What are the top domestic problems in the USA? We can negotiate the order of importance, but I bet we agree on the list.
- Rising Net Cost of Living
- Border Enforcement
- Availability and Cost of Health Care
- Broken Families
- Failing Schools
- Increased Crime and Lax Law Enforcement
On his daily radio update, Bill O’Reilly offered a pretty simple and cost-effective solution to the problem list. Stop drug and alcohol addiction. It really made me think.
He listed the problems caused by addiction. The majority of homeless people, criminals, and child abusers are addicts. Half of unemployed men are addicted to opioids. The economic cost of accidents, mistakes and absenteeism attributable to addiction is gargantuan. Businesses can’t find workers. Medical facilities are overrun with sick addicts who can’t pay for their care. Kids with horrible home lives due to addicted parents have little chance to become successful adults. Street crime is way up and most of it is perpetrated by addicts. Families are destroyed by booze and drugs.
O’Reilly reported that ever since we started viewing drug use as a victimless crime, and addiction as an illness, our drug problem has worsened. Now with lax law enforcement and a wide-open border, it is out of control.
Clearly, many of our domestic problems would be solved, or at least greatly improved, if we had a way to stop addiction. But that’s impossible, isn’t it?
Not according to O’Reilly. He said after WWII when the Chinese communists made the use and sale of opium illegal and in some cases punishable by death, addiction was reduced from 25% to virtually zero. And he points out that Singapore’s zero-tolerance policies toward drugs has made that nation nearly drug-free. This proves that drug addiction is not an illness, but a problem that can be solved by policy and enforcement.
Many Americans blame our open border, the “supply”, for the drug epidemic. Obviously an open border along with no consequences for selling and using drugs is a recipe for disaster. But what if we were to attack the “demand” side of the equation?
O’Reilly calls for a law that requires apprehension and “confined rehabilitation” for illegal drug use in the US. The deterrence effect would be dramatic. With no drug cartels extorting wannabe immigrants and smuggling fentanyl and other nasty stuff into our country, the border would become pretty manageable. And with drug overdoses and other drug-related illnesses down, some medical facilities could be converted to rehab lockups. Reduced crime would have a lot of benefits. Whole departments, like the DEA, TSA, ATF and others could be eliminated or merged, largely replaced by a drug enforcement and rehab agency with some real teeth.
Hmmm, a healthier, safer, more productive country and (bonus) a leaner, more functional federal government – Bill O’Reilly, I think you are on to something.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
I caught you knockin’ at my cellar door
I love you baby, can I have some more?
Oh, the damage done
I hit the city and I lost my band
I watched the needle take another man
Gone, gone, the damage done