Mr. Nyhan makes an interesting point, one that has been bandied around for several years.

Remove the profit from illegal drugs, and the problem will disappear practically overnight. Gone would be the pushers. Gone would be the reason for their existence. Without the pushers, there would be fewer drug addicts.

The drug criminals have traded one narcotic for another–illegal booze for illegal drugs. Prohibition of alcohol in the early part of this century created a lively bunch of gangsters who would just as soon blow your head off as look at you. And prohibition did not stop people from drinking alcoholic beverages. Say “no” and the product becomes that much more intriguing. People were drinking rotgut booze, wood alcohol included, which caused some imbibers to go blind. Others had stills set up in their bathtubs. Hidden back rooms in business establishments kept people supplied with liquor at a hefty price, which they were willing to pay. Prohibition probably did more to encourage people to get started drinking than any other factor. There were plenty of “pushers” of booze around to drum up business.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt repealed the prohibition statute, the downsized booze criminals merely found another illegal product to make billions off of: drugs. And these drug lords would just as soon blow your head off as look at you.

So why doesn’t our government consult its own history to find the solution to the drug war? Could it be that our government is involved in the drug trade? That all these drug busts are only a smoke screen to help convince citizens that something positive is being done to curb the drug trade? And are drug busts with their subsequent prison terms just one more way to control the masses?

In 1981 Mayor Ferre of Miami, Florida, said:

“Miami is the only place in the United States that’s going to escape major recessions, and the reason — you really have to be honest about it — goes back to two things: the drug cash flow that comes in and impacts the whole community. And number two, the increased centralization of trade, commerce, and banking in Miami toward the Caribbean and Central and South America.” At that time, drug-smuggling was South Florida’s number one industry, even above tourism, and undoubtedly it still is.

If this idea of legalizing drugs would curb drug crimes, wouldn’t removing the profit from everything else have the same effect on all other crimes, except those of passion? With machines taking over jobs, crime can only increase if displaced people aren’t given some kind of security for themselves and their families. Who will purchase the abundance our technology can produce as the job market continues to decline? Who will pay the politicians their fat salaries when people are out of work and government tax income dries up?

It seems clear that our social problems are not political but technological. It seems clear that technological problems cannot be solved by lawyers, bankers and merchant chiefs, the professions that generate most of our politicians.

Our present economic system needs revision. For a new idea that has been around for over 60 years, examine Technocracy’s concepts on Energy Accounting. Remove profit, eliminate crime. Can it be done? It doesn’t cost anything to investigate a new idea.


Lois M. Scheel


Published in:

     Social Trends Newsletters, Feb. 1996, No. 144

This article is commentary on an article by David Nyhan of the Boston Globe. Permission to reprint to the Internet has not been obtained, so only Lois Scheel’s commentary appears here.