Friday, April 24, 2009

Bad boys and girls

I heard Geoffrey Palmer, ever the old school prefect, on RNZ (via wifi radio) last night talking earnestly about how people drank too much and how there needed to be steps to address it. The Law Commission is arguing for a higher drinking age, for higher taxes on alcohol and shorter opening hours. A bit like keeping the whole class behind after school because a few kids did something wrong. The NZ Herald reports further on this.

Will de Cleene correctly slams this, as raising the drinking age makes alcohol MORE of a forbidden fruit than it is, and all the measures combined just raise the black market opportunities, including increased theft of alcohol.

Yes, some people commit crimes when they are drunk - that is a matter for the criminal justice system. Yes there is legitimate concern about people who drink so much they barely function or act in ways dangerous to themselves and others. However, that isn't because alcohol is available, it is cultural and particular to certain individuals.

You might ask yourself why so many people want to escape reality. Could it be because far too many people talk as if something isn't what it is? Could it be because so many live lives of quiet desperation and intoxication is an escape from them loathing reality?

UPDATE: Blair Mulholland puts it rather succinctly "Why should the government stop restricting alcohol sales? Because alcohol is fun. Because people enjoy it, most of the time responsibly. Because I like it and want to buy it. That should really be all the argument anybody ever needs."

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