The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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A new prohibition?

LLoyd says poor and unemployed should not be allowed to buy alcohol, considers it a ‘privilege’
 A new prohibition?
A new prohibition?

A new prohibition?

Over a scrumptious, family-style dinner at an Indian restaurant in North Dallas, I saw a vision. In an instant, destiny transformed me, a young, Latino boy from the barrios of South Texas, into an inventive and creative idealist.

My revolution is the endorsement of a return to a modified and greatly reduced version of Capone-era prohibition.

The difference between my prohibition and the one that flourished in the age of the untouchables, is that under the modified restrictions, federal and state law would make it illegal for beneficiaries of welfare and unemployment benefits to purchase alcohol.

Therefore, alcohol consumption would be a privilege, only available to productive, socially constructive Americans. While the omnipotent, black-market character of the drug trade makes it impossible for law enforcement to successfully regulate the distribution of narcotics, the restrictive, federal constructs that suffocate the alcohol industry could, with a more logical aggression, lessen social decay by killing the weeds at the root.

Forget what people say about marijuana, alcohol is the gateway drug.

When addicts relapse, the return to their narcotic of choice, typically, follows the consumption of alcohol, which lowers inhibitions and stimulates the desire for sensory excitement and pleasure.

If a large segment of the American, homeless population owes their plight to chemical incarceration, it would make sense that the wide availability and unlimited access to alcohol helps fuel their addictions and continue to devastate the social character of our nation.

To enforce such a policy, there would have to be a ubiquitous, technological advancement and application, linking alcohol-vending establishments to federal databases that would transfer approval information through the swipe of an ID card.

If the swipe reveals that the consumer benefits from unemployment or welfare subsidies, it becomes a criminal act for the merchant to sell the alcoholic beverage.

However, the creation and enforcement of this law would include several daunting, moral and financial hazards.

Obviously, the first concern is that this legal transition could, potentially, foster the creation of a black market for alcohol, where merchants could sell unauthorized consumers alcohol at inflated prices. However, given that the homeless and unemployed are a clear cut minority, the odds someone would establish a successful operation, distributing black market alcohol to street bums seems implausible.

Furthermore, in this day and age I doubt few would want to jeopardize their freedom bootlegging alcohol, seeing as there is an abundance of much more lucrative ventures.

Another pitfall, regarding the lack of access to alcohol, is that it could lead some individuals to invest their residual savings into their secondary addictions to hardcore drugs.

Additionally, taxpayers would probably have to shoulder a significant burden, as many economically disadvantaged alcoholics would have to seek medical treatment to survive the perils of alcohol withdrawal.

Another expense the taxpayer would face includes the cost of technological development to enforce such a law. Also, citizens would have to cover the expenses of widened bureaucratic and law enforcement branches.

Without administrative expansion and supervision, it would be impossible to properly implement this law. On the upside, the restriction would be an investment in a very logical and socially constructive endeavor.

The law encourages the despondent and downtrodden to elevate them and get moving. In a way, the buzz of the addicted, now, becomes a reflection of their self-reliance.

If the goal of the state is social efficiency and harmony, then its financial assistance, which may be misdirected into deviant ends, should come with limitations on what the beneficiaries of its aid can purchase.

If an individual wants to support the deviant activities of others, that’s a personal choice. If the actions of the state, that collective, governing construct, finance its dependents in a way that knowingly allows for socially and self-destructive behavior, then it is the duty of its executors to limit that destruction to the best of its ability.


Tim Lloyd is a sophomore English major. He can be reached at [email protected]

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