The Instigator
neokansas
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Guidestone
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

Alcohol should be prohibited again

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Guidestone
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/6/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,161 times Debate No: 41793
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

neokansas

Con

I'm against the notion Guidestone has that alcohol should be prohibited again. I'd like to explore Guidestone's reasoning on this issue.
Guidestone

Pro

I thank my opponent for proposing this debate, and I wish him good luck.

1. Health
Alcohol has been linked to a multitude of long term diseases including Anemia, Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Cirrhosis, Dementia, Depression, Seizures, Gout, High blood pressure, Infectious diseases, Nerve damage, and Pancreatitis. [1] There are also short term health effects too such as Unintentional injuries, Violence, Risky sexual behaviors, Miscarriages, and Alcohol poisoning. [2] There is annually 2.5 Million Alcohol-Related Deaths Worldwide. [3] There is even a website that counts alcohol related deaths. [4] Alcohol is also the most harmful drug. [5] With less health problems, health care cost would go down. Concluding, Alcohol should not be legal because of all the terrible health effects.

2. Addiction
"National Institutes of Health report that 15% of the people living in the United States are considered 'problem drinkers.'"[6] Alcohol is a very addictive substance. Addiction can easily ruin people’s lives, including their jobs, their friends, their families, and obviously themselves too. "Approximately 30% of people in the U.S. report experiencing an alcohol disorder at one point in their lifetime." [6] In conclusion, alcohol should not be legal because of the severe addictiveness of it.

3. Drunk Driving
"Over 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics" [7] Drunk driving is a terrible occurrence. It doesn't help that children have easy access to alcohol. "According to the 2010 Monitoring the Future Study 89% of 12th graders, 78% of 10th graders, and 59% of 8th graders getting alcohol would be "fairly easy" or "very easy" for them to get alcohol." [8] Victims of drunk driving would have been at an extremely less chance of being a victim if alcohol was illegal because making things illegal decreases access to it.

4. Crime
The consumption of alcohol can be directly related to violent crimes. "40% of state prisoners convicted of violent crimes were under the influence of alcohol at the time of their offense − the more violent the crime, the greater the likelihood that alcohol was involved" [9] With less crimes the judicial cost and workload would decrease. Concluding, alcohol should be illegal because it fuels violent crimes.

5. Prohibition

During Prohibition there were significant positive effects. "Alcohol use decreased, cirrhosis of the liver was down 66% in men, and public drunkenness was halved." [10] Also increased savings, better provided and happier homes, and responsible citizenship. [11] Prohibition did work, but it was poorly enforced in some areas which lead to its repeal. There is still a multitude of counties that are still dry. [12]


Sources:
[1] http://www.webmd.com...
[2]
http://www.cdc.gov...
[3]
http://www.ncadd.org...
[4]
http://www.worldometers.info...
[5]
http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...
[6]
http://www.alcoholaddiction.info...
[7]
http://www.madd.org...
[8]
http://www.centurycouncil.org...
[9]
http://www.alcoholandcrime.org...
[10] http://www.phoenixhouse.org...
[11]
http://www.jstor.org...
[12]
http://upload.wikimedia.org...

Debate Round No. 1
neokansas

Con

Good reasons for prohibiting alcohol. I agree with all of your reasoning. I just don't think that since prohibition failed the first time, it would be reenacted. And even if it were reenacted, I seriously doubt it work this time either. It's too ingrained into our traditions, society. It would go back into the black market. I'm sure it slowed down consumption a bit, but I also think it was easy enough to get and supported organized crime, making it more powerful and corruption rampant. So, shall we turn the discussion as to how prohibition would be enforced? Next, how would you propose it would be reenacted? It would take a multi million dollar campaign to reach everyone. We would need dollars donated by big corporations and millions of people. The campaign could be about the health effects, and everything you've outlined.

