Beer Raped Your Daughter and Gave Her Gonorrhea. Again.

The Washington Post claimed near-supernatural powers for a tiny beer tax on Monday. A booze tax, write Lloyd I. Sederer and Eric Goplerud, will pay for health care reform. But that's not all!:

Research indicates that a 10 percent increase in current alcohol excise taxes—that is a penny for a beer—would result in less drinking, especially among underage drinkers, reducing rape, robbery, domestic violence and liver disease. A tax increase of 3 cents per beer would cut youth gonorrhea by 9 percent. 

I'm going to pull out that last line one more time in case you, like me, sometime skim over blockquotes too quickly:

A tax increase of 3 cents per beer would cut youth gonorrhea by 9 percent. 

Look at the lovely young lady at right. If only a three cent tax on that Budweiser could have saved her from the heartbreak of VD.

Messrs. (Drs.?) Sederer and Goplerud have taken the fine art of vaguely claiming that "studies show..." to a new level. Obviously, the argument here is that lots of beer makes people more likely to rape, pillage, etc. and that pricier beer means less consumption. A quick Google reveals that they're pulling from 2000 study that looked at beer taxes and gonorrhea rates in various states. Reason, of course, tore this study a new one back when first made the rounds. Key passage: 

[David Murray of the Statistical Assessment Service, a non-profit think tank in D.C.] does yeoman's work pointing out the junk reasoning at the root of so much junk science. This one was a high, hanging curve for Murray, who said the CDC's thinking was on the level of "the sun goes down because we turn on the street lights."

The really interesting thing is that the CDC, in effect, agrees with that criticism. It buries its assent, however, in an editorial note that says the findings "do not prove a causal relation between higher taxes and declining STD [sexually transmitted disease] rates."

There are parallels to the outlandish claims made for a 3 cent soda tax.* It will end obesity! Pay for health care reform! Make dentists obsolete! A handy review of the bad math behind the idea that small soda taxes will take a significant dent out of obesity here.

*corn subsidies are totally bad.

UPDATE: A alert reader writes: "Of course, it's probably safe to say that obese teenagers are less likely to be sexually active and therefore less likely to contract STDs.  So really, supporters of 'obesity' taxes are really just supporting the infliction of STDs upon America's youth (which in turn drives up health care costs).  That's just common sense."

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  • Untermensch||

    So would a 36¢ beer tax start curing existing cases of gonorrhea? The reasoning they used should be clearly spurious even to the casual reader without consulting the sources. That's just an astonishing claim to make with a straight face.

  • Tomcat1066||

    As someone who went to high school, college, and served in the Navy, how in the hell did I not get a VD considering all the beer I drank?

    Luckily, I'm more sophisticated now. Irish whiskey for me these days.

  • cangrejos fantasmas||

    "Obviously, the argument here is that lots of beer makes people more likely to rape, pillage, etc."

    That's the effect it always has on me.

  • ||

    You know what we should tax? Stupid newspaper articles. That alone would finance the colonization of every major world in the solar system.

  • ||

    If beer flees to France after having plead guilty....

    Just being a pain in the ass.

  • Paul||

    The Washington Post: journalism at its finest.

  • Paul||

    And the only person left reading the WaPo is Katherine Mangu-Ward. And I'll bet Reason pays for her subscription.

  • ||

    What the big deal about VD? One penicillin shot and it clears right up.

    Now if a beer tax could help prevent herpes, I might have to think about supporting that

  • Rich||

    That's just an astonishing claim to make with a straight face.

    Come on -- they were *drunk*.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "Reason, of course, tore this study a new one back when first made the rounds [in 2000]."

    I really don't mean to put this in the most dickish way possible, but I think you meant "The Washington Post, of course, tore this study a new one back when first made the rounds," because all your year 2000 "Reason" link does is quote the Wash Post, and, naturally, does not bother to supply a link to the actual Wash Post story. It was the Post, not Reason, who interviewed David Murray.

