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Archive for September, 2006

Drink and Get Rich

©Jack Trimpey, 2006, all rights reserved.

<br /> DrinkGetRich.txt copy<
Here is an article published by the Journal of Labor Relations pumping the benefits of drinking alcohol in terms of your personal finances. While successful men and women may also have a tendency to drink unequaled by their less successful, less affluent peers, it is doubtful that the original source of funding for this little piece of pop-science would agree that the money was well-spent.

I looked into the sponsoring organizations, the Locke Institute and the Reason Foundation, and I fail to see the basis for their interest in this odd topic, nor do I understand the logic for their assertions. The article is a bald invitation to underachievers everywhere to break out the booze in order to better meet their responsibilities to their families, employers, and communities by drinking alcohol. For clarity, let me point out that the original source of funds for this study was not the Locke Institute or the Reason Foundation. It came from a foundation supported by large, for-profit corporations or from the estates of people who were productive during their lifetimes.

According to this nonprofit research, men who drink will earn 10% more personal income than men who abstain, but if you are a woman, drinking will net you a hefty 14% more money than your abstinent sisters. Moreover, they proclaim that drinking provides educational opportunities, to learn business and social skills. These benefits have been discovered by scientists funded by nonprofit organizations that were funded by foundations that are funded by corporations and individuals whose courage, self-discipline, ingenuity, and productivity created wealth.

This allegedly scientific research into the wisdom of drinking alcohol has about as much common sense to it as the titillating science published by the nonprofit American Heart Association, which proclaims the benefits of drinking as a prevention of heart disease. It is possible for many risky behaviors to have beneficial, unintended side effects. However, I have no doubt that every problem drinker in America now weighs the health benefits of alcohol into his inner debate about his continued use of alcohol. I think I’ve heard from about half of them, personally.

The Locke Institute and the Reason Foundation are both nonprofit organizations, reliant upon unearned income to finance their dalliances. In other words, those who work there are apparently not engaged in productive activities, but are merely encumbering their budgets so they will be replenished next year. Much of the income for these dependent organizations comes from productive enterprises, corporations whose officers have been intimidated by the I.R.S., lured by the benefactor image, or shamed by other nonprofit organizations into giving large sums to nonprofit organizations. Ironically, both organizations have their origins in the individualism that forms the foundation for the greatest invention of humanity, the business corporation of capitalist societies.

John Locke was a British social philosopher of the Enlightenment era whose works have been incorporated into worldwide liberalism and now form the foundation for free enterprise and capitalism itself. The Reason Foundation boasts Libertarianism as its political ancestry, and claims to adhere to that true-grit individualism with limited government and emphasis on individual rights, free enterprise, and private property. Condidering their origins, it may seem strange that these nonprofit organizations would suggest that people drink in order to gain a 7% increase their income. However, there are few entities less congruent with John Locke’s works and Libertarian politics than the nonprofit organization, a dependent entity based upon the precepts of socialism and collectivism.

For-profit research
Recently, the entrepreneurial giant, Google.com, announced its plan to make use of the for-profit corporation in its effort to reduce human suffering. Google is certainly aware of the immense power of capitalism. Quite possibly, Google also suspects that altruism is flawed in that it often tends to foster dependence without solving the underlying causes of suffering. I think it is very likely that Google understands that the profit motive is a manifestation of the human spirit that unleashes creative energies unknown in the realm of altruistic benevolence.

The rewards of altruism are fleeting and sentimental, but doing urgent research to create and sell new products, structures, services, methods, and implements gives more to society than charity and more to the corporation than the profits. Driven to provide the greatest value possible to consumers by solving urgent problems, while cutting waste and redundancy to the minimum, profit-driven corporations are most often benevolent and purposeful, providing income for employees, revenue for government, and real value to consumers and society.

Most great advances in human civilization, including many in the arts, have been fueled by the profit motive, most of which have occurred in the last two hundred years. Those inventions and innovations very often bring enormous, immediate benefits that improve the quality of human life. Large, profitable corporations such as oil companies and pharmaceutical corporations are often villified even though they are very expensively engaged in reasearching, developing and producing new goods, services, products, methods, and remedies for ages-old afflictions that remain unsolved.

