Prohibition Party Condemns Senator Schumer’s Call for Federal Support of the Alcohol Industry

Prohibition Party

The Prohibition Party put out  press release criticizing a speech by Senator Charles Schumer in which Schumer called for federal government  help the alcohol industry by expediting regulatory processes.

Link to a video of Schumer’s Speech.

The text of the press release reads as follows.

Recently, Senator Charles Schumer gave a speech calling for the federal government to take actions to help the alcohol industry. Schumer called for federal agencies to take actions to expedite their regulatory actions to help alcohol companies who were inconvenienced by the government shutdown.
We condemn Senator Schumer’s misguided call for the federal government to support the alcohol industry.
Mr. Schumer fails to recognize the vast damages that alcohol has on people and society. Alcohol is a toxic substance, that causes or contributes to over 200 forms of disease and injury, including brain damage, organ failure, and several forms of cancer. Alcohol kills over 88,000 Americans a year, and an estimated 1/7th of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse disorders. It produces more death and addiction than the opiod crisis. In addition, alcohol contributes to a variety of social ills, including increased rates of poverty, domestic violence, child-abuse and neglect, sexual assault, and violent crime in general. The social, medical, and economic damages caused by alcohol cost our country over 258 billion dollars a year, shrinks the economy, and drives up taxes. The alcohol industry makes our country makes our country sicker, poorer, and more highly taxed. It damages, the health, safety, and the wellbeing of the people of this country, for the profit of a few.
Mr. Schumer touts the importance of the alcohol industry to his home state, New York. He touts that the alcohol industry is a 4 billion dollar a year business in New York State. While leaving out the fact the state loses over 16 billion dollars a year from the social, medical, and economic damages caused by alcohol.
He touts the increase in breweries, distilleries, and other alcohol business in the state, while ignoring the human costs. The people sickened and killed by alcohol, alcohol addiction, drunk driving, alcohol fueled violence and crime, economic deprivation, the suffering of loved ones, and damage to communities.
Mr. Schumer claims that the alcohol industry in New York is a success story. It’s not. The Cuomo administration and members of the state legislature misused their positions to weaken state restrictions on the alcohol industry, and used state agencies and tax-payer money to promote the growth of the alcohol industry. They abandoned their responsibility o look out for the wellbeing of the people, misused taxpayer money, and worked to make the problem of alcohol worse in the state.
We had hundreds of thousands of hard-working people who went weeks without pay during the government shutdown. But senator Schumer wants to take advantage of the situation to give special support to corporations who profit off a product that harms people and damages society. To us, that seems like a slap in the face to those workers and their families.
If the federal government were to give special support to the alcohol industry then they would be contributing to the harm that alcohol does to our people and society. It would go against the constitutionally written principle that government is supposed to promote the general welfare.
For these reasons, the Prohibition Party condemns Senator Schumer’s proposal. We would ask that Senator Schumer reconsider and withdraw his proposal, and we invite all members of the federal legislature and administration to join in rejecting Senator Schumer’s misguided proposal. We would further encourage all members of the government (whether federal, state, or local) to recognize alcohol as a social and public health problem, to end any and all government support for the alcohol industry, and to use your legitimate legislative and administrative powers to take stronger actions to address the problem of alcohol.

32 thoughts on “Prohibition Party Condemns Senator Schumer’s Call for Federal Support of the Alcohol Industry

  1. J. de Fer

    This is a pretty concrete response to a concrete issue. Subsequent respondents will no doubt leave jokes about, “But do they support calls for the end of Reconstruction?” or “And he wasn’t wearing a four-piece suit when he proposed it! Disgraceful!” (and I’m not going to say that they’re all unfunny), but this press release is real and direct and well-supported and important (even if it’s responding slightly more to Senator Schumer’s framing rhetoric than the specific proposal).

    Was this the national Prohibition Party or the New York Prohibition Party? It seems to focus on New York and that party has seemed significantly more active than the nationals in recent years.