    So, really, I'm not bein', you know, dickish, I'm just bein', you know, accurate.

  • Beer||

    "Beer Raped Your Daughter and Gave Her Gonorrhea. Again."

    You know she wanted it.

  • Paul||

    "The Washington Post, of course, tore this study a new one back when first made the rounds," because all your year 2000 "Reason" link does is quote the Wash Post, and, naturally, does not bother to supply a link to the actual Wash Post story

    So what you're saying is, the Washington Post taketh, and the Washington Post giveth away...

  • ||

    I am sure none of the researchers recall what is like when they are young. If the cost of beer goes up then people will turn to other drugs to get high.

    Young people do what ever is cheapest and easiest to get.

  • ||

    "Obviously, the argument here is that lots of beer makes people more likely to rape, pillage, etc."

    Couldn't the argument just be that beer makes you more likely to have sex - more sex, leading to more STDs (all else equal).

    I don't see why this is controversial. I drank a lot of beer and I always wanted the ladies to drink a lot more beer. It had nothing to do with rape, but still have everything to do with sex. You can still get an STD from consensual sex.

    If the logic of this post is correct, it would imply that more drunken-ness will not lead to more sex. That is not true, thankfully.

  • Jeff P||

    I can't tell the difference between Budweiser and VD. They both give me a burning sensation when I pee...

  • ||

    I don't understand* how every instance of a proposed tax can be both monumental and inconsequential depending on your audience.

    To the foe: "You'll never notice a few pennies!"
    To the fan: "Just a few pennies will dramatically reduce drinking!"

    *Okay, I do understand, but it makes my soul hurt.

  • Tomcat1066||

    "Research indicates that a 10 percent increase in current alcohol excise taxes-that is a penny for a beer-would result in less drinking, especially among underage drinkers, reducing rape, robbery, domestic violence and liver disease."

    Hence the mention of beer leading to rape.

  • Nipplemancer||

    who the hell gets gonorrhea anymore besides sexy old people in florida retirement communities?

  • Young Person||

    Young people do what ever is cheapest and easiest to get.

    Yep, that's why I do "Gonorrhea Gertie."

  • Nipplemancer||

    *floridian

  • S.A. ||

    Beer Raped Your Daughter and Gave Her Gonorrhea. Again.

    Yeah, but it happened a really long time ago, and think of all the other good things Beer has done. You prudish Americans.

  • ||

    From the bottom of the article.

    ""Dr. Lloyd I. Sederer is medical director for the New York State Office of Mental Health ""

    My state has really been pissing me off for the last couple of years.

  • Paul||

    I don't understand* how every instance of a proposed tax can be both monumental and inconsequential depending on your audience.

    Argument 1: Without government funding, Public Broadcasting would cease to exist!

    Argument 2: Why not fund Public Broadcasting? I mean, really, it's only a tiny, infinitesimally small percentage of its budget anyway.

  • Jeff P||

    Ah, yes, Skid Row's "Youth Gonorrhea."
    A classic.

  • Nipplemancer||

    "Without government funding, Public Broadcasting would cease to exist!"

    then instead of doing monthly beg-a-thons they can be like normal broadcasters and have advertisers pay the bills. the aforementioned sexy old people in florida would gladly watch This Old House and the New Yankee Workshop even if they had commercials. I know I would and i'm not a sexy old person, nor a floridian.

  • ||

    Underage drinkers already pay a hefty 'tax' on alcohol since they likely have to slip an extra $20 to the creepy dude outside of the 7/11 so he'll go in and buy them a six-pack. Ergo, a penny per beer tax is a mere pittance compared to the true cost teenagers are already paying to procure their alcohol.

  • Social Worker||

    "then instead of doing monthly beg-a-thons"

    then instead of doing monthly bait-and-switch

    FIFY

  • ||

    As someone who went to high school, college, and served in the Navy, how in the hell did I not get a VD considering all the beer I drank?