During the first prohibition, some vineyards were allowed to remain for the use of the church so they would be able to contineu their traditions of sacremental ceremonies, etc. Many corrupt ended using the church as a cover for their activities. I think this would also continue. Which of course, I feel would be sad. Just thought that was worth bringing up.
Guidestone

Pro

Prohibition did indeed fail the first time, but why did it fail? It failed because of lack of enforcement. "In a perfect world, once a law or constitutional amendment is passed, the resources necessary to enforce it are plentiful and effective. Prohibition, unfortunately for its supporters, was not so easily enforced...Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of New York City, testified before the Senate judiciary committee and had this to say about Prohibition: 'it is impossible to tell whether Prohibition is a good thing or a bad thing. It has never been enforced in this country'" [1] Also I believe prohibition failed partially because it didn't prohibit consumption or possession. Yes, prohibition would make black market stronger how much is unknown, but prohibiting anything makes black markets stronger. To the question on how it would be enforced. The federal government is much more powerful than in the 20s, and we have more technology to help prevent crime. It could be re-enacted through a series of federal laws, or state laws. It would take lots of money it would be difficult but like JFK said We don't choose to do things because they are easy, we do it because it is hard.

Not allowing sacramental use would violate the 1st amendment. Yes, many did use church cover to get alcohol, and now we know that so if it does get enacted again we know the places to watch.

Sources:
http://history.howstuffworks.com...
Debate Round No. 2
neokansas

Con

The executive summary from the Cato Institute sums it up very well: "The National prohibition of alcohol (1920-33)—the “noble experiment”—was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America. The results of that experiment clearly indicate that it was a miserable failure on all counts. The evidence affirms sound economic theory, which predicts that prohibition of mutually beneficial exchanges is doomed to failure.

The lessons of Prohibition remain important today. They apply not only to the debate over the war on drugs but also to the mounting efforts to drastically reduce access to alcohol and tobacco and to such issues as censorship and bans on insider trading, abortion, and gambling.

Although consumption of alcohol fell at the beginning of Prohibition, it subsequently increased. Alcohol became more dangerous to consume; crime increased and became “organized”; the court and prison systems were stretched to the breaking point; and corruption of public officials was rampant. No measurable gains were made in productivity or reduced absenteeism. Prohibition removed a significant source of tax revenue and greatly increased government spending. It led many drinkers to switch to opium, marijuana, patent medicines, cocaine, and other dangerous substances that they would have been unlikely to encounter in the absence of Prohibition.

Those results are documented from a variety of sources, most of which, ironically, are the work of supporters of Prohibition—most economists and social scientists supported it. Their findings make the case against Prohibition that much stronger.[1]"

The failure of prohibition came down to alot about freedoms being taken away. People just don't like to be told what they can do or cannot do. Alcohol prohibition caused folks to move to other more dangerous drugs. It might've slowed down consumption at first, but studies showed it increased during prohibition comparable levels of preprohibiton. There were 10 times more places to get it, it was much more lethal (poisonous) and strong[2].

During prohibition the Coast Guard increased by 188% and it's budget increased by 500%. How much more power does the government need? Just as in the prohibition of marijuana today, they continue to fail. 1.5 trillion dollars later spent on the war since the Controlled Substances Act was in effect, the usage has not changed. In fact, high school aged kids usage went up. There seems to be no relationship between arrests and use rates[3]. No, even with the more money and manpower they threw at it, it still had no effect.

Prohibition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added to the problems it was intended to solve and supplanted other ways of addressing problems. This is why it will never be tried again. This is why marijuana prohibition too will eventually subside. The only beneficiaries of Prohibition were bootleggers, crime bosses, and the forces of big government. Carroll Wooddy concluded that the "Eighteenth Amendment . . . contributed substantially to the growth of government and of government costs in this period [1915-32] [4].




Sources:
[1] http://www.cato.org...
[2] http://object.cato.org...;
[3] http://www.aclu-wa.org...;
[4] Ibid.; Wooddy, p. 104.

Guidestone

Pro

CATO Institute
As far as consumption goes "it took years after repeal before consumption rates reached those of pre-prohibition." [1] Crime did increase during prohibition, but crime was on the rise before prohibition. [2] "Probably one of the most popular ideas of the time was that the mob held control of the majority of the illegal liquor trafficking. For the most part this is untrue, although in concentrated areas gangsters did run the liquor racket." [1] Concluding, prohibition did increase crime like everything does when it becomes illegal, but as shown earlier there is a strong correlation between alcohol consumption and violent crimes.

