Drugs and Perception: A Damaging Precedent

The question of law enforcement in the modern decade has been one of how someone may change an ultimate behavior. Yet, it is often not realized the effects that a series of modern precedents- from endless anti-drug campaigns to the all-out war on drugs- has had on our culture. We’ve absolved ourselves from making reasonable judgements about the balance of personal choice and personal health with drugs such as Marijuana and others. We take all too easily the excuse that under the government’s wings, all will be made better. Perhaps it isn’t easily confronted, but the truth is simply that this is false. Government has proven in the Prohibition declaring a war on an idea and incurring massive spending, deficits, and enroachements on the rights of individuals does not work to serve any of the goals it might have initially had, and moreso detriments it. Drugs are made more profitable in trade by the illegal nature of their transporation, high demand, and cheap production. These three variables create an equation that leads to simply a perpetual cycle- one that doesn’t help any party.

We’ve allowed a precedent to be set that states such government policy is not only beneficial, but it is an attatched moral imperative of the state to enforce and the populace to support. Having any measure be the sacred policy on whose support determines one’s faith in their own ibdividual values of patriotism is an extremely dangerous sentiment tooperate under, let alone pass government legislation under. If anything, a government under the influence of it’s intoxicating authoritarian precedents is more dangerous than intoxicated individuals.

These all have other effects not just on how we view statistics, but how we collect them in the first place. Studies on Alchohol show differences in comparison to the legal age, 21, in comparison to earlier ages to show the effect of alchohol abuse. Instead of reinforce the science behind the effects of alchohol, such studies and the many like them in all other drugs simply don’t serve the point. When we change what we consider moral imperative, social changes occur. If anything, these moral imperatives must be much more determined by the individual rather than the collective of society at the hands of government interventionism.

A Battle Isn’t Won If It Isn’t A Victory

A battle hasn’t been won if there is no victory. If this stance were presented to politicians in Washington, who seem to walk off self-satisfied at “helping” the issue.

As Ron Paul said so greatly in many of his interviews, What if doing nothing is the answer? We must get past the idea that government not involving itself in an affair is akin to government being inefficient. Government is not entasked by the Constitution to plan the market, nor to make consistent intrusions into the rights of individuals. Government does not secure liberty by intervening on the grounds reserved for individuals. It seems a common practice, almost an awkward compromise, for both mainstream parties to raise spending and not be intent unless pleasing the crowd, only to detriment our liberty. The truth is simply, they are doing nothing helpful.

Abolish the Minimum Wage

It’s been espoused for a long time that the establishment of a minumum wage is among the regulations and central policies of the government that protect employees. However, the truth is quite the contrary.

Any businessman, whether in the largest corporation or in a small business, will tell you labor is one of the, if not the single largest expense. It is natural that companies will have to be flexible with their expenses, and cannot take a loss on any investment, including on workers. Enforcing a minimum wage not only impairs the ability of companies to complete measures to make internal economic decisions effectively, it impairs the competition of wages on the market which serves the prospective employee. Let’s say an employee’s potential work for a company produces less than the minimum wage. To believe that companies would hire said person as an employee is fallacious. A company will not hire the person, and will fire one who ends up producing less than the minimum wage. The company is given no option in adapting it’s wages, and ultimately has to resort to other measures. None of which help unemployment. Want to know what makes the situation worse? Raising the minimum wage and the threshold.

Why Economic Protectionism Encourages Special Interests in Economic Policy

One of the more popular calls of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been to ask for greater economic protection to supposedly re-start job growth domestically. However, the often forgotten fact in the matter of economics and amongst the popular cries is history. For reference, we need not look father than the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1929.

Enacted as initial policy after the stock market crash at the insistence of advisers and on the initiative of Hoover, the intent was for the tariffs to support agricultural workers. However, what might have begun as a small tariff to yield productivity became a dogpile of special interests. Dependence of the tax and market planning soon got the attention of every industry, and soon roughly 200,000 products were included in the largest series of tariffs in American history. Not only did the failures of such government intervention lead to further economic challenges, but the situation of the globe brought on what might conservatively be described as a trade war. At the time, European farmers held a surplus of agriculural goods, keeping prices low on imports into the US. However, prices raised after the series of tariffs on imports. Soon, European countries enacted tariffs in retaliation, causing both imports and exports to fall drastically. The loss of market hurt many businesses, and far from secured job growth.

Using History as precedent, we should realize the same is true in the modern day- putting the weight of price fixing and monetary manipulation and shutting down free trade in the name of short-term job security leaves the bureaucracy open to even more bureaucracy, and influence from all sorts of industries at the detriment of the market. If it is one’s true goal to “keep money out of politics”, one must first keep government out of the economy.

