We're seeing more social- and drug-related problems as time goes on: texting and driving, alcoholism, suicide, depression, drug abuse, domestic abuse, homelessness, anxiety, stress, shopping addiction, social alienation, racism and many more problems. Nobody wants any of these problems around, so we put our money into programs that attempt to fix them only after they've occurred. Year after year we increase funding to law enforcement, advocacy groups, psychiatric hospitals and nonprofits as an experiment to see what problems get fixed. The experiment fails each and every time and few seem to remember, especially when the statistics are skewed to make an exorbitant amount of money seem well spent.

It's not that people need to force themselves to quit drinking, shrug off their social problems, admit themselves to a mental hospital or save the money they've panhandled to scrape by in an apartment without a job. This is another experiment we see many times where people almost always lapse back into their old ways.

This isn't the news anyone wants to hear. We each need to recognize that pushing money at our problems does little or less. Together as a Rock County community we must find something that people will want more than each of these problems. Many religions say "love thy neighbor" regardless of who they are. Historically, only tightly knit communities have seen few of these problems. I hope for our future, we can replace our tall fences with longer tables.



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