Band-aids don't save lives

Alternative Column: The role of the Iowa House of Representatives is now the same as the opioids they claim to be fighting. Opioids are pain killers that treat symptoms. They do nothing to stop disease.

I had a surgery years ago that had a painful recovery period. I had to make several calls for refills on my prescription, all within the time the pain was expected to last. Apparently, the powers-that-be thought that if I was on the phone to the doctor enough of the time I wouldn't become addicted. Another interesting thing was that the dosage was limited by the amount of Tylenol in the pill, not the narcotic. Tylenol damages the liver. The narcotic, however, while not damaging to my body, was useful as a villain to foment support for meddling politicians.

Readers of this column might remember that I was once familiar with heroin addicts. I saw them shoot-up. I saw them stumble out the door and throw-up on my compost pile. It was sad to see people's lives squandered in this way.

I talked with them. They were people too. Some dope addicts quit, usually when they hit rock bottom, never when they couldn't get the illegal drugs.

The disease is the idea that everything is dependent on something other than ourselves. Thomas Jefferson said, "As government grows, liberty decreases." As liberty decreases, so does carelessness; a symptom of big government taking over our lives.

Retirement income, medical care, and education are now someone else's responsibility. And if we are drug addicts, it is because the legislature and law enforcement failed to nurture us properly, like little babies. Drug addicts take dope because they want to feel good right now and the future will be taken care of by someone else.

Do we really want to stem the tide of opioid deaths? Or should we be satisfied with the token Band-aids offered up at the Statehouse.

The Harrison Act of 1914 started the drug dependency nanny state. After 103 years we have gang violence like the Al Capone days. Mexico is a killing field where cartels are enabled by our policies. Disputes in the drug trade can only be resolved through murder because legal channels are off limits. Expensive militarization of law enforcement has nothing to show for it. Government policy withholds medicine from those in need. They obey the law. But it fails to keep it from the abusers. The politicians puff out their chests and say they are "saving lives."

The damage that drug abuse does to society is against the law already. Laws that attempt to engineer society are redundant and dilute the proper role of government. They substitute authority for personal responsibility. Society's ability to reason is atrophied.

"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools," Herbert Spencer.

One hundred-three years of drug war and you have to wonder, 'What if the money spent there and on the welfare state that spawned the immediate gratification culture, had simply been left in the hands of the people who legitimately earned it?' Earning money is how we prove our value to others. Wouldn't these people be the ones most likely to be productive with their earnings?

A shift from treating symptoms to treating disease is long overdue. Maybe, like the addict who hits rock-bottom, all these overdoses will inspire us to kick the big-government-as-nanny habit.

A huge law enforcement and corrections industry is dependent on the government's social engineering scheme. It is a war that we don't want to win because individual effort has been dialed out of our minds. Big government overreach is too complicated a villain for politicians to explain to voters if they would try to return personal responsibility to the people. The Band-aids will have to do unless the real villain, big government, is attacked by its unwitting victims.

Any opinions on this column are welcome at 4selfgovernment@gmail.com or through a letter to the editor. The blog is updated almost daily at www.alternativebyfritz.com. Try it. You'll like it.