There is something lacking in the present mindset and that is forethought. Individuals, groups, and nations readily give opinions and take actions without realizing the impact or preparing for the repercussions. Myopic is the best description of many visionaries today.
Let’s start with the issue of reducing carbon emissions. We have myriad groups attempting to slave the American economy to the idealistic theory that by our sacrificing power generation it will prove beneficial. The problem I have with this theory is it is juvenile. Do I start with supply and demand? By reducing the energy available, whether it be wattage for factories, gasoline/diesel for transport, voltage for homes, hell, coal for warmth, you are driving up costs. Not just at the pump, not simply via utility bills, but also in stores, hospitals, etc. That cost accumulates as it cascades through the economy. You need an MRI? Prepare to pump up the bill due to increased cost transporting medical product, powering the machine, adjusting cost of living wages for staff. Hungry? That food is going to not simply cost more due to transport but may also be limited as less, more expensive fuel will decrease shipments, farm machinery will not run as much…hell, some farms may close down due to added cost. All this leads into economic competition. With these added costs, our ability to stay competitive with countries such as India, China, as well as regions in southwest Asia will become increasingly diificult largely due to these areas neglecting environmental conditions in order to secure markets with cheap labor and even cheaper manufacturing. Si now we gwt into joblessness, price of living slipping out of reach, and potential revolution. The US has some of the toughest environmental laws on Earth yet we are being called on to cripple ourselves while the Greens keep silent on the fumes of the dragon and those lands wrapped in her coils. If government and individuals want us to change, they need to give us something to replace it. No civilization has ever willingly taken a step back in living standards. Why should we be the exception? You want us to step away from fossil fuels? Push to subsidize solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. Build a new infrastructure. A gradual shift would prove beneficial, create new jobs, and prevent an economic contraction. Sounds like a well-thought out plan, yeah?
Now let’s segue into the War on Drugs. This policy of criminalizing narcotics has proven an even greater and costlier failure than Prohibition. The difference was Prohibition’s failure was admitted to in a decade. We are entering our fourth decade of the DEA. Now it is understandable why drugs are viewed negatively. Crack and meth have decimated neighborhoods. But this shortsighted attack on drugs has not focused on what the real problem is and that is that the common drug user is self-medicating for a pre-existing condition. The War on Drugs is pouring cash into the wrong plan. Attacking the suppliers won’t disrupt the market as long as there is a demand. For God’s sake, you can watch reality programs that show the ease of purchasing drugs in any part of this nation. Like Prohibition, many thought outlawing the vice wiuld eradicate it. Stiff punishment always works, right? The problem is no one stopped to think of what the repercussions of these changes would have. Increased prisin population increasing costs to house drug offenders and users leading to a decrease in available funds for other projects. Costs to build a worldwide task force to attack suppliers whose investigations have increased police powers to allow for greater surveillance and less privacy while also, yes, taking funds from other potential projects. And should we takk about the cartels? The Mafia were nothing more than thugs with limited means before Prohibition. Once alcohol was made illegal, the mob leapt at the chance to compete in this wide open market. With the money to be made, they were able to build empires, stock themselves with weapons, and effectively steal de facto control over entire cities. The money helped foster corruption but so did a lack of respect for a law that many simply did not respect. Cops started arresting family and friends just for having a drink. That, coupled with an already ingrained habit, only served to gradually erode respect for law period. As people were being gunned down in the streets and the criminals bought out cops and politicians, the government realized the cancer they had created and excised it. The War on Drugs is far worse. Lasting longer, creating even greater criminal enterprises, it has seen entire nations overturned, funded terrorist enterprises, and turned neighborhoods in our own country into warzones. While the DEA trumpets victories we see thousands due in an unstable Mexico to our south, record drug use across our nation, and a deterioration of respect for law and order. The solution? Legalize drugs. You may think me insane, but the problem is already here. Simply outlawing drives the problem underground where nothing can be done. Like alcohol and tobacco, regulate it, tax it. Use those funds for rehabilitation programs and social programs that open new options to those who have none. The cost of the war being ended will return money to government coffers, legalization will decrease the prison population saving further money, and a law that attacks certain groups and communities will end allowing for the rift with police. People will seek help if they don’t have to fear the impact of their actions. Crime will drop as criminals lose a major source of revenue. See the importance of forethought.
Finally, the third world. Firstly, fuck Bono. The man is a conceited narcissist who does not understand the issues of the third world save at the most basic level. Yes, they are poor. Yes, they are hungry. Yes, there is war and sufferin, AIDS and despair. It’s a conflagration but you won’t put it out by dumping money into the fire. If you want to help the third world, you have to help them do it themselves. By shipping free food to feed the masses, you wreck their domestic agricultural sector. By giving money to their corrupt governments, your only supporting the despots who have more to gain keeping their citizens in a perpetual state of turmoil. And don’t even dare try to vaccinate as many refuse western help on principal due to colonial memories, do not trust our intentions, do not believe in our medicines due to backward superstition, or don’t want the stigma of revealing AIDS status. You want to help these people? Stop eroding their work ethic by offering free food and aid. Why work if you can count on someone else just giving it to you? Use microloans to help foster indigenous business. Create favored trade status to help them build that economy. Focus on schools to educate, aiding their ability to create entrepreneurs, to realize their worth and develop a voice against those who would abuse them, allow them to emerge from this lost era in potential. Don’t give them the solution. Give them the tools to fix the problem. They aren’t children. They don’t need support. They need opportunities.
This is the problem I have with people today. So many speak and act without stopping to gauge the effects that would follow. Every action is a ripple. Do you know what you’ll be stirring?