Viv Forbes, “Trapped in the dole queues,”
The Weekend Australian, April 19-20, 1986, p. 16,
as a letter to the editor.
SIR — The drug campaign will be a failure and a waste of taxpayers’ funds because it largely ignores the causes of the problem and concentrates on symptoms.
Most people turn to drugs to escape the lack of challenge, risk or purpose in their lives.
Picture the average youth in our over-regulated age.
Many are forced to fill in time at boring government schools with uninspiring teachers and irrelevant subjects. Others are passively riding the production line of some huge bureaucratic university in a course that was not their first choice, leading to a career that holds no excitement.
More again are trudging to the government dole office, rejected by the vital world of industry because of the job destruction policies of the Arbitration Court, the industrial commissioners, the unions and the tax departments.
The politicians have managed to convert a whole generation of hopeful Australian youth into spectators in the great game of life, trapped in a maze of dole queues, beach bumming and basket weaving. For too many of our young people, the eternal nanny in Parliament has taken all the risk and the life out of life. Is it any wonder that many seek excitement and escape in the risky, unpredictable and forbidden world of drugs?
Also, on the supply side, politicians have managed to achieve results precisely the opposite to those needed. In the vain hope of abolishing the drug trade, their restrictive and prohibitive laws have added the spice of danger and the lure of huge profits to drug taking and selling.
When will they ever learn that prohibition always produced black markets, crime, police corruption, high prices and big profits. Their stupid laws have managed to convert a mundane plant like Indian hemp into one of the most profitable cash crops in Australia. What we have is not a drug problem but a drug law problem.
So what should the politicians do?
First, reduce the demand for drugs by letting our kids and their families take control of their own lives. Let them study if and what they choose, let them work without government or union coercion, allow them to negotiate their own wages and live their own lives. Let them get their risks and their rewards from life, not from drugs and the dole.
Second, remove the huge profits from drug dealing by repealing all prohibition laws, except those preventing the sale of drugs to children.
Third, leave it to parents, churches and respected people such as Rev Ted Noffs to convince our youth to avoid the crutches of drugs. A costly program of political preaching is unlikely to convince anyone to forsake the fantasy world of drugs for the real world of the dole queues.
Tax Payers United
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