08 March 2006

Nalmefene for Puerto Rico

Imagine taking a pill that makes you stop shopping...reduces the urge to gamble...and can even stop alcoholism.

Forget imagining: it's called nalmefene and it's being tested as We speak (write, read, whatever...)

Already proven to be effective on 6 out of 10 gamblers, reducing their addictive high of losing (compulsive gamblers do so to lose), nalmefene targets the pleasure centers of the brain and thus can conceivably reduce the urge to splurge (also known as "retail therapy") and even take the edge off the need for alcohol.

Okay, let Me be blunt: Even if Our water is barely above rank sewage, We should be pouring nalmefene in it like it was fluoride. It should be dropped in every cola, every cup of coffee and every freaking bottle of water from now until 2012.

Puerto Rico has long had a problem with alcohol consumption. For years, We were the only non-Communist country ranked in the Top 10 in alcohol consumption. The amount of damage, death and destruction that happens around alcohol in Puerto Rico is frightening to behold. So getting that under control is a good thing.

Gambling in Puerto Rico is also ridiculously high. According to Hacienda (the local Treasury department), the average Puerto Rican spends $306 a year on games of chance, from the state-sponsored lottery and Loto to casinos, horse racing and cockfights. And this doesn't include the monies spent on illegal gambling, mostly in the form of bolita. The "official" number is almost $1.2 billion dollars a year. Please note that the number is per capita and that We must then subtract the children and teenagers who legally don't gamble (about 1.08 million of 3.85 million). Without them, the average is over $420, or about 2 weeks' salary for the average worker. Getting this under control is a good thing.

And then there's shopping, conspicuous consumption, keeping up with the Jimenezes, nothing down and payments that aren't starting this week with interest rates in the 20s, a number twice the collective IQ of The Fools and their dogs. A nation of compulsive buyers that exhibits the two related characteristics of anxiety disorders and low self-esteem. (Yes, The Jenius is saying We, as a nation, have low self-esteem.) A nation that doesn't save, doesn't reduce its spending to prepare for the future and is thus as agonizingly dependent as a parasite on some external flow. (Yes, The Jenius said parasite.) No wonder compulsive buyers suffer anxiety and don't like themselves.

Nalmefene is the solution. Forget trial runs in Great Britain. Crank up the nalmefene mill to 11 and fill warehouses with the stuff. Transport it here. Better yet, make it here: that's what Our pharmaceutical industry is here for and start handing it out like food stamps, WIC checks and political favors. (Okay, maybe not like that last one: We could run out of the damn pills in 72 hours.) Don't even tell Us it's being done: just do it.

Watch Us grind to a halt. Not lightly, like sandpaper on wood, but heavily, like granite boulders dragged over brickyards. Living embodiments of the question "Now what?" Less alcohol, less lottery-based dreaming, less shopping to salve a yawning, endless need.

Less spending. More money in hand. Less money for the government. (A flaw in My otherwise brilliant argument, for The Fools may be stupid, but they are oh-so-sensitive to a reduction of their life's blood.) A chance to look at reality and see it for what it is. No spirits-based softening of the brain to make it through another crappy day. No pursuit of mathematically improbable riches that fuels only The Fools' lust. No quick trips to the mall for a crack high at cocaine prices.

Force-feed nalmefene to Us...for We keep choosing to be enslaved by Our own ids. Make it the magic bullet that will ultimately liberate Us, for We've always had the most magical of bullets--choice--but it seems We pawned it for a lottery ticket and a shot of booze.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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