Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Disaster for Tourism in Mexico

It really is a disaster that the swine flu seems to have started in Mexico, not least of which is the hit to their economy, a lot of which is fueled by tourism. It's not enough that they already have a ton of problems on the border, with all the violent drug cartels, the kidnappings, and murders in broad daylight.

Not that many years ago, twenty maybe, one could go down to the border and cross it to go shopping or have lunch. Those days are long gone, unfortunately. I wish it weren't so, as I love travel and have never been to Mexico. We live so close to it, but it's really not safe to go there anymore. There are Mexican nationals who travel between the US and Mexico because of work or personal reasons here, and even they won't go to the border towns, they only travel through them, usually early, early in the morning. Indeed it has gotten so bad, that many who live in the border towns have come up here to stay with relatives.

And there's a great danger of the violence spilling over the border. Indeed, earlier this year in Pharr, which is near McAllen, a live grenade was tossed into a bar where off duty police officers frequently hung out.

It's really terrible for the people having to live there, and the Mexican military seems out gunned, and outnumbered. I really don't have an answer on how to stop it all either. Well, I do, but no one will like it. Legalize all drugs and tax the hell out of them. There you go. Perhaps it's not realistic, but in my head it makes sense. All of a sudden the cartels are without business, because you can buy your drugs legally. Of course, no one will like this idea, because it's not "moral" whatever that is. As if it's "moral" to allow people to suffer under the cartels, but whatever. I've always been of the mindset that if one is going to do drugs, they're going to do them legal or not, and if they're not going to do them, they won't even if they're legal. I wouldn't do drugs, even if they were legal. I don't smoke cigarettes, so I wouldn't even smoke marijuana, even though I don't think it's all that bad for you.

I also think that the fact that it's taboo, probably leads some people to do it. I have known people when I was younger, who abused alcohol because their parents were teetotalers, and it was a reaction against that. They drank to spite their parents, or to see if they could get away with it. I on the other hand, had parents who were a bit more open than that, and insisted that if I was going to drink or something, that I be safe about it. I never had an urge to go and get drunk as some of my friends did. I think it's something psychological.

And we're in a huge mess tax wise, with the Republicans screaming they don't want more taxes. Well, here you can have your cake and eat it too. Imagine all the tax money from legal narcotics. Imagine all the money saved by not prosecuting people for damaging their own health. Now don't get me wrong, if you're driving under the influence, or causing a disturbance because you're on drugs then you need to be prosecuted as such, but if you want to sit in your own home and fry your brain, that ain't none of my business.

You know, it was entirely different at the end of the 19th century. I read a really interesting article not that long ago, that many middle and upper class women were totally addicted to heavy duty narcotics because they were marketed as elixirs for their health. But the thing is, they didn't understand how bad it was for them. IMHO, education is the answer, not punishing people for it. You see, this is why we wound up with the mob in the 30's because they outlawed liquor, and the mob filled a niche. As I said, if one is going to do it, the legality of it is generally not a deterrent. Just sayin'


  1. I've been saying for years that the best way to combat illegal drugs would be to legalize them. There would be govt control just like alcohol and cigarettes. Taxes would be paid which would end up in the Federal, State and Local coffers.

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