Exploratory Research And Explanatory Research On English Composition

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During the process of choosing a topic for my Exploratory essay, English Composition II is actually what seemed to push finding an idea across the finish line. After hearing in a Monday’s class about all the topics that were considered “not allowed”(Feat. it got me thinking about topics that effect many people’s lives but have generalized conceptions already tied up with them. I felt the inspiration to want to choose a topic where I had no preconception about how it was affecting the world but also a topic that people just wrote off as an already answered question. It wasn’t until I was laying in bed Tuesday night when my mind began to fire off ideas and fortunately for me the first idea that popped into my head was the drug trade and what effects does it have on country economies. Drugs have been something that have interested me for years because they can be such a highly illegal activity yet one that has been a persistent part of the fabric of society. 

Then the fact it cost substantial amounts of money in many cases to buy drugs seems like something that should have some kind of effect on the economy due to moving money. This spark wonder in me as to what kind of effects the Drug Trade actually has on Countries’ economies considering it has been a constant in our world without any end in sight. I also think it would be interesting to research to specific elements like the effects of the drug trade on local economies and what is the difference in the effects of it on Countries like Mexico were Cartels are extremely prevalent vs. Extremely Developed countries like the United States. Within passed few decades starting all the way back in the early 1960s many studies have been conducted to measure the effect of what the illicit drug trade has been having on the United States and Mexico’s economy. Many of these studies become centered around central aspects of the United States core fasciitis that make up the GDP of the nation as well as those of Mexico who’s economy is very intimately affected by the Drugs that flow into the United States. Much of this research seems to look specifically at large influences on the Economy caused by the drug trade such as the Justice System, Health Care, Environments, Productivity, and Local rural employment in Mexico. One important area of research looks at the troll the Drug Trade takes on the United States Justice system. One study conduct by Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Obama Administration chose to look at the overall cost of the apprehension of criminals and the cost of their due process. They found that, “ $61 billion in criminal justice costs, primarily due to criminal investigation, prosecution and incarceration, and victim costs.”(1.) Following closely on the heels of that study was a research inquiry conducted by the Department of Justice in which they were looking for effect of the population of people incarcerated on the American tax payer. They found that “20 percent of state prisoners and 53 percent of federal prisoners are incarcerated because of a drug offense. 

Moreover, 27 percent of individuals on probation and 37 percent of individuals on parole at the end of 2007 had committed a drug offense.”(1.) This seems like a vary marginal number until factoring in the Information found by an author named Jeff Desjardins working with a group know as the Visual Capitalist relating those percentages to very specific number. As the information shows, “ According to the united states federal register, the total cost per inmate exceeds 25,000$ a year.”(1.) Furthermore they found that there about 500,000 inmates incarcerated due to illicit drugs which means that the average cost per day for the all inmates in this category comes to 34.5 million dollars.” (1.) The effect on the average citizen as reported on by the Hamilton project organization comes out to be on average 266$ tax directed to each United State resident. In perspective to the 1980s when the drug trade first started to take off the average cost to a United States resident was 77$. In summary all these studies seem to point to the conclusion that the United States Justice system is expanding at rate that out paces the growing tax paying population that funds it which in turn causes it to take a negative toll on the United States National Economy. 

Another area of interest for research on the drug trade takes place in the United States Health Care Industry. Research done by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Obama Administration estimated that around 11 Billion dollars in healthcare costs could be attributed to drug treatment and drug related medical consequences. Furth more the Department of Justices National Drug Intelligence Center National Drug threat assessment 2010 of February 2010 found, “[…]of 113 million hospital ED visits–1,742,887 (1.5%)–were related to drug misuse or drug abuse. An estimated 31 percent of these visits involved illicit drugs only.” (1.) Overall the two studies do seems to point the idea that even though people are put into the hospital due to drug related issues those same people are generating income for the hospital that will eventually reenter the economy and make a positive impact on the growth of it. The next major point of interest for research into the drug trade is the productivity of workers in the United States Economy. During a Department of Justice, Drug intelligence Center study into the overall effects of illicit drug use the researchers found that out of all economic debt incurred due to illicit drug use,193,096,930?$, the vast majority was due to loss of productivity in the workforce. More specifically the loss of, labor participation, specialty treatment for services provided at the state level, specialty treatment for services provided at the federal level, hospitalization costs, incarceration costs, premature mortality (nonhomicide), and premature mortality(homicide), which come out to a total monetary subtotal $120,304,004$. This number seems to go hand in hand with a similar study done by Alan B. Krueger of Princeton University that found in an August 2017 report that as much as 20 percent of the decline of male participation in the labor force could be related to opioid abuse. With all of these studies in mind it seems that they all point to a significant loss or dropping of the economic value in the United States Economy. 

