Saturday, May 02, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2889, May 2nd, 2015




Last night at Blogfest I got into a discussion with a few people about the drug problem here in Luzerne and Lackawanna County. One individual said that the reason why it was so prevalent was because there were low wage jobs around here and they did this to support themselves.
On the drive home I started to think more and more about that and started to ask myself, a liberal Democrat a few questions.
The recent arrests on the West Side started me wondering about the very policies liberals have always espoused. Aren’t there programs right from childhood that are designed to give individuals a leg up? Aren’t there a multitude of job training programs out there that give people a skill set to try to get honest work? Aren’t there supplemental rent and food programs that enable people to supplement their incomes no matter how meager?
The fact that I was told that the drug dealers need to commit a crime to support their families is laughable. Did the ethnic immigrants at the turn of this century, the majority come here and scrape and save to make later generations better? As a beneficiary of their struggle, I can attest to that. Surely there were criminal groups that preyed upon past ethnic generations and some took a bad path. But it was all about choice.
Drugs are horrible. Addiction is essentially an expressway to an early death. I was once asked that if I had a child who had cancer or a heroin addiction, which would be better? I replied the cancer because at least there were cures for it.
Jobs around here are like the tale of two cities. There are some doing very well and others who are not. A candidate the other night at the WYLN TV 35 Mayoral debates said that jobs are there for young people if they only looked. Really? Save for health care, or landing a political gig somewhere the most someone can expect is the low twenties (if they are lucky) as a starter position. Then there are the majority of working poor who live paycheck to paycheck. At a former place of employment I saw people loaning each other money until payday, a guy counting out pennies on his desk to get three bucks for gas and someone trying to sell a family heirloom to make rent that month.
Here’s the bottom line on solving the drug problem here.
1. Prosecute the users. Eliminate the demand and the sellers go away.
2. Stiffer, harder sentences. I’d rather build more prisons than have repeat offenders back out again.
3. Reform a social service network that stops them dead in their tracks those who have been on it for generations. (The folks in the CV article, well I have no knowledge of their lives so as far as I know that may or may not pertain to them.) Three benefits is the maximum.Then get on  your feet, or get arrested again.
4. Those getting benefits must show up at a community center to check in, get a work card and do something in terms of a community clean up. 
5.Any public housing that has residents that harbor “visitors” should evict that renter immediately.
6. Any parent of a child caught dealing drugs with more than two offenses forfeit the right to raise their children. They can get them back if they are clean after 36 months.
The very fact that now we are excusing drug dealing as a way to make ends meet is an insult to the generations who came before us, the honest hard working immigrants of today doing it by the book and working, the hard working poor who suffer from low wages because of incompetent and impotent leadership at our laughable Chambers of Commerce as well as those employers who look at the balance sheet every day and try to figure out how to keep and attract employees.
So that’s my response to what I heard last night regarding why people sell drugs. But I bet if my father were standing next to me at that event, he wouldn’t be tongue tied like I was having to think about my response. All he’d say to those selling drugs because they are poor and can’t get ahead is “Go to church and get a job.” But that would be politically incorrect. No less an authority than Barack Obama would call him on it.
It’s time to using common sense in our corner of the world.


At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is always a good thing to evaluate and re-evaluate programs and positions Yonk. You set a fine example and it reeks of common sense - which is also it's downfall.
Its hard to think about raising minimum wage while picturing your co-worker counting pennies.
I do not posit employers waking up with intentions of screwing their workers. They are required to be competitive in order to continue to provide the job. The employee must also be competitive in education and efficiency.
Wyoming Valley is starting to remind me of Baltimore. Under Democrat rule for as long as I can remember. Our poorest residents have gone from poor but hopeful to miserable and despairing. Govt programs designed to help them have expanded and metastasized.
The results have been employer flight, families and neighborhoods in various states of collapse, declining schools, and the increasing use of the liberal codeword: inequality.
The only thing that has prospered has been the public-sector and it's unions which have grown muscular, bloated, insulated, influential and virtually unmanageable.
Dealing drugs and criminal behavior have become a job category as well as currency.
I hope I'm wrong. Getting out of Dodge for the summer.

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Stephen Albert said...


For the most part I agree with your opinions, but not in this case, specifically the notion of prosecuting the users.

Why? Because we're already doing that...we've been doing it actually for few decades now...and all we have to show for it is a larger jail population (but still a drug abuse problem). It also stokes racial flames, because low-level poor & minority drug users end up being prosecuted and incarcerated at far higher levels than their wealthy counter-parts (such has noted dope fiend Rush Limbaugh, who lawyered his way out of doctor shopping charges in Florida by claiming a right which he has said doesn't actually exist...namely a right to privacy).

Do I have an answer as an alternative? No, but I know that throwing low-level users in jail is failing now, so doing more of it simply makes no sense.

- Steve

At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad you didn't get a law degree and become a judge.

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 5:21

You forgot that businesses need to make a PROFIT that balances the RISK they take. Hence its called BUSINESS not SOCIAL WORK.

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's just the way it is when you have a legal system rather than a justice system. It makes me think twice and save every penny I can. No, I don't do drugs but the IRS or EPA can do as much damage as a SWAT Team with a bad GPS.
Are we going to give up and just let the "users and dealers" run rampant and get even poorer by allowing drug use. NO! The rule of law and enforced "rehab" are all we got now.
Walk into any high school for 2 hours and you'll see what happens when you allow yourself to be overrun with infractions.
You arrest and prosecute all law breakers regardless of race, color, etc. If the numbers are skewed maybe it's reflective of the perps.
I read we have spent 22 TRILLION dollars since the 70s(?) chasing a solution to this stuff. Time to close the wallet.


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