Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Big Brother is Watching Everyone

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 mythical potential lives saved (45,000 in Germany), but we all know these kind of stats have to be taken with a very large pinch of salt. There is an admission that to increase prices and restrict availability would affect the innocent as well as the guilty (and this is a worldwide recommendation) and that "This is not a question that economics can answer, each country will have to weigh the evidence in their own circumstances.” 

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 hereIt is only 240 pages long.


Curmudgeon said...

Why aren't stories like this highlighted in "What's Brewing" every month?

Stanley Blenkinsop said...

Meanwhile another report out today by the Institute of Economic Affairs points to the many benefits of 24-hour drinking.

Cooking Lager said...

once they have hit the supermarkets, they'll leave the pubs alone, honest.

real ale is a special drink, not like wine, lager and vodka tonics. They'll leave real ale one, honest.

Beermunster said...

Claims that you can save £x billion by reducing alcohol consumption are flawed. If we all stopped drinking tomorrow, for sure liver disease would fall and the NHS would save a lot of money. But there wouldn't really be a cost saving because those people would live longer, require more treatment for other diseases, and probably cost the NHS rather more.

Cooking Lager said...

but if you hammer lager and wine drinker, they'll rush into pubs for a pint of bitter, won't they? won't they?

They's never hammer cask ale. It's special and the people that drink it are special.