Things We Should (Probably) Do That Might Sound Ridiculous
Today’s essay should piss off of lots of people.
Eureka! At least I’ve found one thing I’m good at.
Let’s talk about things that are practical, but seemingly ridiculous. In other words, let’s discuss some crazy ideas that actually make perfect sense, but which are unlikely ever to be taken seriously let alone adopted by mainstream society.
Here are five things (probably) worth considering:
1. Drinking and driving should be permitted.
Drinking while driving rarely creates problems. The trouble happens when people drive after drinking. Right now, just about anyone who’s reading this could do a dozen shots of tequila while simultaneously operating a motor vehicle. Half an hour after the binge, you’d probably arrive safely at your destination. Fact is, alcohol takes time to run its course through the digestive system, to be absorbed into the blood stream, and ultimately affect motor skills and judgment. A driver who hasn’t taken an alcoholic drink all day who then consumes a few beers within 30 minutes poses essentially no risk to anyone. Two shots, same thing. Even 12 shots, no danger. Drinking while driving isn’t the problem. Driving after drinking (to excess) is the problem. Doesn’t this make most driving and drinking laws nonsensical?
2. Make all illegal drugs free and give addicts all they want.
Admittedly, illegal drugs cause enormous problems in society. But most of these problems are related to crime, which occurs when addicts can’t afford to support their habits and then turn to petty theft and even acts of violence. If the government were to set up free dispensaries nationwide for addicts and let them fry their brains out, most of the rest of us would be far better off — in the long run. The crime rate would plummet (free drugs for junkies means no reason to commit crime). Half the prison population could be set free (no drug-related convicts, which would allow more resources to be allocated for rehabilitation). The court system would run more smoothly (no drug cases means less clutter in the courts). Since we’re spending enormous sums of money fighting an unwinnable war that many citizens ignore, instead let’s just give addicts all the dope they want and let nature take it’s course. Then, we’ll all live in a safer society and save a ton of money.
3. Dissolve the United States military.
What would happen if the American armed forces were dissolved. Answer — nothing. Nothing, except we’d save about one-third of the federal budget which could then be used are far more productive projects — including everything from rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, to providing free health care to every American citizen, to building desalination plants which could solve the nation’s water problems forever. The rest of the world could fight their own battles and solve their own problems (and also pay the enormous cost). Withdrawing our military forces from abroad means we wouldn’t be targets of terrorism any longer (when’s the last time someone in the Middle East attacked the Brazilian Embassy?). Let’s face it. Wide and vast oceans on both flanks and a huge land mass populated with a lot of heavily armed citizens makes a foreign invasion impractical and therefore impossible. Even if an invasion was successful, forget about pulling off an occupation. Besides, what nation is going to invade and then occupy the United States? Name the legitimate foreign threat that could do this? Doesn’t our massive nuclear stockpile render the United States pretty much immune from a foreign army landing on American shores?
4. Stop encouraging people to get out and vote in elections.
If people aren’t interested in politics and don’t follow current events, then I’d prefer they not vote at all. It’s a simple as that. If they do vote, their ballot nullifies another far more responsible citizen who actually takes the time to be involved in civics and follow public issues. Why are we begging people who know next to nothing about either the candidates or the issues to step into a voting booth and
throw darts blind pull levers which might as well be attached to a slot machine but which are in fact choosing who runs the country? Yes, we should make voting easy. We should allow anyone who is a citizen to vote in the widest possible time frame. We should do everything we can to eliminate long lines and provide easy access to the polls. But imploring millions of disconnected and ignorant people to vote seems terribly self-defeating. If we were running a large company, would we want the masses to select candidates to handle the complexities of operations and finance? Democracy works best when it’s practiced by an informed citizenry — not the biggest voter turnout. Quality is more important than quantity.
5. We need more abortions in the world, especially among poor people and in overpopulated countries.
Do we really need more people in the world? We’re currently at seven billion, and counting. Answer — no. The current path we’re on is utterly unsustainable. Unfortunately, the countries with the fastest-growing populations are the least able to support explosive growth with sufficient food, water, and other essential resources. The consequences of out-of-control birthrates are disastrous. Everyone suffers and now we’re running out of things. Aside from providing greater education about birth control, another practical solution is to encourage abortion in poor countries, and especially within communities without the means to provide a decent quality of life for everyone. Opening up abortion clinics in impoverished areas and providing free services would save money in the long run and give women more options and greater control of their future. It’s not only practical, it’s probably essential to ensuring survival on the planet.
These politically incorrect things won’t be popular. They have no shot of ever happening. But I defy anyone to argue how these ideas wouldn’t make for a better society.
What are your thoughts?