Nonprofit charities, e.g., the disease banners for cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and other serious illnessess rarely arrive at an actual solution for those problems, depleting their budgets with administrative and public relations activities while pharmaceutical companies and electronic industries discover the real solutions. The science of a for-profit, Swiss pharmaceutical company produced the miracle of DDT, but the nonprofit science of the environmental movement banned it worldwide, resulting in a public health catastrophe from unchecked malaria. While billions of tax dollars have been spent on nonprofit research into the nature of addiction and its treatment, no remedies have come from that research, and the nature of the problem has only been further mystified with scientific biobabble and worthless remedies.

Nonprofit science isn’t really science, but the application of scientific discourse to bogus, sentimental concepts, such as how alcohol makes us healthy, wealthy, and wise. In other words, nonprofit science, especially driven by the winds of politics, finds what its funders want to find. Nonprofiteering is very popular in the United States, because altruism is a common human failing. Currently, there are over 600,000 nonprofit organizations in the nation, with about 10,000 devoted to addiction and recoveryism. For-profit science finds what is good for the shareholders, and there is nothing better for shareholders than a truly beneficial, well-marketed product or service which is in great demand.

Altruism, dependence, and resentment
As a general rule, dependence breeds resentment because independence is inherently superior to dependence. No one really wants to be dependent, from children to the elderly, from the sick to the disabled. Dependence strains both parties, one with envy and frustration, the other with Continue reading ‘Drink and Get Rich’

The Addict’s Trusty Relapse Kit

©2006, Jack Trimpey, all rights reserved

<br /> RelapseKit.txt copy<br /> Drug courts are examples of a nefarious concept, “diversion programming,” whereby substance abusers protect each other from the legal consequences of their continued self-intoxication following their conviction of alcohol and drug related crimes. Members of AA in positions of social responsibility use the social service system to recruit new members, retain them for life, creating an enormous industry supported by millions of 12-stepping voters. Because AA/NA retains rather than releases its members, the population of men and women “in recovery” endlessly expands, overloading jails and prisons with people in the throes of one-day-at-a-time sobriety.

Starting in Miami, FL, about a decade ago, drug courts have spread to every state, following the nationwide network of addiction recovery groups. The drug courts promise lowered costs of addiction treatment versus prison confinement, and point to some statistics suggesting reduced re-arrests among those who complete the addiction treatment exercises. However, they completely ignore that recovery groups do not produce abstinent outcome but actually prevent principled abstinence and require tentative, one-day-at-a-time sobriety. That, of course, is the practical definition of addiction itself, so we have once again witnessed social policy in the service of addiction rather than in the service of recovery. Mass, runaway addiction to alcohol and other drugs ironically appears to be the cause rather than the result of our astronomically expensive addiction treatment industry.

Under California’s Proposition 36 law, persons diverted from prison to addiction treatment may have nine unsuccessful courses of “treatment” before being sent to or returned to prison. Each course of treatment may tolerate an undetermined number of “relapses” during supervised aftercare. The Drug Court is one of many innovative programs exemplifying the total failure of our social service system to help people to abstain from alcohol and other drugs and lead independent lives.

ButteCo.jpegBelow is a sample of a Relapse Kit given to a Proposition 36 diversion program participant by his parole officer in Butte County, California. Proposition 36 is California legislation diverting criminals from prison to addiction treatment. The Relapse Kit should dispel any doubt that drug courts are worthless and actually fan the fires of addiction, but from the perspective of addicted people and their supporters, the document may seem like a potentially useful tool in the addict’s valiant struggle against the terrible disease of addiction.

I will briefly comment on some of the questions asked of the probationer, to clarify from an AVRT® perspective:


__________________________________________________

Name:
Case #

Welcome, Drug Court Member to a journey of the self. Relapse can be a powerful place to learn more about who you are and what you need. After having a relapse, you are at risk of increasing your denial. This kit will work if you are honest, open and willing.

Relapse prevention is a crucial part of protecting your future. Relapses start way before you actually use. The intellectual, emotional, and physical process sets us up for use. In other words, what were you thinking, feeling, and how were you taking care of yourself before you used?

You have at your fingertips an entire team who wants to help you live a clean and sober life. Please reach out, we want to help. Good Luck!

1. What was the best part about using?
There is only one honest answer, “The buzz, the high.” Continue reading ‘The Addict’s Trusty Relapse Kit’



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