Freedoms
People might not like being told what they can and can't do, but that is necessary for civil society like "You can't murder people". I am sure I argued alcohol was the most harmful drug. [3] I addressed the consumption issue above. I wish I could have seen the article but it tells me "The page could not be found".

Government Intervention
"During the depression the funding was not there and with only 1,500 agents nationwide they could not compete with the tens of thousands of individuals who either wanted to drink or wanted to profit from others drinking." [1] It was next to impossible to enforce due to lack of funding. I also don't know how much the coast guard did with prohibition. The drug war has been 1.5 trillion for the last 43 years, about 35 billion or 1% of the budget. That isn't a lot. Unfortunately, the source provided also says "PAGE NOT FOUND". Only Marijuana usage has gone up, but cocaine, hallucinogens, psycho-therapeutics are down. [4]

Prohibition Goals
I have shown in previous rounds that Prohibition did have successes, and many benefited that were not mobsters. It was only because we were not capable of enforcing such vast of an idea. As far as never be tried again, there are numerous counties that are dry. "Nearly half of Mississippi's counties are dry. Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Kansas and Virginia also have a large proportion of dry counties. Kentucky isn't much better for alcohol lovers. Thirty counties are wet and 55 are bone-dry." [5]


Sources
[1] http://cocktails.about.com...;
[2] http://www.cato.org...
[3] http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...
[4] http://www.drugabuse.gov...
[5] http://history.howstuffworks.com...

Debate Round No. 3
neokansas

Con

Economics of Prohibition

Prohibition's supporters were initially surprised by what did not come to pass during the dry era. When the law went into effect, they expected sales of clothing and household goods to skyrocket. Real estate developers and landlords expected rents to rise as saloons closed and neighborhoods improved. Chewing gum, grape juice, and soft drink companies all expected growth. Theater producers expected new crowds as Americans looked for new ways to entertain themselves without alcohol. None of it came to pass.

Instead, the unintended consequences proved to be a decline in amusement and entertainment industries across the board. Restaurants failed, as they could no longer make a profit without legal liquor sales. Theater revenues declined rather than increase, and few of the other economic benefits that had been predicted came to pass.

On the whole, the initial economic effects of Prohibition were largely negative. The closing of breweries, distilleries and saloons led to the elimination of thousands of jobs, and in turn thousands more jobs were eliminated for barrel makers, truckers, waiters, and other related trades.

The unintended economic consequences of Prohibition didn't stop there. One of the most profound effects of Prohibition was on government tax revenues. Before Prohibition, many states relied heavily on excise taxes in liquor sales to fund their budgets. In New York, almost 75% of the state's revenue was derived from liquor taxes. With Prohibition in effect, that revenue was immediately lost. At the national level, Prohibition cost the federal government a total of $11 billion in lost tax revenue, while costing over $300 million to enforce. The most lasting consequence was that many states and the federal government would come to rely on income tax revenue to fund their budgets going forward.

"Cat and Mouse"

Prohibition led to many more unintended consequences because of the cat and mouse nature of Prohibition enforcement. While the Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating beverages, it did not outlaw the possession or consumption of alcohol in the United States. The Volstead Act, the federal law that provided for the enforcement of Prohibition, also left enough loopholes and quirks that it opened the door to myriad schemes to evade the dry mandate.

One of the legal exceptions to the Prohibition law was that pharmacists were allowed to dispense whiskey by prescription for any number of ailments, ranging from anxiety to influenza. Bootleggers quickly discovered that running a pharmacy was a perfect front for their trade. As a result, the number of registered pharmacists in New York State tripled during the Prohibition era.

Because Americans were also allowed to obtain wine for religious purposes, enrollments rose at churches and synagogues, and cities saw a large increase in the number of self-professed rabbis who could obtain wine for their congregations.

The law was unclear when it came to Americans making wine at home. With a wink and a nod, the American grape industry began selling kits of juice concentrate with warnings not to leave them sitting too long or else they could ferment and turn into wine. Home stills were technically illegal, but Americans found they could purchase them at many hardware stores, while instructions for distilling could be found in public libraries in pamphlets issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The law that was meant to stop Americans from drinking was instead turning many of them into experts on how to make it.

The trade in unregulated alcohol had serious consequences for public health. As the trade in illegal alcohol became more lucrative, the quality of alcohol on the black market declined. On average, 1000 Americans died every year during the Prohibition from the effects of drinking tainted liquor.


