Monday, August 20, 2007

The War on Candy

Let's say I am the mayor of a small city and I have a project in mind, to stop people from buying candy because it will make them fat, unhealthy, and unproductive. So I pass an ordinance outlawing candy. Whenever someone is caught with candy they are charged with a crime and taken to jail. Everyone knows that they could go to jail if they are caught with candy, and some people stop eating it altogether. Others, however, love the sweet stuff so much that they will risk going to jail just for a few minutes of pleasure.

Even though candy is no longer produced in the factories of my town, people somehow keep getting it. It appears to be smuggled in from the surrounding cities and towns. We catch maybe 20% of the smugglers, but this isn't enough to stem the tide. The price for a candy bar goes up to $5 as the supply is now constricted, and the suppliers must take the risk of being caught and jailed.

I try to talk some of the neighboring towns into following my lead to outlaw this sugary menace. Some cities comply, further constricting supply and increasing the street price of a candy bar to $10.

My citizens, tired of paying the high prices of smuggled candy begin producing it themselves. However, sometimes there are impurities or poisons inadvertently put in the homemade candy, and this causes an increase in food poisoning in my city, putting more pressure on the hospital.

The city jail is getting full as we keep picking up sugar-heads, so we have to build another to hold all the criminals. When the convicted are released they have a hard time finding jobs (no body wants to hire an ex-con). So they turn to candy to ease their pain. Unemployment is rising, and the economy is suffering while tax revenue falls as the result of so many citizens not working.

I know I can stop this candy epidemic if only I had more law enforcement officers. So I hire more police to root out this evil for good.

I have now continued this fight for 35 long years, spending millions of taxpayer dollars to fight against this scourge of society, but candy eating remains prevalent. The candy producers and smugglers are actually getting better at evading my laws. There is enough supply now to drive the average price of a candy bar down to $3.50. But I know if I continue this fight I will one day win, and eradicate candy once and for all. One might call it a War on Candy, and this is a war we cannot afford to lose.

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