75th Anniversary of the End of Prohibition

There have been very few things that the government has done and later was undone as fast as alcohol. Today marks the 75th anniversary of this. This from The USA Today:

“People across the USA might take time out from the economic crisis and its sober comparisons to the Great Depression today to toast the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.

Celebrations of the 1933 ratification of the 21st Amendment, which ended the country’s dry spell, are planned in San Francisco, Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.

The milestone comes at a time when a growing number of states and municipalities are relaxing Sunday alcohol sales restrictions.”

The free market haven Cato Institute is holding a party and speakers will be present for this occasion. The event is here but is is sold out. Of course, Alcohol is still heavily regulated and heavily taxed. Some of these loosening of restrictions are more just attempts to try and gain more revenue but what are some of the things we learned from the Prohibition.

  • Banning something benefited the black-market more than the moralists.
  • Enforcement was very expensive
  • People found a way around the ban.

The government realized that instead of taxing and spending money on an unpopular war on Alcohol that they could allow it and just tax us. Call that freedom, sure it is better than it was but we still have a ways to go.


Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 4:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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British Nanny State: Happy Hour Ban

This from USA Today:

“LONDON (AP) — Britain is considering a ban on “happy hour” discounts at bars and restaurants to curb drinking, a spokesman said Saturday, as health advocates warned that a rise in liver-related deaths among young people may signal a future epidemic.

Health officials will decide on whether to ban the happy hours — designated times for discount drinks — once an independent policy review is published in coming weeks, a health department spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity.

The proposal was one of several aimed at stemming a trend in binge drinking in recent years, particularly among teenagers and young adults. The government also plans to spend $15 million on a new public awareness campaign, and wants to improve enforcement of laws against underage drinking.”

It is obvious that the government of Britain believes people are unable to take care of themselves. They are going to choose to infringe upon businesses and competition because they claim it will save lives. What will more than likely happen is people will just choose to drink at home. Not to mention, that this will be very hard to enforce. If a waitress forgets to charge you for a drink, will the British police bust in and arrest her?

Who else benefits? The government through tax revenue. Higher prices means higher taxes which means higher revenues. They are probably doing this to offset drinking costs to their health care system. Maybe if they have private health care, people would be more cautious of the amount they drink.

The rest is here.


Published in: on November 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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