Essay by:
Burke Joseph LeValley
Emporia State University

Business and Terror: Turning the Tables

Burke LeValley

Roughly seventy percent of this nation’s GDP is focused in the service sector, due in large part to the costs of medical care and two large aging segments of our population. Medical costs will be cyclically passed on from generation to generation. Pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and research facilities will need more and more technology and resources. The last years of a citizen in a developed nation’s life are generally raft with prescriptions, doctors visits, hospital bills, and expensive surgeries. Throughout our population, especially among the aged and aging, severe pain has become a part of everyday life. The last thirty days of a patient’s life account for nearly fifty percent of their health care costs, and typically those days are not spent pain-free.

One of the oldest and still most widely used drugs to alleviate moderate and severe pain associated with all kinds of symptoms comes from a single common source: the poppy. Opiates are a tried and true remedy, and modern pharmaceutical research is constantly finding new ways to ease the lives of patients with these drugs and their rapidly evolving uses.

Our generation (college students) will be left with the burden to support not only the baby boomers and succeeding generations as they grow old and require more medical care, but also our children and peers. Many of this generation are already without health care and jobs. This leads to higher costs to health care providers and participants in the way of more mental health and drug abuse problems. This has posed and will continue to impose an enormous burden on the future working class in every income bracket.

Last year alone, the Taliban, a terrorist enemy we are still battling on multiple fronts, funded over one-hundred million dollars of their campaigns against our country and it’s allies with money gathered from the illicit growing, processing, and smuggling of poppy plants and the opium they produce.

Under our new Presidential leadership, a military force of ten thousand new soldiers will be in Afghanistan in the near future. Although not as pressing of a hot-button issue as our current economic crisis, these two headlines have the potential to both spread democracy and boost the United States and friends opportunity for economic growth in these troubled financial times.

With these factors considered, it wouldn’t seem far-fetched at all to believe that we could use these facts on behalf of our economy and our way of life. Only after we have successfully defeated the Taliban and their global reach will this military action be seen as effective in the eyes of the onlooker. However, as evidenced by both recent and ancient conflicts, the removal of fear and transition to democracy is not easily or quickly gained. If we can slowly but surely win over the trust of the Afghani people, and ensure that they no longer need to live in fear of Taliban warlords we can truly say “Mission Accomplished.”

The problem that will present itself not only militarily, but also economically will be the source of income for the people of this underdeveloped nation, especially those that have relied on the illicit opium trade for their livelihood for a substantial time period that typically live in rural areas. By the time our military forces have succeeded in their missions, we could theoretically already have a democratic government to work with that will be eager for economic support and trade assistance.

I would strongly support a measure proposed either militarily or economically that would fight two winning wars at once: the war on terror and the war on drugs. If we have diplomatic and trade relations in place, as well as the backing of allies such as Great Britain, China, Russia, Brazil, Korea, Israel, etc., we can continue to let this large segment of the Afghani population live based on the cultivation of poppy. However, they will no longer be receiving their payments from Taliban warlords or laundering agents, but from major U.S. and international pharmaceutical companies and the reformed Afghani government and it’s supporters.

This plan should fall right in line with our policy with strict sentencing and penalties for those involved in the trafficking and distribution of heroin. Since eighty percent of the supply in the U.S. comes from Afghanistan, we would be making a major breakthrough in curtailing heroin use and the violence associated with it. Inner cities could improve, and with a better quality of life and safer environments, people are more confident in their government and their economy.

With pharmaceuticals having a major sway in U.S. stock investments, this helps not only our addicted citizens and future addicts by reducing flow into the country, but our hardworking shareholders and CEO’s as well. With some logical discussion and empirical evidence examination this is a measure that should get some scrutiny, review and hopefully proposals or discussion.

Re: Business and Terror: Turning the Tables


What a fresh, innovative perspective you have! The opium situation is interesting in that yes, it could be used to alleviate pain more cheaply than the alternative pain medications we have now, and this money could be rechanneled toward the deficit. I fear though the opiate problem would pose some serious social problems in the United States, much like what Mexico is undergoing right now with its drug lord problems. Still, if it were regulated well, and used for economic soundness, it could still work.

In any case, nice work!

-Ryan Wilson

Re: Business and Terror: Turning the Tables

I really think you are on to something here! Although I found this essay to be somewhat disorganized, I think I got the general idea. You are really an innovator and I applaud your forward thinking. -DeZ

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