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Alcohol

  1. Sep 3, 2004 #1
    Can anyone tell me if the revenue created from alcohol makes up for the medical bills and deaths created by it in terms of long-term revenue.
     
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  3. Sep 3, 2004 #2

    Gokul43201

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    It's hard to determine what proportion of medical problems/deaths are directly/indirectly caused by alcohol consumption. A lower bound should not be hard to figure out, though. I'm not sure the FDA has any info on this. The best I found was on the NIH website - a link to a survey conducted by NIAAA, titled National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (http://niaaa.census.gov/). You might try downloading the data from there, but I'm almost sure it's not going to be what you're looking for.
     
  4. Sep 3, 2004 #3

    Moonbear

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    The answer to your question might depend on whether you're interested in strictly a monetary measure. I'm sure that the families of alcoholics or of a young person who died while binge drinking would say that no amount of revenue is worth the cost to them.

    However, we already tried the alternative of making alcohol illegal in the US (prohibition), and it didn't make any of the problems go away. In a way, it's safer that alcohol is being sold, because at least it isn't contaminated with methanol as can happen when people are making their own moonshine in backyard stills. Well, until you factor in the advertising to youth.

    So, I guess if you are going to do a cost-benefits type analysis, it couldn't be as simple as saying the profit from manufacturing/selling alcohol vs cost of alcohol use/abuse. You'd have to factor in how much of that alcohol use and abuse would still occur without an actual industry selling the product. Afterall, alcohol is pretty simple to make, so just taking it off the shelves of stores wouldn't necessarily keep it from being brewed in basements and backyards.
     
  5. Sep 3, 2004 #4

    Gokul43201

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    And that's why some kinds of regulation are essential. <Okay, I don't want to make this a political discussion.>
     
  6. Sep 3, 2004 #5

    Moonbear

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    Gokul, I wasn't trying to justify alcohol abuse or the tactics of the brewers in targetting youth. I think the biggest problem I have is that there are more restrictions on advertising liquor than beer. It's like there's still a notion that beer isn't as bad for you as liquor, like somehow the alcohol is different. Especially with the availability of cheap beer, which do you think kids are more likely to get their hands on when they can find someone to buy for them?
     
  7. Sep 3, 2004 #6
    Even as a non-drinker I can answer that question as a teenager. I live on a town near a border so everything is going on. I avoid it but the talk still goes around. Beer seems to be much easier to get.

    I think Alcohol should be banned entirely. I was just wondering if the negative medical costs and car-damage costs, ect, are buffered by Alcohol profits through tax. Do profits also excel the benefits financially?. I don't think Alcohol can be morally justified either way. I'm just curious.
     
  8. Sep 3, 2004 #7

    Moonbear

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    If you're talking about taxes, vice taxes are usually meant to help offset the cost to society. I don't even know if they break even. But, there's more to it than that. This is similarly related to the discussion on cigarettes going on here too. There are a lot of people employed to manufacture, distribute and retail alcohol.

    I enjoy an occassional alcoholic drink, but the key being occassional. And, actually, I'd be quite happy if someone could mimic the flavor without the alcohol. Yes, I like the taste. I always have. Some people I know didn't like alcohol and would drink it anyway just to get drunk or to "fit in" with the others drinking, but that was never me. I was never into the drinking to get drunk thing. Not that I didn't make that mistake a couple times, but I learned my lesson pretty quickly (those darned fruity drinks that go down easy and you don't notice how much you've had until it's too late).
     
  9. Sep 5, 2004 #8

    jimmy p

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    Alcohol in moderation is good for you. Red wine is good for your blood. It can lower heart disease and is scientifically proven to reduce cholesterol. In fact most drugs that stimulate production of "pleasure hormones" are good for you. In the same way that laughing is good for you. Beer is good for you as it has almost the same chemical balance as bread... same vitamins and minerals. In fact the ancient Egyptians used to call it "liquid bread".

    However alcohol in excess is bad for you. Much like anything in excess is bad for you, much like vitamin A and E, or even vitamin C which, when taken in excess, has been linked to increased chances of cancer (next time you to tell someone to go suck a lemon, think of the consequences! :wink: ). Alcohol is a darn sight better for you than crop spraying and the pesticides on plants, or headlice shampoo (discovered during WW2 when the Germans were researching nerve gas).

    Alcohol shouldnt be banned, but awareness levels on the dangers of alcohol SHOULD be raised, as to the effects and problems it can cause.
     
  10. Sep 5, 2004 #9
    I don't think the Red wine fact is completely true. It still kills brain cells through alcohol and gives your body other harmful sugars and other things that are in it. I'm sure you can get an equally good blood improvement through doing something that doesn't involve Alcohol. It's probably the grapes in the wine that provide the health benefit anyway. I believe I heard that somewhere.

    I'll probably always think Alcohol should be banned. I think people are far to lenient towards things that provide a miniscule amount of pleasure, even if the negative results are much higher.
     
  11. Sep 5, 2004 #10

    Evo

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    There are a lot of indications that alcohol in small quantities, especially wine, have benefits. Unfortunately some people can't stop after one or two drinks, and there is where the dangers far outwiegh the benefits.

    Here is an interesting article on wine.

    Alcohol 'improves IQ'

    Moderate drinking may actually improve brain power, according to Japanese research.

    It is thought that an ingredient of alcoholic drinks may help prevent or restrict the hardening of the arteries which could lessen blood flow to the brain.

    However, there are other factors linked to moderate alcohol consumption which could also be linked to improved IQ.

    continued

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1058526.stm
     
  12. Sep 5, 2004 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    I've always wondered how many decisions for war and other critical decisions were made by drunken leaders of nations. Considering the obvious influences on behavior, the impact of alcohol on world history may be hard to imagine.

    Even though I can't drink due to blood sugar issues, I oppose a ban on alcohol; or any other drugs for that matter. If laws against drugs and alcohol worked they may be worth considering. Unfortunately they don't work in a free nation. I believe that personal behavior is easier to affect through education than are black markets though force.

    The cost of alcohol use is probably immeasurable when one considers broken families, deaths, mental retardation in children, failed careers, not to mention the many emotional disorders in the children of addicted parents. Still, at worst I see this as a problem of human nature - more a problem of biology than of criminal behavior. Also, it appears that we may beat addiction one day. I'm not sure how mature this field of study is but I know advances have been made in recent years.
     
  13. Sep 6, 2004 #12

    Gza

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    i'm drunk right now, and am doing great! :redface:
     
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