Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ants and the War on Drugs

My wife gets frustrated by the ants in our home. Our children, especially, leaving tempting morsels on the floor and the counters which attract our little friends. She'll do all sorts of things in moods that range from matter-of-fact to maniacal.

The other night, she sprayed Lysol in a variety of places in our kitchen, dining room and living room-- killing off the critters and throwing potential invaders off the proverbial trail.

But as I was going to bed, I noticed that someone had left the residual of a cup of hot chocolate on the kitchen counter.

I got a big laugh out of that, before cleaning it up and then making a connection to our War on Drugs: if cups of hot chocolate are at all available, then good luck with your Lysol.

Of course, people aren't ants-- and respond moreso to the deterrent effects of disincentives. But the practical difficulties-- not to mention the ethical difficulties-- of trying to prevent people from doing what they want are noteworthy and bound to be at least somewhat frustrating.


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