Scotland’s government may be the biggest buzzkill in Europe, depending on the outcome of an unprecedented court case that would allow officials to set a price floor for cheap alcohol. The goal is to discourage heavy drinking by mandating all alcohol be sold at what amounts to $0.72 per 10 mL (about 0.33 oz.) of pure alcohol, or $2.17 per oz.
From The Wall Street Journal:
Alcohol is a particularly hot-button issue in Scotland, where sales were 20% higher than in England and Wales last year, according to data released last week by Scotland’s National Health Service. Drinking kills six Scots a day, and Scottish drinkers are twice as likely to die of alcohol-related health problems as those in the rest of the U.K., according to data from the Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems, a government-funded group.
This is not only an attack on freedom; it’s an attack on capitalism. The alcohol industry rightfully worries this will cause turmoil in a market that seems to be thriving off of Scottish party people. Let’s see how this totalitarian law would affect liquor prices in the land of the free, using Pennsylvania prices (since Pa is already plenty corrupt).
A handle of Crown Russe is $10.99 and 80 proof, meaning it’s 40 percent alcohol. That amounts to 0.7 liters (23.67 oz.) of pure alcohol per handle. Presently, that’s a cool $0.47 per oz., which will make some cheap juice. Now, let’s set the price under potential Scottish law ($2.17 per oz.). That handle is now a slightly less affordable $51.37. Could you imagine shelling out $200 or $300 just to make juice? Think your dues are high already? Fuck the pledges. They can have milk.
How will it affect beer?
Our local distributor sells 24 packs of Lionshead 12 oz. cans also for $10.99. Lionshead weighs in at 4.5 percent ABV, meaning you get 12.96 oz. of pure alcohol per case. At an American distributor, that’s about $0.85 per ounce, which ain’t bad. In Scotland, this cheap-ass beer will run you $28.13.
What the hell?
As if I don’t drain my bank account enough on the devil’s nectar, I’d need to sell some non-vital organs to support my h̶a̶b̶i̶t̶ hobby in Scotland. This is effectively prohibition and the Scot government ought to expect people will start making their own moonshine and bathtub beer, should this law kick in.
“We don’t believe in penalizing the majority of people who drink responsibly,” said a spokeswoman for Diageo, the world’s largest drinks maker and the biggest distiller of Scotch whisky. She added that the company believes in an approach focused on “the minority of irresponsible drinkers.”
Exactly. Why punish all the responsible drinkers like us because a couple jagoffs might “have a drinking problem?” Fortunately, there’s no reason to fear this bullshit will cross the pond. The US government only sets price floors to subsidize agriculture, so this kind of market intervention would be unprecedented.
[via Wall Street Journal]
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