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Though the United States finds itself knees deep in an illicit drug trade some research has come out to support a solution to the issue that could present a positive economic effect. As reported on by the Incb organization, for the United States every $1 invested in drug addiction treatment yields a return of between $4 and $12 in reduced crime and health-care costs. This one study suggests that the negative effects to the economy can be counteracted however there is not enough data to really show weather or not the over all effect of treatments would be felt meaningful in the economy. The United States isn’t the only country of interest for researchers looking into the Drug Trade, many researchers have found a fascinating interest in the local rural employment of the Mexican People who operate in the Drug Trade. Researchers at the University of Harvard conducted a study of Mexican society to see to what level it was effected by the Drug Trade for the US government. They found that “peasants get paid a lump sum of 400,000 pesos, the equivalent of 40,000 US$ to produce illegal market crops vs. the latter where a corn merchant offers up a lump some of 12,000 pesos for his yield.”(8.) Furthermore there research found a double incentive for poor rural farmers because, “smugglers offer peasants a service of “social security by paying some proportion of the merchandise value if the harvest gets ruined by natural uncontrollable conditions.”(8.) They also found that Marijuana is six times more valuable than vanilla Mexico’s number One well- paid agriculture product which based on later data seemed to be a very convincing argument for many poor rural farmer. 

These farmers were just the tip of the iceberg however Harvard’s research found that “Besides peasants, other common drug-related occupations include chemists, lawyers, managers of laboratories, merchants and transporters.”(9.) More to the point they found, “it has been estimated that for each of the 100 peasants working in drug production, there are at least 56 more persons involved in other stages of drug traffic.”(9.) They found that the approximate number of people employed by the Drug Trade to be 468,000 which noted by the research team is almost three times as many employed by the largest government owned company PEMEX who is also known world wide as the 4th largest oil company. When researchers compared the employment of individuals in the drug trade they found the employment of the top legitimate industries of Mexico the drug industry houses around Five times more employees than Mexico’s leading timber industry along with 50,000 -100,00 more workers then the 2nd biggest industry sector paper and editing industry. The drug industry also ranked as the four most important industry of Mexico’s National economy. In summation the research provided by Harvard University seem to point to the idea that there is a substantial amount of economic gain to those living at the lower wage levels of society. As a whole when it comes to the effect of the drug trade on the Economies both national and local of the United States and Mexico there district positives and negatives. 

As pertaining to my research question of what effect did the drug Trade have on the National economies of the United States it was shown that over all the effect it had on the productivity of the average work stayed more detrimental to the economy then any else. While on the other Hand when it came to the health care system there were actually signs of benefits to the economy, money earned in direct response to drug use. In the end however these costs couldn’t come close to competing with the overwhelming strain put on the over growing judicial system. As for my curiosity towards the effects of the drug trade on Local Mexican economy the over all consensus was positive. Though many of the workers were doing jobs that there own government considered illegal they were making in many cases 3 times the amount that they normally, which in turn lead to the illicit drug industry seeming to be a positive force on at least the local economy of Rural farmers at large. 

Though many of the studies have competing information they all seem to point to the same conclusion that Drug Trade is not all bad as many people believe it to be. Though once most of the research is complied an the overall effect of the Drug Trade is weighted in favor of beginning a negative effect on the economy, it seems to me that the positive effects of the drug trade are worth more then what people realize at first glance. While the benefits are minimal and don’t overcome what the negative effects as you look though at each benefit you’ll may find that each tend to hint to a better solution for the drug trade problem then one’s we already use. I believe whole heartedly that if we spend some time looking into why exactly the benefits in the drug trade are occurring we can develop new policies not yet on the floor of senate being discussed that decrease the negative effect of the Drug Trade on the economy and further more expand on certain industries that are already apart of the economy further growing our GDP overall which what has taken such hit due to the Drug Trade. When It comes to the drug Trade in many regards after countless hours and days of research it is a topic that tends to leave more open ended answers rather than cold hard. The fact that many of the numbers in its depths are shrouded due to the nature of its illicit business helps lend its self to be associated with its generally negative vague effect that impact the United States. The idea that The Drugs are strictly bad for the economy however is just note the case. 

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