Beer tax?

Might I direct you to this thread. I will be starting a new batch this weekend.

You are confused because obesity doesn’t cause heart attacks, or, according to the research, even attribute to them. Heart disease has been plummeting since the 50s. (Which is odd, considering the false rhetoric about how we are more obese and less healthy as a result)

Beer does, in large enough quantities over a long enough period of time, contribute to some forms of cancer. And cancer is really the only cause of death that hasn’t gone down in the last 50 years. I don’t think its a significant enough factor to make a tax a reasonable course of action. But I haven’t really looked into it. Cigarettes and environmental pollutants, I’m sure, are much larger pieces of the pie.

That’s very contrary to what the message I hear everywhere else. Got a good explanation for why a lot of people including my physician are giving me info that contradicts what you are saying?

I already pay for my own healthcare though.

I’m sure the source will be the first thing attacked, but:

Have a Coke and a Tax: The economic case against soda taxes

[i]With the federal deficit reaching $1.4 trillion and most state budgets deep in the red, policy makers are desperately searching for new sources of revenue that the tapped-out American public might support. They think they’ve found one at the corner store: a tax on carbonated beverages. Charging a few more cents for a soft drink, legislators claim, will not only refresh exhausted state and federal revenues; it will make us thinner.


The economic literature tells a different story. The rationale behind a tax on soft drinks, or any sin tax, is that when the government raises prices on a certain good, it will become so expensive that consumers will give it up. Having been forced to eschew that sin because of the high monetary price, consumers will reap the moral and/or physical benefits of not indulging, thereby bettering themselves and society.

The story sounds plausible. The trouble is that sin taxers don’t appreciate human creativity: Consumers have a knack for replacing one sin with another. When the price of a “sinful” good increases, people often substitute an equally “bad” good in its place.

A 1998 study by William N. Evans, an economist at the University of Notre Dame du Lac, and Matthew C. Farrelly, a public health researcher at RTI International, found that smokers in high-tax states tend to consume cigarettes that are longer and higher in tar and nicotine than smokers in low-tax states. This effect is especially pronounced among 18-to- 24-year-olds because they are more responsive to tax changes than older smokers. They have less money, so they want more bang for their bucks.

A 1992 study by University of Michigan economist John E. DiNardo and University of British Columbia economist Thomas Lemieux found that when states raised beer taxes or increased the minimum drinking age, teen marijuana consumption increased. A 1994 study by University of Illinois economist Frank Chaloupka and Chulalongkorn University economist Adit Laixuthai replicated those results—and also found that beer consumption declined in states that decriminalized marijuana.


Governments don’t always spend sin tax money the way they promise. Money from the Master Settlement Agreement, the deal that ended state litigation against the major tobacco companies, was supposed to fund smoking cessation programs and defray the costs that smoking imposes on public health systems. Once they had the money, though, states used it as a giant slush fund, diverting it to schools, roads, and various pet projects. They even invested some of it in tobacco stocks.[/i]

It’d be interesting to see total smoking numbers to non-smoking in high tax states vs low tax states though. The beer and marijuana statistic is interesting, but odd.

Is marijuana easier to get for underage “drinkers” than beer? Really?

Edit: The other thing would be to look at what constitutes increase, was it an equal offset? If raising the drinking age or taxing alcohol cut drinking by minors by 10 percent, but increased marijuana usage by 3%, it may be a reasonable trade off.

No real new news in that article, I thought it was fairly well established that sin taxes don’t do a ton to suppress consumption but are decent moneymakers. Lawmakers love em because they can pass them on moralistic grounds and thus sneak tax increases past people who might otherwise chafe at new taxes.

I mostly posted the link because it’s a little more recent and I thought the marijuana statistic (which had been studied twice, not just “modeled” or something) was interesting. Then I agonized over my choice between this thread, the healthcare thread, and the CA marijuana thread!