Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The no-fun crowd across the pond.

Via The Economist, there is a movement currently afoot in the United Kingdom to legislate price floors for discount alcohol. In an attempt to "save lives," (that's the worst lie these people will ever tell you, it's all about power and control) they are considering mandating a price increase for bottom-shelf booze by more than a factor of three, in order to curb the consumption of the bottom-shelf booze by increasing the acquisition threshold. What ignorant sluts!

Firstly, this is highly punitive against low-income earners. Why limit their access to something they enjoy? It seems highly elitist and classist. This law will not change middle and high income earner consumption patterns. The werewolf firmly believes that all decent citizens of any civilized nation should have access to alcohol. It's a human right.

Secondly, this assumes that these people whom they are maliciously targeting will be dissuaded by the new cost barrier. They are likely to reallocate the funds from elsewhere in their budget and switch to a mid-tier brand to consume at the same rate. Being a hard drinker is like being a smoker, you'll find ways to support your habit. Additionally, it may give rise to home-brewing or other alternatives. It may even give rise to a small black market for the current inventory to be moved. Therefor nothing has been achieved except anti-poor people taxes being passed in the name of do-gooderism.

Thirdly, it targets the manufacturers of cheap swill. What have they done wrong other than find and fulfill a market need? While the bottom shelfers get hammered, other producers of mid and higher shelf brands and products may experience an influx of new consumers as the consumption hierarchy realigns itself. It will also likely impact retailers, as the ones who moved the cheap stuff in volume will likely see their primary market vanish. It is a perverse meddling in the market, that will benefit some producers at the expense of others, while sodomizing low-income earners. Where's the justice in that?

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