By Musa V. Sheriff
As Caplan puts it, if you are in a position of power; freedom and lives are in your hands. You are required to act with extreme moral trepidation, ever mindful of the possibility that you’re trampling the rights of the morally innocent.
Sheldon Richman argued that making Economic policies, while remaining wholly ignorant of basic Economics, is the intellectual equivalent of drunk driving. And so is electing Politicians that are oblivious to national issues.
To do it once is irresponsible, to do it often is evil.
After all, some Politicians might be sincere, but sincerity is no substitute for understanding. Having an in-depth understanding of societal issues is the core foundation of sincerity and in exercising discernment.
Inevitably, investing your time and resources in addressing these societal issues, makes you a conscientious and upstanding citizen.
A social problem is defined as any condition or behaviour that has negative consequences on a large number of people, and that is generally recognized as a condition or behaviour that needs to be addressed.
In Liberia, most people will agree that illicit drugs and the impact of motorbike accidents have become the worst social problems to date.
These have huge debilitating effects on society, and often these situations have a much deeper impact than presented.
Illicit drug use affects individuals, families, and the broader community. These harms are numerous, including its health impacts such as Burden of disease, Death, Overdose, and increased Hospitalisations.
It also has both Societal and Economic impacts, causing a rising rate in violence, crime, and trauma, undoubtedly increasing the overall cost of healthcare. In simple terms, illicit drugs are evidently destroying the future of Liberia.
You will agree that motorbike-related accidents are a serious issue in Liberia. Accidents can be traumatizing, and you can never truly prepare for the emotional, mental, and physical aftermath of a crash.
Research suggests that road traffic injuries are ranked twelfth in contributing to Disability-related traumas, with 90% of those road traffic injury burdens, falling on low to middle-income families.
The economic loss associated with motorbike injuries in Liberia is huge. Politicians should be committed to collecting and analysing data to understand the true cost of motorbike injuries.
Clearly understanding factors associated with the human cost, should be a priority in reducing the socio-economic burden of injury arising from road traffic injuries.
The fact is that our Politicians do not recognise these as social problems, and for those that are aware and remain ignorant to these negative impacts, only magnify their true nature as immoral and wicked Politicians.
I will agree with Professor MacDonald Ebere, unlike Communism, Democratic politics is a marketplace. The politicians are the buyers and the voters are the sellers. Hence, Democracy can be perceived as a full-fledged market. The right and legitimacy to govern is the main product sold and purchased in this market.
The actual cost of market failure for liberal Democracy can be extremely expensive to society and this is the case in Liberia.
Politicians have failed to protect Liberians, and as a result, illicit drugs and Motorbike accidents are destroying our nation.
To conclude, without effective and well-planned preventative actions, we will remain locked to being reactive to crisis, instead of being proactive in its prevention. This is damaging for young people and their families, and an excruciating burden to bear as a society.
Must V. Sheriff is a Specialist, Social Planning/Community Development, Perth, Western Australia.