Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What has Prohibition Brought to America?

     Prohibition, "the noble experiment" brought a lot of really problem some things to this country.  Among them were organized crime growth, bootlegging, rum running, and the turning of "law biding citizens into outlaws.

  "This should have come as no surprise with a venture as experimental as Prohibition. It is no mistake that President Herbert Hoover's 1928 description of Prohibition as "a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose" entered the popular lexicon as "the noble experiment." It was unfortunate for the entire nation that the experiment failed as miserably as it did."

     One of the areas that wasn't thought out very well was the economics of eliminating alcohol was the loss of the alcohol tax revenue that the government operated on.  It didn't take into consideration the cost of enforcement of Prohibition.    What it did is put an even larger burden on the working Americans to enforce laws that were very unpopular.     It also led to the closing of brewery's, and distilleries and saloons putting many thousands of people out of work.    It was expected that Americans would flock to more wholesome entertainment with the closing of the bars and saloons, but that blew up in the faces of the law makers.   Everything declined and many theaters and restaurants failed without the  availability to sell beer and other spirits.

     There was a new growth industry that paid no income taxes that was a direct result of Prohibition.   Organized Crime, the mobs of New York, Detroit, and Chicago got into the liquor business and with a chain of speakeasy establishments serving spirits , food and great entertainment, drew the average liquor loving public in in droves.    

    This led to the very expensive "cat and mouse game" between the federal agents and the bootleggers and rum runners.   The federal government not only lost 11 billions in alcohol tax revenues, but spent nearly 300,000,000 trying to enforce the Volstead Act.
New York funded nearly 75% of the state's operations with alcohol taxes.   The most lasting result of Prohibition is the federal government came to rely on income taxes to fund their operations.

    Much like today's marijuana laws, pharmacist's could dispense whiskey for medical reasons by prescription for any number of ailments.   Wine could also be gotten for religious purposes there was a large  growth in the church and synagogues.  There were a lot of self proclaimed rabbis and preaches that would obtain wine for their congregations.

     There was a lot of glamour in the stories of rum running and the Speakeasy's, but all in all Prohibition did a lot of damage to the country that really hasn't completely gone away nearly a hundred years later.     The biggest thing that repeal did was to give the Feds back the alcohol taxes and more money to spend without any relief to the working people in the income tax areas.  

   The corruption of the federal, state and local officials that were accepting or tempted to accept bribes to look the other way. The purpose of prohibition was to encourage temperance, but rather it made the problem of alcohol abuse even worse.   The huge expansion of illegal liquor trade made outlaws out of millions of Americans.  The decade of Prohibition did little more than fill the jails and courtrooms.  It would take about a year before anyone would get to trial.  This was the start of the "plea bargain" to clear the court's hundreds and hundreds of cases.   All of these wonderful events of the era and Americans were actually drinking more than before Prohibition.