Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Why is booze so heavily taxed?
Why? It saves us from ourselves. The so-called 'sin tax' actually does work. The American Journal of Public Health has a great article about this in their November 2011 edition. Researchers at the University of Florida College of Medicine found that a 10% increase in the price of alcohol lead to a 5% reduction in consumption. There are actual societal benefits of high booze taxes besides full government coffers. The price of alcohol is inversely related to many alcohol related problems except one: suicide. That's right; as the price of hooch goes up, we stop doing bad things. They also found that doubling alcohol taxes could potentially reduce alcohol related mortality by 35%, traffic crashes by 11%, STDs by 6%, violence by 2% and crime by 1.2%. These results were obtained by analyzing 162 papers about alcohol pricing, taxation and alcohol related outcomes.
What was the best part of this article? They actually said delirium tremens was an alcohol-related morbidity. So keep liquor taxes high and hopefully we will see fewer pink elephants.