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Prohibition: A Cautionary Tale
The Wall Street Journal ^ | 2010-01-03

Posted on 04/12/2010 9:43:31 AM PDT by rabscuttle385

America's experiment with banning alcohol created problems that persist to this day.

BY THOMAS FLEMING

On Dec. 5, 1933, Americans liberated themselves from a legal nightmare called Prohibition by repealing the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Today most people think Prohibition was fueled by puritanical Protestants who believed drinking alcohol was a sin. But the vocal minority who made Prohibition law believed they were marching in the footsteps of the abolitionists who sponsored a civil war to end another moral evil—slavery.

At least as important was the belief that Prohibition would produce health and wealth. Yale economist Irving Fisher, the best-known economist in the nation in the early 20th century, predicted that a ban on alcohol would guarantee a 20% rise in industrial productivity. He cited "scientific" tests that proved alcohol diminished a worker's efficiency by as much as 30%.

Fisher and many other anti-alcohol proponents were fervent believers in eugenics, the science that preached humans could and should control the evolution of the race. His book, "How to Live: Rules for Healthful Living Based on Modern Science," was a best seller. Removing alcohol from the national diet was central to many eugenicists' belief that an invigorated America would eventually create a race of supermen and women.

(snip)

...Prohibition corrupted and tormented Americans from coast to coast. A disrespect, even contempt for law and due process infected the American psyche. Rather than discouraging liquor consumption, Prohibition increased it. Taking a drink became a sign of defiance against the arrogant minority who had deprived people of their "right" to enjoy themselves.

(snip)

In 2010, with talk of restructuring large swaths of our economy back in vogue, Prohibition should also remind us that Congress, scientists and economists seized by the noble desire to achieve some great moral goal may be abysmally wrong.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: alcohol; allwewantisourdope; anslingersghost; bongbrigade; cinocacus; dopersforpaul; druggiesunited; drugs; dude; givememypot; irresponsiblitycacus; iwantmydope; jackbootedthugs; jesusfascists; liberalfascism; liberaltarian; libertines; lping; nannystate; obotfreepers; payformydope; policestate; potheadsforpaul; progressiveclub; prohibition; statism; stupidpost; wantdopenow; wod
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1 posted on 04/12/2010 9:43:31 AM PDT by rabscuttle385
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To: bamahead; djsherin; Bokababe; dcwusmc; Favor Center; sickoflibs
In 2010, with talk of restructuring large swaths of our economy back in vogue, Prohibition should also remind us that Congress, scientists and economists seized by the noble desire to achieve some great moral goal may be abysmally wrong.

Of possible interest.

2 posted on 04/12/2010 9:44:50 AM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Live Free or Die)
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To: rabscuttle385; Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; akatel; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; Alexander Rubin; ..



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
View past Libertarian pings here
3 posted on 04/12/2010 9:45:23 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: rabscuttle385

33 seconds :)


4 posted on 04/12/2010 9:45:49 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: bamahead

The keyword trolls are already here.


5 posted on 04/12/2010 9:45:53 AM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Live Free or Die)
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To: rabscuttle385

Of course.

You’ve seen from the other thread what they’ll resort to when desperate.


6 posted on 04/12/2010 9:47:26 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: bamahead
You’ve seen from the other thread what they’ll resort to when desperate.

Of course!

7 posted on 04/12/2010 9:48:53 AM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Live Free or Die)
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To: bamahead

thanks for the ping! BTTT


8 posted on 04/12/2010 9:52:10 AM PDT by murphE ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton)
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To: rabscuttle385
Well, I would like to ban ethanol in gasoline.

It's only there by virtue of stolen tax dollars by ADM and the like.

9 posted on 04/12/2010 9:54:51 AM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: rabscuttle385

The only positive contribution of the Recabite madness known as Prohibition is that it raised the general quality of homemade beer making.


10 posted on 04/12/2010 9:57:28 AM PDT by NaughtiusMaximus (Don't waste your vote on a 'Rat wearing an Elephant suit.)
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To: rabscuttle385
In 2010, with talk of restructuring large swaths of our economy back in vogue, Prohibition should also remind us that Congress, scientists and economists seized by the noble desire to achieve some great moral goal may be abysmally wrong.

So this is a coded cautionary tale against abortion and socialized medicine, right?

They are both couched in moral arguments made by the Left.

Abortionists and death panels push eugenics.

11 posted on 04/12/2010 9:58:41 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
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To: rabscuttle385
Alcohol and Drug Prohibitions were programs of and by Progressives. Why do Conservatives go along with drug prohibition? It's not constitutional. It's not conservative. It's socialist in that it socializes everyone's blood stream and brain waves.

