Yes, it’s a noble experiment.
They say history repeats itself and this prohibition era cartoon certainly lends credibility to the adage. It was drawn around the time of populist President Hoover (depicted with hat on heart while the doctor injects prohibition) who had no elected office experience, but instead had gained fame working directly with distressed communities and grassroots organizations. The economy was in shambles, Congress compounded the problem by pushing through the disastrous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, and taxes on corporations and the wealthy were raised drastically. Everything the administration did to bolster the economy and salve social woes, just made the problems worse. One of the most hated government actions of the time was the continued prohibition of alcohol, something President Hoover vocally supported for political power despite personal beliefs. He called it a noble experiment.
Flash forward three quarters of a century and we find ourselves in a similar situation. A populist President, dire economic situation, and everything Congress does just makes the debt worse and the citizenry scared… and with health care reform the cartoon is once again very relevant- even more so today. You see the doctor is symbolic of government run health care, and with big brother paying the bills there will most surely be some new rules. Rules like no drinking. No smoking. No fast fatty food and deserts. Even video games might hit the list since childhood obesity can be stifled with sports not played on a big screen.
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I can hear the potheads snickering because I left them out, it’ll stop though when they figure out how the government will tell if they’ve been in the proverbial cookie jar- with drug/banned substance tests. Test before you can vote. Tested at emergency room, after all, you might need to pay extra. Want a driver’s license, roll up your sleeve, fill this cup, are you being a good citizen?
Prohibition, it’s just what the doctor ordered. Maybe ill-considered, but as a recovering alcoholic (not that I care, but forget about the anonymity with G-care) I can see how one might think of it as a noble experiment. However experience and precedence seeing firsthand how politicians politicize and demagogue the issue of medically assisted recovery (methadone/suboxone), I know there is nothing at all noble about politicians being involved in health care.