It’s been almost 70 years since alcohol Prohibition was repealed, and you’d think nobody would want to go back to the era when sipping an adult beverage could land you in the clink.
But The Chicago Tribune reports that 10 city precincts will vote today on whether or not to completely ban the sale of alcohol, and all 10 are expected to pass. If this comes as a shock, consider that four years ago Chicago voters made 18 precincts completely “dry,” forcing the closure of at least 42 businesses.
This is not happening in a vacuum. If you enjoy a drink now and then, however responsibly, well-heeled activist groups are out to get you.
Last month, MADD’s convention featured repeated calls for higher taxes on alcohol. Boston University public health professor (and Join Together Online founder and MADD vice president) Ralph Hingson told the assembled activists that a one percent beer tax hike translates into a one percent drop in consumption. This, he reasoned, is a good thing in and of itself. “We should be going the direction of Alaska,” Hingson said, “and raising the price of alcohol.” MADD’s annual operating budget is over $46 million.
The misnamed Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is still harping on the supposed societal dangers of flavored malt beverages (what it derisively calls “alcopops”). Despite an unequivocal Federal Trade Commission ruling that found these drinks are not marketed toward underage drinkers, CSPI’s George Hacker is sounding the alarm in today’s Washington Post. An industry spokesman hit the nail on the head, observing that “CSPI is all about junk science in its own self-interest.” CSPI spends over $15 million each year demonizing foods and drinks that it doesn’t think the rest of us should have.