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A Modest Proposal
(Title from an 18th century essay by Jonathan Swift)
by Bill Tope

Some critics of wearing masks contend that their freedom is being abridged, that the government is insinuating itself where it clearly does not belong.  If they want to risk Covid-19, then that is their right; not that they believe in coronavirus anyway.  It was all a lot of bunkum, created by the bleeding heart Democrats to scuttle Donald Trump's reelection campaign.  It also serves to regiment Americans into a mindless army of zombies, obedient to anything the deep state wants them to do.

With this vein of thinking I heartily agree: it's every man for himself. (Women, on the other hand, know their place). Moreover, I would like to track a parallel line of thinking on another timely issue: heroin and other hard drugs.  I am part of a cabal of Concerned Citizens whose goal is the legalization of these unfairly maligned substances.

Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and PCP are ideal commodities for today's fearless entrepreneur:  they boast a steady supply, a ready market and dependable word-of-mouth promotion throughout the United States.  Drugs are progressive commodities in that the longer one is on them, the more likely they are to become addicted; users then progress to larger amounts to get the same high, and onto more serious, "heavier" drugs at still greater expense.  The customer will then pay progressively more, for less product, over time.  Sort of like cigarettes or alcohol.  I mean, thirty years ago a pack of cigarettes cost around 50 cents; what are they now, nine bucks?  And the minimum wage back then was about $3.25 and has only roughly tripled since then.

There's heavy pressure on lawmakers today to decriminalize marijuana and to even make it legal, on a federal level.  Beautiful!  If it's legal, pot will get the hell taxed out of it.  You see, if the government gets a cut, then the "vice" is nice.  In Illinois this year, tax collectors gleaned more than $300 million in taxes from recreational marijuana sales.   Same with gambling. Gone are the days when the "numbers racket" flourished underground; today you can stop at Quick Trip and get your fix.  And you can bet on sports teams on your cell phone.  Who needs Vegas?  Forty years ago, proponents of gambling said the profits would go to education.  And so they did.  But rather than supplement the funds the state ordinarily set aside for education, they stopped budget allocations for education and relied on the lottery alone to fund the schools.  So students got zero additional funding.  And lottery profits went into the general revenue.

The way I see it, hard drugs can be treated the same way:  rather than allocate state monies for the state's share of Medicaid, rely on the HC-PCP tax.  On a positive note, the same drug addicts who overdose can be treated by a health plan that they directly contributed to.  Is this a great idea, or what?

Originally published in Children, Churches and Daddies.