legal penalties). The use of dangerous substances should not be encouraged; removing the legal penalties would relinquish the stigma. After Portugal decriminalized drugs in 2001, the number of addicts in treatment increased by 147 % between 1999 and 2003. Although Tranq is currently an additive to opioids, it may become the preferred drug of abuse on the streets (e.g. the shift from heroin to fentanyl). If Tranq is the future of addiction in America, we should not erect legal barriers discouraging addicts from seeking treatment.

Even if stringent penalties are enacted to prevent the use, sale, possession, and manufacturing of Tranq, people will probably continue to ingest it. Since Tranq is more potent than fentanyl and creates oozing wounds, harm reduction initiatives implemented by private organizations might be a better way to manage this crisis. The success of needle exchange programs and safe injection sites in reducing the prevalence of bloodborne pathogens from intravenous drug use would apply to the Tranq epidemic. But also providing on-site wound care would help reduce the onset of infections and the need for amputation.

Prohibition Will Only Make Tranq Worst

Consumer demand drives all markets, including those for illegal products. Enterprising chemists synthesize novel substances to exploit loopholes in drug laws. A decade ago, the media reported on the dangers of bath salts (synthetic cathinone) and synthetic cannabinoids (K2). If Marijuana and Cocaine were never outlawed, neither compound would exist. Both substitutes intended to circumvent U.S. controlled substance laws. Arguably, the pharmacological effects of both drugs are more harmful than the substances they imitate. If Tranq is placed on the Schedule I list, there is no doubt that clandestine labs will attempt to replicate the sedative. A molecularly altered variant of the drug may surface as means to evade drug laws, possibly creating a more deadly substance.  

Prisoner’s Dilemmas- XXVII- Moving From California to Texas

Many liberal states have high costs of living due to the high rate of taxation. Many living in the localities of New York and California would want to move to a low-tax jurisdiction. However, there is a conspicuous Prisoner’s Dilemma (1950) between the state officials and the average resident of California. [1].

If California lowers its taxes, the current residents would be more apt to stay. Providing validation for the assumptions of the Laffer Curve. If taxation becomes too onerous, the state/ provincial government will lose money.

The reward for Mutual Cooperation: R= 0 

Punishment for Defecting: $8.8 billion (Lost revenue for CA), 8,000 for the cost of moving 

from CA to TX

The temptation to Defect: T= 26.8           

Condition 1:

· T>R>P>S

26.8+> 0>12,000> 12,800

Condition 2:

· (26.8+12,000)/2<0

· (12,026.8)/2 <8,000

· (6,013.40)/2< 4,013.40

= True PD because 6,013.40> 4,013.40


  1. A similar statement can be made about the people migrating from New York to Florida.

Friday Feature Film-Pierson v Post (Business Law Prof)

A recent article (2/12/23) from the Volokh Conspiracy made me think of this excellent video made by Enrique from Prior Probability. Back in November, Enrique referenced a blog post where he provided a written explanation of Pierson v Post (1805) in response to one of my blog entries.

However, after reading his blog entry, I searched for Pierson on YouTube; one of the top search results happened to be Enrique’s video.

Excellent work!!

Shapley Value II- Super Bowl Victors For the Past 3 Seasons (2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023)

Below are the calculations to tabulate the Shapley Value for the regular season performance of the Super Bowl victors for the past three seasons.

Instead of using the total number of wins, the PCT (Percentile): “…The percentile your performance falls within, graded against all other entrants in the game…”. Superficially, there does appear to be a correlation between # of wins and PCT averages. This is something we can conclusively validate at another time.