Minimum Level of Thought Behind Proposal for Minimum Price for Alcohol

by Mike on March 15, 2009

in UK Politics

The British government is considering a proposal that would establish a minimum price for certain alcoholic beverages.  According to the proposal’s proponents, the law would be justified because underage drinking is putting a strain on the government-run National Health Service.  The proposal is flawed for all of the personal liberty reasons most of us cherish.  What is more troubling is how symptomatic this proposal is of a nanny state out of control.

The chief reason cited by proponents of a minimum price is that the government-run National Health Service is overburdened by younger people being treated for alcohol-related sickness.  What the proponents do not even consider is that such a government-run system encourages irresponsible behavior by sparing people from the consequences of their own poor decision-making.  Rather than taxing people who are capable of drinking responsibly or even taking care of themselves when they do not, the government should remove themselves from the business of trying to rescue people from themselves.  The only way to prevent people from making bad decisions is to allow them to experience first hand, the consequences of their decision making.

Forcing responsible people (whether alcohol consumers, home buyers or whomever) to pay for the actions of those who choose to act irresponsibly while simultaneously saving irresponsible people from the consequences of their own decisions discourages responsible behavior and enables irresponsible people to continue acting in a manner that harms themselves.   This is the fundamental truth our liberal friends consistently fail to understand.  Ronald Reagan was right when he said “Government is not the solution to our problem.  Government is the problem.

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