Surely, when you were in your early teens, there was at least one other kid in town whom your mother, in no uncertain terms, warned you to steer clear of. “He’s no good, he’s headed for either reform school or prison, and don’t you are go around with him! Or he’ll get you into the same kind of trouble he’s in.” You’ve got to have heard that, somewhere along the way.
Listening to the news yesterday, I heard how New York and New Jersey and quite a few other states are racing to see which can be the next state to legalize marijuana. They all mean to do it as soon as they can. Why? Because the sale of pot will supposedly create a “revenue stream” for the state–just like it does for the pushers.
Also on the table is legalization of sports betting, so that the state will profit from people ruining themselves–but hey, we’ve already got a whole bunch of lotteries, and casinos, and–you guessed it–those are a “revenue stream”!
A few commentators are also talking about legalizing prostitution.
And suddenly it came to me. “The no-good delinquent my mother told me to keep away from, because you don’t need a bad companion–why, that bad companion is the freakin’ government! It’s the government wanting to lead people into drugs, gambling, and fornication.”
And man, they’re kidding themselves about those revenue streams. Wealth is created, in any economy, by alert, motivated people in the context of a strong and stable family, in a sane and orderly community. Wealth is not created by stoners who’ve pissed away their paychecks betting on stupid sports–and who have no families, only fleeting sexual connections and probably an STD or two. Wealth is used up by these losers.
So here’s the government volunteering to lead untold hosts of suckers into vice, all for the sake of a revenue stream that’s only going to be used up taking care of these failures when they crash and burn, or as they shamble pointlessly through life.
I am sure that, at least once upon a time, American governments wanted citizens who were sane, decent, and productive.
And now, it seems, they don’t.