I hope the constitutional movement will open conservatives eyes to the damage drug prohibition has done to America.

12 posted on 04/12/2010 10:11:06 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (Are they insane, stupid or just evil?)
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To: rabscuttle385

I dunno, today we can follow the tobacco model.

In MA, one legislator wants to lower the DUI line to 0.04 from 0.08 down from 0.16 originally, IIRC.

Could work. No solo person gets a drink, all parties and couples must specify the designated teetotaller/driver.

Eventually, start taxing beer, wine and booze like tobacco -$50 for a case of Bud is going to start hurting, like with tobacco taxes.


13 posted on 04/12/2010 10:14:56 AM PDT by swarthyguy (KIDS! - Deficit, Debt,- Pfft! Lookit the bright side of our legacy - Ummrika is almost SmokFrei!)
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To: Jabba the Nutt; rabscuttle385; NFHale
Why do Conservatives go along with drug prohibition?

those who cant see the rino-itis progressive component will support and worship at the altar of the insane woSd...

conservative followers of the Constitution, not so much...

14 posted on 04/12/2010 10:18:50 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: rabscuttle385

In before the liberatrians chanting “we should end Prohibition against drugs” get here.

(Ooops, I’m too late)


15 posted on 04/12/2010 10:20:26 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (PALIN/MCCAIN IN 2012 - barf alert? sarc tag? -- can't decide)
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To: Jabba the Nutt

Why do Conservatives go along with drug prohibition? It’s not constitutional. It’s not conservative. It’s socialist in that it socializes everyone’s blood stream and brain waves.

_______________________________________

It ain’t Conservatives who want to legalize dope. It’s them liberal Libertarians.

Big difference.


16 posted on 04/12/2010 10:22:11 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (PALIN/MCCAIN IN 2012 - barf alert? sarc tag? -- can't decide)
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To: swarthyguy

In DC any measurable blood alcohol level will result in a DUI citation!


17 posted on 04/12/2010 10:23:21 AM PDT by catman67
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To: Responsibility2nd

“It ain’t Conservatives who want to legalize dope. It’s them liberal Libertarians.”

The Nanny State is not a conservative goal.


18 posted on 04/12/2010 10:27:20 AM PDT by Favor Center (Targets Up! Hold hard and favor center!)
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To: Favor Center

>.The Nanny State is not a conservative goal.

Hang around here a while.

You may conclude you are wrong.


19 posted on 04/12/2010 10:28:10 AM PDT by swarthyguy (KIDS! - Deficit, Debt,- Pfft! Lookit the bright side of our legacy - Ummrika is almost SmokFrei!)
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To: Favor Center
It is a SoCon goal true FisCons understand the folly in creating a limited market like illicit drugs.
20 posted on 04/12/2010 10:32:43 AM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: Responsibility2nd
Rasmussen has the CA measure ahead 49-38 as of Nov. 2009. Surveys done in May, July and November show that support has risen from 45% to 47% to 49%, while opposition has fallen from 46% to 42% to 38%.

Suppose CA votes to legalize. Do you support CA's authority to enact such a program under the Tenth Amendment? Or do you think fedgov has legitimate authority under the Commerce Clause to shut it down?

21 posted on 04/12/2010 10:37:16 AM PDT by Ken H
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To: RockyMtnMan

....FisCons understand the folly in creating a limited market like illicit drugs.

________________________________________________________________

But, but, but. The Libertarians keep telling us that taxing dope would solve California’s fiscal problems. They can’t be wrong, now can they???

/sarc


22 posted on 04/12/2010 10:38:38 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (PALIN/MCCAIN IN 2012 - barf alert? sarc tag? -- can't decide)
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To: RockyMtnMan

Good point. There are many variations of conservatives, which is what makes FR so interesting!


23 posted on 04/12/2010 10:38:40 AM PDT by Left2Right ("Starve the Beast!")
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To: rabscuttle385

For hundreds of years prohibition was a local option issue. It should have stayed that way.

Prohibition always had its WCTU types who believed in nationalizing it. They alone did not have the power to make it happen.

But a coalition was formed with pragmatic politicians who had another agenda. Those pragmatic politicians wanted to distract populist and ideological groups from politicians self-dealing on economic issues. The ideologues were seduced to ignore corruption in a quid-pro-quo.

This happens in one way or another on many issues. During the Rove-Hastert years in DC they did not want grassroots Republicans to notice Republican corruption. So they tacitly allowed the grassroots to build around the illegal immigrant issue thinking that was a harmless distraction on people who don’t vote. They did not forsee that the illegal immigration issue would quickly rise to become a major issue. The establishment thought it would just be a minor and conveneient distraction.

