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linda22003
06-25-2010, 09:25 AM
June in DC. Hot, muggy. Chance of scattered thunderstorms.

TOTD: I'm reading a very interesting new social history, "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition". I'm learning a lot from it. Did you know the "drys" were big on passing an income tax? They knew they couldn't get rid of alcohol without replacing the money it made for the government: ONE THIRD of the federal budget.
Did you know that congressional redistricting, which is mandated by the Constitution, didn't happen in the 1920s? The "Drys" knew that demographically the population was moving to the cities, which were "wet", and they knew Prohibition would be repealed if Congress was reapportioned to more accurately reflect the population in "wet" states. They managed to hold off redistricting until 1929, to take effect for the 1932 elections - when Prohibition was promptly repealed.

Question: Would you have supported Prohibition because of the perceived "social good"? Do you think that kind of social engineering should be attempted through legislation?

Rebel Yell
06-25-2010, 10:30 AM
Question: Would you have supported Prohibition because of the perceived "social good"? Do you think that kind of social engineering should be attempted through legislation?

I would have never supported prohibition. As a matter of fact, Lewis Redmond is one of America's unsung heroes. The old moonshiners in the Apps still exist. They just replaced their stills with dope fields in the mountains.

On the flip side, without prihibition, we wouldn't have NASCAR.

Gingersnap
06-25-2010, 10:50 AM
June in DC. Hot, muggy. Chance of scattered thunderstorms.

TOTD: I'm reading a very interesting new social history, "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition". I'm learning a lot from it. Did you know the "drys" were big on passing an income tax? They knew they couldn't get rid of alcohol without replacing the money it made for the government: ONE THIRD of the federal budget.
Did you know that congressional redistricting, which is mandated by the Constitution, didn't happen in the 1920s? The "Drys" knew that demographically the population was moving to the cities, which were "wet", and they knew Prohibition would be repealed if Congress was reapportioned to more accurately reflect the population in "wet" states. They managed to hold off redistricting until 1929, to take effect for the 1932 elections - when Prohibition was promptly repealed.

Question: Would you have supported Prohibition because of the perceived "social good"? Do you think that kind of social engineering should be attempted through legislation?

It will be in the low 90s today (higher in Denver) which is kind of hot. It'll cool down after that, though.

TOTD: Since a significant part of my family is LDS, I can really see both sides of the argument. In a lot of counties in Wyoming with a big Mormon presence, the places are "virtually" dry. Somebody will be selling liquor there but the zoning and other kinds of code enforcement will restrict the business to some out of the way area.

It really is true that following the LDS prescriptions against alcohol, drugs, smokes, and even stimulating drinks seems to result in a healthier population with fewer violence problems. I don't think anybody can deny that.

On the other hand, Mormons do it because they want to. When that kind of regulation is applied from without and enforced on an unwilling population they just all become petty criminals. Real criminals emerge to feed the black markets. The populations loses faith in government. The end result doesn't justify the means. People didn't stop drinking during Prohibition, after all, they just did it on the sly. If anything, it makes alcohol more glamorous.

So, no. I wouldn't support it.

RobJohnson
06-25-2010, 11:00 AM
Today will be warm.

TOTD: As much as I had to drink last night with co-workers, today I could support Prohibition. :D

linda22003
06-25-2010, 11:58 AM
What about the larger question, legislation of social behavior in general?

FlaGator
06-25-2010, 12:12 PM
What about the larger question, legislation of social behavior in general?

The government already does that.

Gingersnap
06-25-2010, 12:18 PM
What about the larger question, legislation of social behavior in general?

I'm not a big fan of "social good" when it's proposed and enforced by the government. By all means, join a religion or benevolent society that requires high standards for members and which works to alleviate suffering in the world but leave me alone. I'll decide if I want to join or not.

Despite the temptation to impose what I'd regard as "sensible" limits on behavior, this kind of thing has a track record for becoming obsessive and intrusive. There's little effective difference between a theocracy and a government using a policy of social pragmatism or utilitarianism.

linda22003
06-25-2010, 12:23 PM
The government already does that.

And do you approve? Prohibition was doomed to fail because it tried to end a behavior a lot of people found normal or desirable. It criminalized something that had been perfectly legal. Are there other examples of that and how do you feel about them?

