Tuesday, September 16, 2008
THE GUARDIAN ran across some interesting statistics this past week and wanted to share them with you.
In the early 1970's two wars were declared: The War on Cancer and The War on Drugs. President Nixon was confident of victory in our time with these two high profile and high tax dollar funded war efforts. Here we are headed toward the fourth decade of these two wars and the statistics are pretty dismal.
If a war were killing 565,000 Americans each year, you would have heard a lot of noise about cancer death rates at the Democratic and Republican Conventions this past summer. Not a peep was heard about The War on Cancer. Reason, the cancer war has been raging and cancer is winning. Cancer is a disease(s) that destroys families and costs our economy $200 Billion Dollars annually in lost productivity. The facts are most cancers remain incurable. If you live long enough cancer will be the odds on health malady to take you out. We spend about $4,500 per year, per person in this country on health care and are about 41st in the world for longevity for all this expense.
Next, we have The War on Drugs. The cost of this war is about $40 Billion a year. Costs of drug related incarceration amount to $30 Billion with $10 Billion for enforcement and prosecution efforts. The war on drugs has been nothing less than a complete failure. As we head toward the fourth decade of this war, we have more availability of a wider variety of drugs with higher strength than ever before. Deaths from drugs are more than twice as high per capita in this country as they are in places like the Netherlands where drugs are openly sold (and taxed). Makes you wonder what would happen if we simply declared victory in this war and made them legal and taxed them like all other "sin taxed" commodities.
You can pull up the statistics on these two wars with little effort via the Internet. The numbers are sobering and depressing at the same time.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 10:11 AM