Friday, May 17, 2002

Bill O'Reilly

Needs a lesson in economics.

He writes, "A few days ago, a New Jersey couple in their early 20s sat down in front of an oncoming Amtrak train and were killed instantly. Authorities say the pair was addicted to heroin and spent thousands of dollars a month on the drug. Shortly before the suicide, the couple had been evicted from their apartment for non-payment of rent. Relatives say both individuals were in despair."

He continues, "So what about the people who sold the heroin to these Americans? What is their responsibility? Some will argue the pushers have no responsibility, that the users make the choice. But that is nonsense. If nobody sold drugs, there would be no drug problem."

Supply and Demand, Bill! Didn't they ever teach this basic principle at Harvard?

If there is a strong enough demand for something, there will always be a supply. The only way to eradicate the supply is to destroy the demand. And, sadly, there is still a strong demand for illegal drugs despite every effort of the government.

Bill goes on, "You may have also heard about little Rilya Wilson, the 4-year-old foster child in Florida who has been missing for 16 months. Rilya's mother is a crack addict. She had not contacted her child in nearly two years. When Rilya turned up missing, that despicable mother reportedly made noise about suing the state of Florida. It turned my stomach."

And then, "So what about the people who sold crack to Rilya's mother? Are they not partially responsible for the abandonment of the little girl?"

Nope. Call me old-fashioned, Bill, but I tend to believe that the welfare of this child is the responsibility of the mother of this child, not someone who engaged in a business transaction with the mother. If Joe Blow is a drunk and runs over a little girl in the street, who is responsible, Joe or the guy at the 7-11 who sold Joe that six-pack of Bud?

Look, drugs are bad. But as a society, we have to decide which is worse : People who provide a product to others who willingly spend their own money for the personal use of that product, or the State tossing all these folks in prison with hard-core murderers and rapists?

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