No, really, this is gaga.
Canada reduces boozing by having higher taxes. Therefore we should adopt minimum unit pricing, the system that does not involve higher taxation. These cunts have flipped, haven\’t they?
My comment left at The Guardian:
Dear God this article is bad. So howlingly bad that I\’m not sure whether the author even understands how appallingly bad it is.
Do higher booze prices lead to less boozing? Yes, obviously: demand curves slope downwards. There can be a turning point when something becomes so expensive that everyone goes off and gets the illegal stuff, brewing hooch or whatever, but in general higher prices will lead to lower consumption.
This is just straight Econ 101.
Excellent. So, there are, conceptually, two (at least two) ways that we can make the price of booze higher.
1) We can increase the amount the State takes out of a drink. We could use tax, we could use a distribution monopoly that makes a profit. But the point is that the government, (the state, State, Province, call it what you will) gets a larger chunk of the cash. This both pushes up the prices and increases revenue: that second means that we can decrease the revenue collected from other things. Excellent.
2) We can insist on legislating minimum prices. In this case the price goes up, yes. But the state doesn\’t get any of the extra revenue. That goes to the manufacturers, retailers. Because they must sell it at this minimum price: therefore no competition to reduce prices to attract custom. Thus, minimum pricing, does indeed increase prices (and reduce consumption) but not to the benefit of the state, nor to the reduction of other taxes. But to the benefit of the private sector manufacturers and retailers.
And here\’s where this article (and presumably the report) goes completely gaga. Proof of our Econ 101 concept, that higher prices reduce demand and consumption, is not proof that option 2 is better than option 1. But that is how it is being used: we are being told that higher taxation of booze proves that we should adopt the insane Scottish idea of not having higher taxation on booze.
Professors Stockwell and Thomas gain a F for this paper. Seriously, this logic is just insane. You\’d be marked down in a GCSE paper for even thinking about using such nonsense.
As I say, the cunts have flipped, haven\’t they?