The Fallacy of Moral Protection

A variety of authoritarian advances, whether made in malevolence of benevolence, have been justified under the ever-present moral imperative of protection. Whether it is the fear of a truly free market full of power-abusing corporations, concern that not expanding the rights of law enforcement will leave us open to terrorism, or the personal moral imperative shared of parents to their children,¬† this moral imperative is derived of one thing, a proven very powerful motivation- fear. Parents are constantly baradded with concerns of under-parenting, and eventually many will assume any form of under-parenting is neglect. People will assume any law enforcement activity is for the greater good, or certainly the good when compared to the alternative of terrorism? Authoritarianism and the moral imperative of protection go hand-in-hand and are easy judgements to make. Not only this, but protection is an authoritarian’s greatest possible justification, because it can so be applied sensationally and can wean out any alternative thought, diluting the moral principles that might have been held before.

It was Benjamin Franklin, a founding father and great mind, who stated that those who opt for security in exchange for liberty deserve neither. Liberty was never an easy resort, and true individualism has always been an idea that has struggled to gain hold. It is not to say there is any level of intelligence of different societies, but that societies are compelled by moral imperatives to associate intelligence with the greatest justification of the status quo of the day. We need not look farther than the criticism of independent candidates by moderate supporters of the status quo to make the fair assessment that¬† the constant moral imperatives of authoritarianism can cloud another party’s message. Fear is a dangerous tactic- one that has been used to drive the worst of prejudices in the world, and one that has justified endless abuses of power, manipulations of society, and grievous acts even when subtle.

In summary, authoritarianism relies on moral imperatives. Without these drives to action, authoritarianism might actually be seen for what it truly is- an abuse of power, and a manipulation of liberty.

 

 

The Death Penalty and Nonviolent Crime : A Vice of Government Authority

It has been a valued concept of government that those held in the eyes of the law will be innocent until proven guilty. No doubt, many will justify the death penalty by stating it’s use is reserved for those committing the most greivous crimes, and to serve as a degree of resolve. While indeed the death penalty’s use in certain situations may serve the argual moral right, the mindset involved creates a dangerous situation that focuses more on the label of ‘guilty’ than any moral or legal basis. That government should not only have the authority to terminate the life of one of it’s citizens, but that it may one day take advantage of a scenario wherein the defense of the accused, of individuals as charged, becomes second-hand to the comfort felt by condeming one as guilty. Defense attorneys, as well as the reasonable establishment of criminal rights, play a vital role in the justice system. What we must all ask ourselves, is if it forms the moral right to invoke a situation that does not help prevent damage and abuse to victims. Crime and law has greatly expanded to an extent beyond the repariation of damage. We ruin the fiscal standing of individuals based on the ownership of media or other aspects of individual choice, such as drugs. The war on drugs has redirected law enforcement from
focusing it’s resources on damaging crimes. Repetition follows in our law enforcement system: for instance, laws again drunk driving expand the law against individuals when the already existing legal procedure and harm of reckless driving serves the better place to enforce our resources against crime and ultimately to serve the best interests of the accused and the victims, in the present and potential future.

As much as many may state the death penalty and expanded “tough on crime” protocols protect us, they leave our criminal resources scattered and send government spending beyond it’s reasonable level. No, this does not represent giving up. And with all due respect, endlessly spending on something to try to do right shows nothing of a solution. The death penalty keeps criminals, who may not even have committed the worst offenses, on an expensive and lengthy path for law enforcement. We can no longer make excuses at the detriment of crime that actually exists. Such expansions given in the name of protection are a vice of government authority; they do not serve justice and neither the continuity of individual liberty.

A Memorandum On Government Authority

It seemingly has been the thought of the many that government is the route of service to the people. The traditional first civics lesson is the union of programs and their operation. When focus on reform is brought to the table, the good old system dictates the creation of more programs, more spending, more taxes. It has been, for far too long, the belief and dependence that government is the best to depend on. Yet, as much as it may seem, the history we have seen of government is far from reassuring that government is the optimistically reliable object for dependency and service we are led to believe.

As our reward, initiatives to see government expand itself to the point it harms the poor, to see government grossly violate the rights of the individual, the rights of the opportunistic free exchange of capital and demand in a free market system, that the government would violate contracts rather than secure them, that government would violate the laws of economics in robbery of economic future, that government now has determined that it has the right to make moral decisions for individuals, gives one a view of the long case, the long memorandum on the case against government authority.

While it may be popular to support the status quo, to reject the memorandum of government authority as mere fearmongering, we should but ask ourselves if it serves the long-term.

The fact is, government should serve the economy, not business. Government should serve individuals, not the powers and abuses that serve bureaucracy to only complicate the system and little serve the reason for their existence.

It is the initiative of change, for betterment, for society and the long-term and recovery, that the status quo must not only be challenged, must not only be reviewed, but must not be given the security of “sacred” protection. Nothing is “sacred” in government as long as problems need serious action.