Around the New Year, many people resolve to cut back on “vices”. What’s nice about New Year’s resolutions is that the choice to cut back is ours. We get to decide if drinking or smoking is right, or moral, or not. That’s freedom.
But when government makes resolutions for us … we don’t have a choice. That's why I call tonight's show "Forced Resolutions" (FBN @ 9pm ET). It’s important to keep in mind that government is force. When government decides that we shouldn’t do something, bureaucrats enforce that decision with guns.
They use lots of guns to try to enforce their bans on certain kinds of drugs. The government says 20 million Americans used illegal drugs in the last month and that’s 20 million too many. Ann Coulter agrees. She supports that War on Drugs, so I’ll bring the libertarian argument to her tonight.
Some of her positions surprised me, but her main argument is that as long as America has welfare state, drugs must remain illegal; if they were legal, we responsible people will have to pay much more to take care of the slackers. Of course, that assumes that drug laws deter drug use--that many more than 20 million people would use--if drugs were legal. I doubt that.
I also reject the assumption that drug users are unemployed deadbeats, living off the taxpayers. The government's own statistics don't support that. According to the National Survey on Drug Use & Health, 20% of the unemployed used drugs in the last month. Most current drug users (70%) have full time jobs. Those rates are comparable to people who drink 5 or more drinks at least once a month--75% of which have full time jobs.
Catch the full debate, plus reaction from four libertarians -- Harvard economist Jeff Miron, blogger Megan McArdle, Cato's David Boaz, and radio host Larry Elder -- tonight at 9pm ET on FBN.