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Extremists Create Stress for Gain

According to the chattering classes, modern times are the most stressful ever.nbsp; Im stressed excuses everything from forgetting appointments to neglecting the kids.nbsp; People spend billions on stress remedies and are said to be desperate for stress relievers.nbsp; According to Pam McCracken, director of the Center for Drug and Alcohol Education at Colorado State University, stress, along with TV commercials and anxiety over technology even drives CSU students to drink.[1]

Fortunately, immediate relief is at hand.nbsp; Some people have a great deal to gain from making others anxious.nbsp; A public riled up about government action, or in high dudgeon over the lack of it, increases the chance that those seeking power and public money will strike it rich.nbsp; When emotion smothers reason, it gives sharp operators the chance to carve things up before other people have a chance to stop and think.

The cheapest and most effective remedy for induced anxiety is to ignore those who profit from it.nbsp; Easily spotted, they are the ones who continue to repeat what has been soundly discredited in the course of the public debate, and those who continue to grossly misrepresent the true state of affairs.

The claim that guns kill 13 innocent American children each day is a classic case in point.nbsp; Repeated ad nauseum by Leftist zealots working tirelessly to deprive everyone else of the right to defend themselves, its goal is to create anxiety by fostering the impression of a ceaseless slaughter of innocents.nbsp; Whether this is true or not depends upon whether one classifies drug dealing gangsters as innocent children.

The National Center for Health Statistics produces definitive data on firearms related deaths in the United States.[2]nbsp; In 1997, the latest year available, 630 people under age 15 died from firearms injuries including murders, suicides, and 142 accidental deaths.nbsp; 1,010 children in the same age group drowned.nbsp;

So where do the roughly 4,745 deaths needed to add up to 13 children per day come fromnbsp; In the next age category, 15 to 24, there were 8,173 deaths including 300 fatal accidents, 2,587 suicides, and 5,171 murders.nbsp; Only if child includes accidents, murders, and everyone under 21, is the total near 13 per day.nbsp;

Homicides, many anything but innocent, constitute the bulk of the total.nbsp; In Boston, 75 percent of the victims and offenders in juvenile murders had more than nine prior arraignments.[3]nbsp; These thugs do not obey gun laws now, and will not obey more gun laws later.nbsp; People who portray them as innocent children grossly misrepresent the truth in order to create anxiety.nbsp; Since one cannot believe anything they say, everything they say deserves to be ignored.

The Leftists haunting the environmentalist ranks also traffic in anxiety.nbsp; Two such groups sued the Tosco Corporation for polluting San Francisco Bay with wastewater discharges containing 20 times the permitted level of 0.14 trillionths of a gram of dioxin per liter.nbsp; A single serving of Ben amp; Jerrys Worlds Best Vanilla ice cream contained 80 trillionths of a gram of dioxin.[4]nbsp; Like may such extremists, Ben amp; Jerrys advertises that the only safe level of exposure to dioxin is no exposure at all.nbsp; Given that they eat their own ice cream, clearly they, and others like them, do not really believe their claims.nbsp; They make them only to make others fearful enough to support their radical anti-consumer agenda.nbsp;

The Leftists that control most womens groups have a lot to gain from the politics of resentment, and they keep the pot boiling with similar scare tactics.nbsp; To convince everyone that bureaucrats rather than markets should set wages they ceaselessly repeat the canard that women earn 74 for every $1.00 earned by men.[5]nbsp; Right thinking people outraged over the exploitation of poor, delicate, women unable to survive a competitive labor market are supposed to demand a government takeover.nbsp;

This fraud is easily exposed.nbsp; As is obvious to most people without feminist blinders, many women choose to marry and create a home for their families without the added burden of a full-time job.nbsp; If they work at all, they choose jobs that substitute intangibles like flexibility or limited hours for top dollar.nbsp; In academic studies that properly take marital status and occupational choice into account, the evidence for wage discrimination on the basis of sex is slim.

So, relax.nbsp; The kids are safer than ever, the toxins are under control everywhere but at Ben amp; Jerrys, and wages are pretty competitive.nbsp; Sit down, have a politically incorrect drink and, if you are a CSU student subject to commercial and technological stress, dont forget to unplug the television and the computer.nbsp; They cannot make you anxious unless you let them.nbsp;

[1] Bill Scanlon.nbsp; 15 March 2000.nbsp; 63% at CU binge drinkers, The Denver Rocky Mountain News, p. 7A.

[2] Donna L. Hoyert, et al.nbsp; 30 June 1999.nbsp; Deaths:nbsp; Final Data for 1997.nbsp; National Vital Statistics Reports, 47,19.nbsp; National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C, p. 68.nbsp; As of 9 November, 1999.nbsp; http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/releases/99facts/99sheets/97mortal.htm.

[3] David M. Kennedy, Anne M. Piehl, and Anthony A. Graga.nbsp; 1996.nbsp; Youth Violence in Boston: Gun Markets, Serious Youth Offenders, and a Use-Reduction Strategy, Law and Contemporary Problems, 59, Winter: 147-96.nbsp; Cited in John R. Lott.nbsp; 1998.nbsp; More Guns, Less Crime.nbsp; Note 32, page 188.

[4] Steven Milloy.nbsp; 29 January 2000.nbsp; Ben amp; Jerrys or Bay Water, The Financial Post.nbsp; As posted on the Junkscience.com web site, 16 March 2000.nbsp; http://www.junkscience.com/jan00/bjtosco.htm.nbsp; For a report on the dioxin in Ben amp; Jerrys ice cream see Michael Gough and Steven J. Milloy. 8 November 1999.nbsp; Dioxin in Ben amp; Jerrys Ice Cream, http://www.junkscience.com/dec99/benjerr2.htm as of 16 March 2000.nbsp;

[5] See Christina Sciammacco.nbsp; May 1998.nbsp; Feminists Call for Closing of Wage Gap: Equal Pay Day Shows Women Still Behind, National Organization of Women web site, 16 March 2000.nbsp; http://www.now.org/nnt/05-98/wagegap.html.

Linda Gorman is a Senior Fellow with the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank in Golden, Colorado, https://i2i.org. This article originally appeared in the Colorado Daily (Boulder), for which Linda Gorman is a regular columnist.

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