As with the carnie magician, politicians want the audience wowed and distracted by the cute little bunnty or the terrifying flames while they get their pockets picked.


24 posted on 04/12/2010 10:39:13 AM PDT by spintreebob
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To: swarthyguy
In MA, one legislator wants to lower the DUI line to 0.04 from 0.08 down from 0.16 originally, IIRC.

Oh great, just ducky.....who is it that's trying to lower the BAC in MA?

25 posted on 04/12/2010 10:41:14 AM PDT by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: Ken H

In a perverse way, I hope California does legalize the crap.

Then I will LMAO at the complete and utter failure of this stupidity.

Much like how I’m laughing now at Arnold (Liberaltarian) and at the exodus of the wealthy as the immigrants keep pouring in.

I disdain the land of fruits and nuts.


26 posted on 04/12/2010 10:42:52 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (PALIN/MCCAIN IN 2012 - barf alert? sarc tag? -- can't decide)
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To: libertarian27

I do not remember the gentleman’s name. It was around the middle of last year, and he’s probably gonna keep reintroducing the legislation....he was very honest on the radio, admitted he wanted to essentially do away with most public drinking and privately also, by tax.


27 posted on 04/12/2010 10:43:11 AM PDT by swarthyguy (KIDS! - Deficit, Debt,- Pfft! Lookit the bright side of our legacy - Ummrika is almost SmokFrei!)
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To: swarthyguy

“Hang around here a while.

You may conclude you are wrong.”

There are many who think that they are “conservatives”, but the only thing they want to conserve is their party and their party’s version of big government.


28 posted on 04/12/2010 10:43:13 AM PDT by Favor Center (Targets Up! Hold hard and favor center!)
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To: Left2Right

SoCon’s believe in making us better people through government regulation, at least that’s my view. I take the FisCon approach of using money as a weapon against undesirable activities rather than brute force of making laws.


29 posted on 04/12/2010 10:46:20 AM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: rabscuttle385

God, libertarians are a pain. Proverbial cranks walking around nude with a doobie. Thankfully, only 1% of the population.


30 posted on 04/12/2010 10:52:03 AM PDT by qwertypie
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To: RockyMtnMan
SoCon’s believe in making us better people through government regulation

Well then, they do in fact have quite a bit common with progressives.

31 posted on 04/12/2010 10:53:11 AM PDT by rabscuttle385 (Live Free or Die)
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To: rabscuttle385
Their insistence that it's the governments job to protect you from yourself through the commerce clause gave us ObamaCare. Rather than taking the constitutional route of passing an amendment (like the did for alcohol) congress can pretty much do whatever it wants.
32 posted on 04/12/2010 10:59:34 AM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: rabscuttle385

Having known a woman who was nationally involved in the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) all of her life, I’d like to note that a MAJOR opposition to alcohol is the bad effect a drinking man has on his wife and kids.

Men were getting their Friday wages and drinking them up, leaving family destitute. There was abuse associated with the drunkenness (murder, assault, rape). Men were spending all their time in bars leaving wife and kids on their own most of the time. Men were losing jobs, not working, barely working, because they were drunks. Their dependents would go hungry, go cold, go without medical care.

While I am not a WCTU adherent, I can understand why they hoped that banning alcohol would address some of these social evils. The evils were very real and it caused a lot of despair to see families suffering like that. “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt, written by a total lush (!) is a good illustration of what alcohol abuse was doing to families at the time.

Well, now we have women’s suffrage and they all work while the kids are warehoused, divorce is easier, we have welfare of all types and indigent medical care, I suppose folks think that is a better than a sober man providing for his family.


33 posted on 04/12/2010 11:05:36 AM PDT by Persevero (Ask yourself: "What does the Left want me to do?" Then go do the opposite.)
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To: Persevero
Freedom is better.

A free man can decide what to spend his wages on.

A slave to the government will accept their dictates that he cannot go to the bar on Friday night and ‘drink up his wages’.

A free woman can decide to leave the drunken lout, or better yet, not marry a drunkard who doesn't care much for her or their potential children in the first place.

34 posted on 04/12/2010 11:11:41 AM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: rabscuttle385

It was a tiny minority that passed it in all those states. lol


35 posted on 04/12/2010 11:13:10 AM PDT by GeronL (Entitlement Zombies will become real zombies when the money runs out)
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To: allmendream

“A free woman can decide to leave the drunken lout, or better yet, not marry a drunkard who doesn’t care much for her or their potential children in the first place. “

No, the free woman is not very free. Back in Prohibition day, even far less so. Divorce was very difficult and expensive, you were tarred for life, you could barely get an education, you could barely getting a job, let alone one that paid decently - sorry, that is not freedom.