Rebel Yell
06-25-2010, 12:29 PM
And do you approve? Prohibition was doomed to fail because it tried to end a behavior a lot of people found normal or desirable. It criminalized something that had been perfectly legal. Are there other examples of that and how do you feel about them?

We can't buy alcohol on Sunday here. I used to buy a couple extra cases on Saturday, then sell them for double the price on Sunday. Alot of convenience stores make a nice penny on Sunday mornings.

PoliCon
06-25-2010, 12:40 PM
TOTD: Am I against it? To be quite honest - depends on which level of government such legislation is attempted. At the federal level - WHOLEHEARTEDLY YES. At the state level - depends on the impact. On the local level - communities have the right to decide together what is acceptable behavior in their community.

FlaGator
06-25-2010, 12:54 PM
And do you approve? Prohibition was doomed to fail because it tried to end a behavior a lot of people found normal or desirable. It criminalized something that had been perfectly legal. Are there other examples of that and how do you feel about them?

I think that I would have to make the judgement based on each individual law. In the case of prohibition, I think I would have a difficult time getting behind that law on a federal level. That is something that should be more local and thus limited in scoop. If a town or county or state decided to make alcohol illegal I don't think that I'd have a problem with that. At the federal level, to decide carte blanche for all the people in the country, I don't believe the federal authorities should have that discretion.

Gingersnap
06-25-2010, 01:38 PM
TOTD: Am I against it? To be quite honest - depends on which level of government such legislation is attempted. At the federal level - WHOLEHEARTEDLY YES. At the state level - depends on the impact. On the local level - communities have the right to decide together what is acceptable behavior in their community.

In Colorado, every county and town can elect to go dry if they want to do it. I don't think any are at the moment but they can exercise the option if there's enough interest.

PoliCon
06-25-2010, 01:43 PM
In Colorado, every county and town can elect to go dry if they want to do it. I don't think any are at the moment but they can exercise the option if there's enough interest.

And I would support the rights of a town to do that. At the state level - no way - and at the federal level - HELL NO.

lacarnut
06-25-2010, 03:17 PM
I worked at a small golf country club in a dry city. We would bootleg beer and liquor from an adjoining parish. Did not have to worry about getting busted cause the mayor and sheriff belonged to the club.

Rebel Yell
06-25-2010, 03:49 PM
I worked at a small golf country club in a dry city. We would bootleg beer and liquor from an adjoining parish. Did not have to worry about getting busted cause the mayor and sheriff belonged to the club.

Neighbor: I wish you'd all lay off for tonight! I can't hear myself think with that racket!
lacarnut: Hey! HEY!
Neighbor: Knock it off or I'm calling the police!
lacarnut: I told you three times already, the law's on my side! I play cards with J.D. Shelnut, chief of PO-lice! So kiss my ass, you old bastard!

at the 1:05 mark

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swwjTfdOjo4&feature=related

noonwitch
06-25-2010, 04:21 PM
It's really nice here, today. Sunny, low 80s, and not humid.


TOTD: I probably would not have supported Prohibition. I don't support the war on drugs as it pertains to marijuana (although cocaine and heroin are different matters). They had the Purple Gang in Detroit bringing whiskey to the city from Canada, via Grosse Ille (an island in the Detroit River that would have been pretty rural in the 20s). When a mile-wide river is all that separates a dry area from a "wet" area, it's going to be tough to enforce.

One of my favorite Simpsons episode is the one where Springfield institutes prohibition, and Homer becomes the "beer baron".

RobJohnson
06-26-2010, 11:53 AM
What about the larger question, legislation of social behavior in general?

I live in a town where just about anything is legal. This includes gambling, medical weed & whores.

warpig
06-26-2010, 12:36 PM
I was under the impression that Prohibition grew out of the women's suffrage movement.
Also that the per capita consumption of alcohol reduced it's self during prohibition and when prohibition ended, the per capita consumption stayed low for many, many years.

linda22003
06-26-2010, 04:32 PM
I was under the impression that Prohibition grew out of the women's suffrage movement.
Also that the per capita consumption of alcohol reduced it's self during prohibition and when prohibition ended, the per capita consumption stayed low for many, many years.

This book explains that Prohibition combined three interests to get passage: those who wanted the nation dry, those who wanted to institute an income tax, and the women's suffrage movement (since it was assumed that most women would vote dry). The income tax was touted by Prohibitionists as a way to replace the money the federal government had been getting from taxes on alcohol.