Leading on OFT condemnation of the tomfoolery, unintended consequences we can expect to see are explained.
The report [the OFT] refer to is here [PDF], and despite being hefty, is well worth a read. We learn that minimum pricing, not so surprisingly, causes knock-on price rises. After France introduced retail price restrictions, food prices rose at almost twice the general rate of inflation, and the pricing shackles played a part. Irish families paid €500m thanks to rules preventing below-cost selling.On bent studies:
In 1999, American economist Thomas Dee found that, in the States, "beer taxes have relatively small and statistically insignificant effects on teen drinking". It isn't what the prohibitionists want to hear.On policy-based evidence:
The watchdog also quoted a notorious Sheffield University meta-meta study on alcohol pricing and demand. The Sheffield academics knew about Dee's beer tax finding and wrote in their study: "Having taken this potential confounding variable into account, the effect of taxes on drinking disappeared." Having acknowledged this point, they then ignored it.
Some corners of academia, particularly social policy research, are flourishing by presenting evidence that conveniently meets the demand from politicians, which helps stimulate future funding. Report authors have an active role in the development of policy, tailoring their conclusions to government strategy. (Here's a comical illustration.)And on fake charities and/or government lobbying government.
In addition to manufacturing evidence, governments and their officials also use your money to generate demand for their policies.Little by little, the chicanery and outright lies of the prohibitionist industry are beginning to be more recognised. Very encouraging.
In 2008, the largest funder of the [Alliance Health Foundation] was the European Union, and the foundation raised just £70 (seven-zero pounds) in donations from the general public. So much for independence. The modern alcohol campaign is really the temperance movement in return - and the AHF provides the link between prohibitionism past and present.
Please do go read the whole thing.