Just Say No ... More
by Jack Hunter
When America declared a war on poverty in the 1960s, it was believed that more assistance by the federal government would lead to eradicating the problem. What we got instead was bigger government and an army of dependents for whom welfare became not merely a helping hand but a way of life. And today, even though the government has done little to actually help the poor and has even made things worse, many still believe the war on poverty must continue by offering even more of the welfare that helps to perpetuate it.
When America declared a war on terror at the beginning of the 21st century, it was believed that massive intervention in the Middle East by the federal government would lead to eradicating the problem. What we got instead was bigger government both home and abroad and a new army of terrorists for whom the U.S. invasion of Iraq was their primary reason for joining Al-Qaeda. And today, even though government actually did nothing to stop the growth of global terrorism and even made things worse, many still believe the war on terror must continue by offering even more of the intervention that helps to perpetuate it.
And it is this same mindless, reckless, and fruitless government repetition that perpetuates America's war on drugs. Since beginning the war on drugs in the 1970s and escalating our efforts in the '80s, this battle has done virtually nothing to reduce drug use and has in fact created more battles. Writes Ethan Nadelmann in The Wall Street Journal, "Consider the consequences of drug prohibition today: 500,000 people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails for nonviolent drug-law violations; 1.8 million drug arrests last year; tens of billions of taxpayer dollars expended annually to fund a drug war that 76 percent of Americans say has failed; millions now marked for life as former drug felons."
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