Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Failure of Internal Wars

This post is about two internal wars our federal government has undertaken on in the last fifty years -- the war on poverty and the war on drugs.

The war on poverty was invented by Lyndon Johnson with the intent to eliminate poverty in this country -- a noble goal. There are multiple problems with the premise. First it ignores human nature. When you give people something for nothing they do not appreciate it and abuse it. Second the government has to administer the program. As soon as that happens the bureaucracy becomes the objective. Government workers main job is to keep their government jobs -- not to care about what they were hired to do. Third on the list of negatives is that money the government spends is taken out of our economy, thus less job creation and fewer opportunities to get out of poverty. As for success, there is none. In 1964 the poverty rate was 27% and now it is 29% and climbing.

The war on drugs is similar. It was instigated by Richard Nixon in a speech to the United Nations in 1971. The press jumped on board and invented the phrase war on drugs. This has been just as successful as prohibition was to get rid of alcohol, but we still have not come to our senses yet about the drug ban. We changed our laws to make drugs harder to sell and distribute. What that did immediately was drive drugs further underground, which makes illicit drugs more expensive and puts more people in the drug business to manufacture more drugs. On the social side of the drug war, we put a lot of sick people in jail which makes them more committed to drug use and better criminals.

Will someone please get the federal government to stop helping us.

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