As for the children, they still have no freedom at all.

And as for not marrying a drunken lout, what do you think? The guys showed up drunk for dates and had the woman pay for dinner? Of course not. That is very naive of you. The drunkenness, abuse and abandonment happen AFTER the marriage, not BEFORE.


36 posted on 04/12/2010 11:16:27 AM PDT by Persevero (Ask yourself: "What does the Left want me to do?" Then go do the opposite.)
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To: rabscuttle385

Prohibition made Joe Kennedy wealthy, beginning the Kennedy dynasty.


37 posted on 04/12/2010 11:19:10 AM PDT by AZLiberty (Yes, Mr. Lennon, I do want a revolution.)
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To: Persevero
So your solution is the big bad nanny government telling men what they can and cannot spend their money on?

Should the bartender be a licensed government official that cuts you off after you spend an appropriate % of your wage on alcohol?

Or do you more go for complete prohibition?

38 posted on 04/12/2010 11:21:14 AM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: qwertypie

Which begs the question: if libertarians are such a small part of the population, why such hatred and fear of them from big government “conservatives?” To read some of the anti-libertarian posts on this forum, you would think that libertarians were winning elections all throughout the nation, and had a true force of power at the national level...


39 posted on 04/12/2010 11:21:23 AM PDT by nostrum09
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To: GeronL

We no longer pass constitutional amendments, now we just enact legislation change by Supreme Court decree and executive order.


40 posted on 04/12/2010 11:30:33 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
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To: Responsibility2nd

So does that mean you think CA has legitimate authority under the Tenth Amendment to carry out such a policy? Or, do you think the Commerce Clause authorizes fedgov to shut it down? (you did not say which you believed in your answer)


41 posted on 04/12/2010 11:43:03 AM PDT by Ken H
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To: swarthyguy

The longer I am on FR, the more convinced I am that “more government” is not a “conservative” goal.


42 posted on 04/12/2010 11:51:23 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
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To: qwertypie
Yeah... Couldn't have anything at all to do with RKBA, property Rights, respect for the Constitution, a desire for real freedom instead of our current indentured servitude, a disgust with having to pay for everyone else's piss poor life choices...

Nope. Gotta be dope and butts.(/sarc)

What is it about smaller, more Constitutional, government that you don't like?

43 posted on 04/12/2010 11:54:04 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
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To: Ken H

Yes. I think CA could - under the Constitution - legalize dope.


44 posted on 04/12/2010 11:56:14 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (PALIN/MCCAIN IN 2012 - barf alert? sarc tag? -- can't decide)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Arnold is not a libertarian. Not by even the most perverse stretch of the imagination.


45 posted on 04/12/2010 11:56:32 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Oathkeeper)
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To: rabscuttle385

A moronic idiot spammed the keywords.


46 posted on 04/12/2010 12:04:46 PM PDT by Rebelbase (Don't think of work as 5 days on, 2 days off. Instead think 4 nights on, 3 off.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Marijuana is de facto legal in California, as it is. It’s been “decriminalized” for years, since more than one ounce is required to be arrested for possession. In addition this was the first state to institute medical marijuana, and it’s a fairly trivial task to get a medical marijuana card. Add that to the fact that weed is California’s number one cash crop, and a main point for entry into the country, and basically anyone who wants to smoke pot can get it.

Liberal marijuana laws didn’t wreck California. Environmentalists, public employee unions, unfettered illegal immigration, and tax and spend Democratic majorities in both houses of the state legislature did.


47 posted on 04/12/2010 12:13:06 PM PDT by Smogger
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To: Persevero
Of course not. That is very naive of you. The drunkenness, abuse and abandonment happen AFTER the marriage, not BEFORE.

Horsepuckey.

"Men marry women expecting they'll never change; women marry men expecting they will."

48 posted on 04/12/2010 12:38:27 PM PDT by jimt
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To: Rebelbase
Generally happens when they can't legitimately support the abuse of power by the Fed. History, economics, constitutional law support legalization no matter how “emotional” someone wants to be supporting the counter argument.
49 posted on 04/12/2010 12:38:29 PM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: catman67

Hence, a zero tolerance enforcement policy.

That’s the ticket, gradually, steadily, with local laws gradually coming down hard.......


50 posted on 04/12/2010 12:59:54 PM PDT by swarthyguy (KIDS! - Deficit, Debt,- Pfft! Lookit the bright side of our legacy - Ummrika is almost SmokFrei!)
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