    Luckily, I'm more sophisticated now. Irish whiskey for me these days.



    Tomcat1066, You're an ex-sailor who drinks Irish? Even though your handle indicates airedale, you must be one smart sonofabitch.

  • ||

    One of the greatest condemnations of funding public broadcasting came, surprisingly, from the Dead Milkmen:

    Born to love volcanoes
    Seen 'em on PBS
    Born to love volcanoes
    This city is a mess
    Somewhere on a steam vent
    Sits a man without a home
    Tribute to Carl Sagan
    Tonight on PBS
    Alistair Cooke is beggin'
    Tonight on PBS
    Maybe he needs my money more
    Than a man without a home.

  • ||

    So, really, I'm not bein', you know, dickish, I'm just bein', you know, accurate.

    You kinda are, y'know, bein' both.
    But you knew that, didn't you?

  • Tomcat1066||

    "Tomcat1066, You're an ex-sailor who drinks Irish? Even though your handle indicates airedale, you must be one smart sonofabitch."

    J sub D,

    Corpsman actually. You?

  • </||

    Why does KM-W deny the science?

  • ||

    Seriously, they're arguing that charging one shiny penny more per beer will reduce drinking?

    I don't need your fancy regression analysis to tell me that's fucking insane.

  • ||

    Yet, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that two thirds of Americans favor increasing beer and wine taxes to support health-care reform, and opponents changed their mind when told that taxes could pay for health care and encourage healthier habits.

    84% of Americans were in favor of increased taxes when they were told that increasing beer and wine taxes would cure baldness, bad breath and Courtney Love.

  • ¢||

    "Born To Love Volcanos" will be stuck in my head for the rest of my life now.

  • ||

    Corpsmen are cool. My primary heathcare provider for years was an IDC.

    I wasa godlike Firecontrolman.

  • ||

    "A tax increase of 3 cents per beer would cut youth gonorrhea by 9 percent."

    Well, then a tax of 33.5 cents per beer would cut the rate 100%, exterminating the disease.
    Why didn't anyone think of this before?!?!?

  • Untermensch||

    Techie, I did. Read the very first response. I just rounded up a bit to get the tax to start curing existing cases.

  • Sam Grove||

    I once vomited a Budweiser.

  • ||

    If only the 3 cent beer tax had been in place before I crossed paths with Warty. I mean, he'd still have raped me, but maybe he wouldn't have had that gross, stale-beer-smelling breath. Won't someone think of the children?

  • JB||

    Fat girls tend to put out more.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Is the purpose of sin taxes (and I include proposed carbon taxes in the sin tax category) to curtail sinning or to raise revenue? Hint: They have a track record of not working very well for curtailing sinning.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Yeah, but it happened a really long time ago, and think of all the other good things Beer has done. You prudish Americans.

    S.A. Wins the thread. Flawless Victory.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I'm trying to figure out why half my tags don't work.

  • Hacha Cha||

    Al Bundy is gonna be pissed

  • Tomcat1066||

    Corpsmen are cool. My primary heathcare provider for years was an IDC.

    Nice. My "C" school was one deck above the IDC "C" School.

    I wasa godlike Firecontrolman.

    And humble too, I see ;)

  • Wade||

    They probably spent ten million dollars coming up with that study. So now with a 3 cent beer tax they need to sell 334,000,000 more beers to pay for the study. If we factor 1 STD per 15 beers we have 22,267,000 new cases of gonorrhea. So in effect creating this study has increased transmission of STD's.

    Hey my logic is about as accurate as theirs!!!!

    So ridiculous.

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    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

  • jeff||

    they are usually called as sin taxes.

    portland self storage

  • Frank||

    Wow, what an amazingly stupid pitch to raise a tax.

    Alcohol Rehab

  • Oliver||

    Such a nutty way to raise taxes

  • Peter Consulting||

    Why can they just come out and say "We need to raise taxes" instead of something silly like this?

    Business Consulting Thailand

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