Hardly anyone thinks of the American experiment with Prohibition as a success, but if you shove it over to the Fail side of the ledger, you have to account for the following anomaly: since when does Washington abandon a program just because it doesn’t work?
Stacy McCain explains it thusly:
Prohibition was not repealed because it failed. Prohibition was repealed because the feds wanted whiskey tax revenue to pay for the New Deal. Compare and contrast:
- Prohibition — Speakeasies, jazz, flappers, Calvin Coolidge, gangsters in cool pinstriped suits with fedoras driving V-8 roadsters.
- New Deal — Alger Hiss.
Okay, it might be a trifle more complicated than that.
And there exists, says McCain, an actual justification for the War on (Some) Drugs:
The War on Drugs serves a valuable social purpose, by ensuring that lots of stupid people go to prison. There are some people so stupid that they don’t need to be on the street.
It would probably help if people would quit voting for them, too.