Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Every society has pressing issues confronting their citizens on a daily basis. With mounting concerns about our basic economy, why does America continue to ignore the staggering increases in their prison expenditures, burgeoning costs of gangs, and skyrocketing financial drag associated with illegal drugs?

Frankly, your Commander believes that we no longer have the leadership in our political parties with the spine, nor the will to address those three problems. They are destroying our society and economy as they are permitted to fester and grow. Additionally, I believe with my whole heart that some elected officials actually benefit financially from the proliferation of these three evils.

Throughout this torturously long campaign for our Presidency, I have not heard one word from any of the candidates espousing their positions on prisons, gangs or illegal drugs. I have been scouring the internet reading research on these subjects and the reports are frightful when you consider the number of people sitting unproductively and expensively in our prison systems. According to the Pew Center, 1 percent of our population sits in prison or 1 in 99.1 persons.

Gangs have grown from 1,730 in 1975 to over 30,500 in 1997. Gang membership has exploded from 55,000 in 1975 to over 816,000 in 1997. Can you imagine what the total must be now in 2008? We have had gangs for over 200 years and the problem has been permitted to exist and grow all that time. This is not just a big city phenomenon, but growing in small cities, too. Gangs have actually become a political force and politicians have benefited directly.

Illegal drugs are talked about and the Drug Enforcement Agency makes valiant efforts daily to stop the flow, but their success is hampered by the ACLU, liberal groups supporting looser drug laws, and an all too frequent permissive legal system. Drugs are illegal and all segments of government should enforce those laws, but some take a very permissive attitude. Drug money corrupts numerous parts of our society and actually props up several foreign governments.

Like so many other problems confronting our social order, America talks a good game, but does not actually do enough to effectively solve once and for all the causal problems. I believe these three issues have a direct inter-relationship and could be dramatically reduced, if some leader would have the guts and will to take a somewhat unpopular position. That policy would address the greater good and I believe America would support overwhelmingly just such action. I have not even addressed the negative dollar impact these three cancers have on our society, but were we to eliminate or even reduce the costs of our prison population, gangs and illegal drugs America would go a long way in reducing the budget deficit.

What I am addressing are three very complicated social problems. Many sub-causal influences must be simultaneously attacked. Education is the root problem directly impacting these three issues and administration after administration talk about solving education’s inadequacies by placating the teachers unions and throwing money at the problem. These policies continue to fail. Additionally, the disintegration of the family unit, failure to respect authority, and a lack of discipline can all be blamed as negative factors, too.

When I went to Google to secure research on these subjects I saw financial numbers that were staggering. We are not talking millions, but many billions that we are spending yearly, because we have not solved our obligations to eliminate or reduce prison expenses, gangs, and illegal drugs. The answers are not easy and very complex, but when will someone do something that actually delivers results. Your Commander is sick and tired of non-specific platitudes that get votes and not solutions. Where is the accountability? Why do we continue to permit growing expenditures and failure to prevail? You and I better answer those questions before it is too late.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing last night as McCain finished his speech- no one mentioned any of those issues, which did seem odd. Over the past few years of teaching in city schools, I have often raised the question with friends and family, "Why not make it illegal to be in a gang?" because as it stands now , YOU CAN BE IN A GANG, you just can't break the law. Laughable, right? I understand how free speech works, but gangs seem to cross over a line that I'm shocked is allowed. Aside from the shiners or something, what gang has ever done good?? And even with the shiners or the freemasons isn't that considered a club.. with things like permits and stuff? I don't know, but it outrages me that gangs are gaining in popularity and have been for my lifetime. I life for the day when pimpin' and swearing every other word goes out of style.
As far as the war on drugs, I was glad that wasn't brought up. I hope I see pot legalized in my lifetime. I feel that through the stats of other countries, when drug use is 'out there' instead of 'forbidden' people are actually less likely to use and abuse. I think when everyone starts condemning it, it becomes more glamorous.