I was recently astounded to read that the USA has more prisoners per capita than any other country in the world, easily surpassing #2 Russia. Did you know that the USA makes up just 5% of the world’s population but 25% of its prisoners? All I can say is WAY TO GO, AMERICA! 

We now have over 2 million Americans living in prison (several million more if you include New Jersey). The cause of the explosion in our inmate population over the past thirty years is primarily thanks to the incredible success of our War on Drugs, and only secondarily because of the many cast members of Jersey Shore who have served time.

A thoughtful examination of America’s War on Drugs leads to only one obvious conclusion: By any standard (other than reducing the level of our nation’s rampant drug abuse problem), this war has been an overwhelming success. The only thing left to do is hang a Mission Accomplished banner atop the fence along the U.S. – Mexican border.

Thanks to our impressive victory in the war on drugs, we have corralled thousands of our nation’s most dangerous habitually stoned South Park viewers and thrown them into the Graybar Hotel. Law-abiding Americans can now sleep safely, knowing they no longer have to fear that a deranged pothead might break into their home during a late night Harold and Kumar movie marathon in search of Doritos or other snack foods with dangerously unhealthy levels of high-fructose corn syrup.

The War on Drugs has garnered enormous benefits for our country: It has created thousands of rewarding jobs as prison guards, prison laundry personnel and prison snitches. In addition, by locking up tens of thousands of dangerous weed-lovers, it has reduced the number of stoners competing for my job, thus reducing my unemployment rate.

Which got me to thinking…. Perhaps the solution to our nation’s intractable high unemployment problem is to take our War on Drugs to the logical next level: A War on Idiots. Think how many fewer marginally employable people we would have looking for work if we expanded our anti-drug crusade to include criminalizing a long list of other social nuisances beyond pot, specifically the thousands of random acts of stupidity committed daily by people like my neighbor Bert Zablinski and most of his drinking buddies.

How will this help our economy? Currently, there are more than 13 million unemployed Americans looking for work. Included in this daunting number is my neighbor, Bert Zablinski. Bert, well – how do I put this gently – makes the Village Idiot look like a Jeopardy Grand Champion. Bert recently got fired from his job as a school crossing guard when he got busted for trying to run a string of lemonade stands selling Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Tequila Poppers to the middle schoolers, and attempting to launder the profits in his washing machine, never quite grasping the concept of laundering money. Disastrously stupid scheme on so many levels.

America is overrun with Bert Zablinskis who find new ways every day to invite the rest of us to ponder, “How did that guy ever survive past age seven?” That’s why, if we really want to solve our unemployment problem, I’m urging members of Congress to weed out millions of idiots by making it a criminal offense punishable by prison time to behave like Bert (or a member of Congress).

If my proposal gets passed into law, the following acts would all become criminal offenses:

  • Attempting to show off in front of your buddies by skate boarding down a railing blindfolded and doing serious injury to your family jewels
  • Driving a golf cart way too fast – with just your feet, losing control and plunging it into the pond on the 11th hole
  • Leaping from a height of ten feet or more, failing to clear the windshield of your car, resulting in serious damage to your arms and legs – and the windshield of your car
  • Performing a juggling stunt involving a chain saw just because you saw someone do it on TV, resulting in a trip to the ER for 278 stitches and a trip to Home Depot for a new chain saw
  • Attempting to get close enough to pat the hippo at the zoo, whereupon you fall in and find yourself, well, actually close enough to pat the hippo at the zoo
  • Any get-rich business scheme my brother-in-law Tony has ever hatched since 1987

By criminalizing these and thousands of other imbecilic stunts, I’m confident within months we’ll reduce the number of out-of-work male job seekers by at least two million and create thousands of new construction jobs building more prisons to house all these brain-impaired thrill-seekers.

Before you know it, our unemployment problem will be history. In fact, there is a remote chance my plan could work too well, and we could end up with a shortage of workers. That’s why I am also pushing Congress to consider my other proposal: Lowering the legal age for carrying concealed weapons to seven. Now, before you start worrying that kids will end up injuring themselves and others by mishandling dangerous firearms, I have that covered. My plan requires any child under 13 playing with firearms to be supervised by an adult NRA member packing heat.

I know just where to find all these NRA helpers. I’m pretty sure there’ll be plenty of job applicants as soon as our prisons early-release all the drug dealers, arsonists, and larcenists due to severe prison overcrowding, thanks to the new arrival of all those idiots now being carted off to jail for behaving like my neighbor Bert.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base. 

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2012

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