We often see the Health Lobby (whoever they may be) producing blood curdling statistics about alcohol and how it is killing us all. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have been at it too. This time the target is Germany who as we know have had an economy blighted by alcohol from time immemorial and are an economic basket case. Oh. Wait a minute. They aren't.
Seems though that while Germans have cut down in the last few years to a figure of 11 litres of alcohol per head – 1980's figure was 16.5 litres of pure alcohol – they're still exposing themselves to a lot of health risks by overindulging. So a pattern emerges that we are all familiar with. The trend is down but there is still a call to do something about it. In this case the recommendation is to put the price up as there is "a lot of slack in Germany's tax and regulatory framework". The report goes on to talk about
Well forgive me, but this is an economic question as well as a social one. It seems though that there is a problem in Germany. Intervention by doctors at an early stage would cost $228 million dollars more than continuing with existing policies which have seen the large reductions in consumption.
Pick the bones out of that.
If you really feel depressed you can read the full report here. It is only 240 pages long.