Hey Tom Where can I find that info?

Story: Preventing DVD Playback on Linux Like Prohibition in the 1920'sTotal Replies: 10
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Nov 27, 2005
1:12 PM EDT
Quoting:Consumption of alcohol fell at the beginning of Prohibition, but subsequently increased to the highest levels ever seen in the US.

Tom -- did that happen during Prohibition, or subsequent to it?

I've been able to find numbers through 1929, but those levels were still nearly 25% lower ( about 1.2 gallons per capita vs. about 1.6 gpc) than 1910 levels.

It would not surprise me at all to see that drinking went through the roof during the Great Depression...

Nov 27, 2005
1:19 PM EDT
Actually, alcohol consumption was up during the War, then went down. So, the problem was already in a decline by 1920. It then went down for a short period and started back up.

By 1933 it was at the peak and then started down again.

You'll have to subpeona me for the information. Do you need my last known address?


Nov 27, 2005
3:47 PM EDT
Two problems with tracking something like drinking through those years. 20-33 it was illegal, 33-46 there was a depression so home brewing and bootlegging to avoid the revenuer were still in full swing.

One factoid I do know, there was a major shift in the form of consumption. Beer was the major American drink prior to prohibition. But beer takes up a lot of room, distilled spirits are far more compact and easy to transport, bigger bang for the cup as it were. Same for the war on some drugs, why move pot when, for the same risk, tens or hundreds of times the money per volume can be carried in cocaine?

Nov 27, 2005
3:51 PM EDT
OK. Per Capita Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages (Gallons of Pure Alcohol) 1910-1929.


Source: Clark Warburton, The Economic Results of Prohibition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1932), pp. 23-26, 72. Evidence of decreased consumption is provided by two important American economists, Irving Fisher and Clark Warburton.[3] It should be noted that annual per capita consumption and the percentage of annual per capita income spent on alcohol had been steadily falling before Prohibition and that annual spending on alcohol during Prohibition was greater than it had been before Prohibition.[4]

The decrease in quantity consumed needs at least four qualifications--qualifications that undermine any value that a prohibitionist might claim for reduced consumption. First, the decrease was not very significant. Warburton found that the quantity of alcohol purchased may have fallen 20 percent between the prewar years 1911-14 and 1927-30. Prohibition fell far short of eliminating the consumption of alcohol.[5]

Second, consumption of alcohol actually rose steadily after an initial drop. Annual per capita consumption had been declining since 1910, reached an all-time low during the depression of 1921, and then began to increase in 1922. Consumption would probably have surpassed pre-Prohibition levels even if Prohibition had not been repealed in 1933.[6] Illicit production and distribution continued to expand throughout Prohibition despite ever-increasing resources devoted to enforcement.[7] That pattern of consumption, shown in Figure 1, is to be expected after an entire industry is banned: new entrepreneurs in the underground economy improve techniques and expand output, while consumers begin to realize the folly of the ban.

Third, the resources devoted to enforcement of Prohibition increased along with consumption. Heightened enforcement did not curtail consumption. The annual budget of the Bureau of Prohibition went from $4.4 million to $13.4 milion during the 1920s, while Coast Guard spending on Prohibition averaged over $13 million per year.[8] To those amounts should be added the expenditures of state and local governments.

Total Expenditure on Distilled Spirts as a Percentage of Total Alcohol Sales (1890-1960)


Source: Clark Warburton, The Economic Result of Prohibition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1932), pp. 114-15; and Licensed Beverage Industry, Facts about the Licensed Beverage Industry (New York: LBI, 1961), pp. 54-55.

Now will you please digg this article?


Nov 27, 2005
4:12 PM EDT
Tom --

Yeah, I saw that Cato Institute report, which is why I wondered where you got your info. The statement I quoted isn't supported by the report. Not contradicted, just not supported.

Nov 27, 2005
5:04 PM EDT
What's obvious is that when you impose a prohibition of any type, it creates and economic market so lucrative that it easily entices the bottom feeders of society to take the extreme risks necessary to make their profit.

We see the most extreme examples of this today with the drug trade where the profits and the risks are totally insane. The whole feeds off itself till it becomes a monster that simply can't be stopped.

Media prohibition / restriction may not be quite as dramatic, but the same dynamics pretty much apply. As long as people want something, and you tell them they can't have it, you have an economic market. Some will try to profit by that.

Nov 27, 2005
5:40 PM EDT
What's obvious is that when you impose a prohibition of any type, it creates and economic market...

Taken in its pure context, you sir; have just ended the Microsoft/Linux War. Now all we have to do is encourage MS to bribe more congressmen and Newspaper Editors and make Linux illegal. Little do they realize they will ensure their own destruction.

Which gives me an idea, let me sleep on it and see if it gains "goofy idea" status in the harsh light of morning.



Nov 27, 2005
5:42 PM EDT
Helios: You're heading straight into enemy fire. Please consider flanking them. They big.

Nov 27, 2005
5:53 PM EDT
helios --

Ummmm....Unless you can start packing Linux in Grey Goose, it might not work as planned....

There is that nettlesome little issue of the demand component.

We're getting closer, but I don't think we've quite reached critical mass yet.

Drive up demand, THEN you prohibit.

Still...Hmmmmmmmmm...Scarface Torvalds...It's got a certain ring to it.

If we get ESR to play, we should have all the firepower we need.

Nov 27, 2005
6:00 PM EDT
Fire power yes. Led in the pencil, no.

Nov 27, 2005
7:00 PM EDT
"Taken in its pure context, you sir; have just ended the Microsoft/Linux War"

My God!... You aren't thinking of banning Linux! :D

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