The Greatest Consequence

The effects of Prohibition on law enforcement were also negative. The sums of money being exchanged during the dry era proved a corrupting influence in both the federal Bureau of Prohibition and at the state and local level. Police officers and Prohibition agents alike were frequently tempted by bribes or the lucrative opportunity to go into bootlegging themselves. Many stayed honest, but enough succumbed to the temptation that the stereotype of the corrupt Prohibition agent or local cop undermined public trust in law enforcement for the duration of the era.

The growth of the illegal liquor trade under Prohibition made criminals of millions of Americans. As the decade progressed, court rooms and jails overflowed, and the legal system failed to keep up. Many defendants in prohibition cases waited over a year to be brought to trial. As the backlog of cases increased, the judicial system turned to the "plea bargain" to clear hundreds of cases at a time, making a it common practice in American jurisprudence for the first time.

The greatest unintended consequence of Prohibition however, was the plainest to see. For over a decade, the law that was meant to foster temperance instead fostered intemperance and excess. The solution the United States had devised to address the problem of alcohol abuse had instead made the problem even worse. The statistics of the period are notoriously unreliable, but it is very clear that in many parts of the United States more people were drinking, and people were drinking more.

There is little doubt that Prohibition failed to achieve what it set out to do, and that its unintended consequences were far more far reaching than its few benefits. The ultimate lesson is two-fold. Watch out for solutions that end up worse than the problems they set out to solve, and remember that the Constitution is no place for experiments, noble or otherwise.

[1] http://www.pbs.org...

Guidestone

Pro

Wow, you copy and pasted that article on here.

Economics of Prohibition
Most of these could have been foreseen, but the field of economics was relatively new. Keynes's book of "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" wasn't published until 1936. Though these effects could have been alleviated only if the government spends more, but at that time it was unheard of for the government to interfere with the economy at that level. No state any more relies that much on an excise tax. [1] They have so many other sources such as sales tax, income tax, property tax, so the same economic effects would not happen again.

"Cat and Mouse"
This just says there was too many loopholes. If prohibition was re-instated then obviously there would be bigger restrictions. Plus I don't think any proscribes medical alcohol anymore.

The Greatest Consequence
Yes many law enforcement were corrupt, but they didn't have the surveillance possibility as we have today. As far as the criminals go right now they are overflowing with violent criminals who were under the influence of alcohol. Consumption did drop though as stated in previous arguments. Prohibition did succeed even if it wasn't major.

My opponent says "Good reasons for prohibiting alcohol. I agree with all of your reasoning", so he validated a lot of my arguments. He also failed to respond to my arguments in round 3, and his round 4 argument was entirely copy and pasted from an article. He has as also proven his sources unreliable by having multiple unfound links.


Sources
[1] http://upload.wikimedia.org...



Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Guidestone 3 years ago
Guidestone
That is ok, I am just glad you were honest in your voting unlike the other person.
Posted by Yraelz 3 years ago
Yraelz
That said, alcohol prohibition actually is a bad idea. =P
Posted by Guidestone 3 years ago
Guidestone
What aspect of alcohol are you talking about when you say prohibited again?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Yraelz 3 years ago
Yraelz
neokansasGuidestoneTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: I think a lot of this debate comes down to sources which Con doesn't have. Pro is making a couple of excellent alternative causality arguments. He argues that crime was already on a rise before prohibition started and also that the economy was already entering a depressed state. Both of these arguments successfully interfere with the hard causality that Con is attempting to convey. In addition I think Pro just straight wins that prohibition works with the drug arguments which are not refuted. Con argues that marijuana use has not decreased because of the war on drugs, Pro demonstrates three other drugs in which use has decreased. Thus current enforcement methods appear to have a 75% success rate. In addition to all of this I think Pro is just winning a lot of arguments out of round 1 which suggest the woes of alcohol. He has the final source stating that alcohol consumption did not return to pre-prohibition levels until years afterwards.
Vote Placed by Josh_b 3 years ago
Josh_b
neokansasGuidestoneTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: con made more convincing arguments. The great experiment failed. pro continues to spout theory which was disproved when prohibition took place.