  2. Tony From Long Island

    But do they support Rutherford B. Hayes for re-election? Enjoy your Sarsaparilla fellas!!!

  3. Seebeck

    Right position, wrong reason.

    Yes, the Prohibitionists are abhorrent to freedom and are obsolete by any modern (or ancient back to Mesopotamia) standards.

    But they are correct that the government shouldn’t subsidize or otherwise support the booze industry.

    But they’re wrong about the reason.

    That ramble misses the simplest and most true point: government shouldn’t be subsidizing ANY industry.

    BTW, alcohol is a solution, not necessarily a problem. It’s Friday and it’s Happy Hour somewhere, so have a beer and chill, boys.

  4. Tony From Long Island

    No states “frown” on alcohol. Regardless of what archaic laws are on the books in some places, alcohol is happily consumed pretty much everywhere.

  5. dL

    We are actively getting rid of our archaic alcohol laws one by one.

    If you are under 21, the laws are archaic everywhere…

  6. paulie

    Well, yes, we have not gone that far yet. But blue laws, bottle size, beer alcohol content, homebrewing and other restrictions are being done away with it statewide and in many localities. Dry counties, while stile common, are shrinking in number. And so on.

  7. dL

    Well, yes, we have not gone that far yet.

    Yeah, but the de facto federal minimum drinking age laws came 60 years after prohibition ended. One step forward, two steps back kind of thing.

  8. Johno

    Did a rep in Hawaii make a bill banning smoking for everyone unless they were over 100 years old? Or is that a joke?

  9. paulie

    Hawaii bill is not a joke but it probably has no realistic chance to become law. It’s true that age laws are generally getting worse. That’s part of an overall trend to infantilize young people more and more, and at later ages. Aside from that prohibition is generally on the wane, and not just with alcohol. However, tobacco prohibition is on the rise, at least as far as where it can be smoked. Some of that type of retrenchment also happens with states which decriminalize or regulate or medicalize cannabis as far as where it can be consumed, local ordinances and so on. It’s complicated, but in the long run the global trend is that prohibition of any given substance in any given country, province, state, etc always fails and gets repealed in the long run; it’s just a matter of how long any given prohibition lasts in any given place.

  10. Johno

    Lol… so no drinking until 21 . No smoking till 100 . Yet, the state still asks 18 year olds to sign up for the military, but cannot drink or smoke. Crazy.

  11. dL

    Aside from that prohibition is generally on the wane, and not just with alcohol.

    Unfortunately, prohibition is not on the wane. Any improvements on some fronts are more than offset by crackdowns for other substances or activities. The slow repeal of the old prohibition era laws has been offset by the de facto federal minimum drinking age and much stricter DWI laws. Tobacco prohibition is expanding into nicotine prohibition(which by itself is just an addictive mild nootropic). Improvements in marijuana prohibition have been offset by big time crackdown on prescription narcotics. Prostitution is now called “sex trafficking” and now falls under the jurisdiction of Fatherland Security. Prohibitions on human mobility have significantly increased.

  12. dL

    Hopefully not for much longer. Once they start requiring women to register the system probably won’t last long.

    The much more likely outcome is to simply suspend Selective service registration. I doubt the military will lose any sleep over it being put in the cooler. Nixon even suspended it in 1975 until Carter revived it on his way out the door in 1980.

  13. paulie

    Unfortunately, prohibition is not on the wane. Any improvements on some fronts are more than offset by crackdowns for other substances or activities. The slow repeal of the old prohibition era laws has been offset by the de facto federal minimum drinking age and much stricter DWI laws. Tobacco prohibition is expanding into nicotine prohibition(which by itself is just an addictive mild nootropic). Improvements in marijuana prohibition have been offset by big time crackdown on prescription narcotics. Prostitution is now called “sex trafficking” and now falls under the jurisdiction of Fatherland Security. Prohibitions on human mobility have significantly increased.

    Yes, and that’s consistent with my studies in global history of prohibitions. No prohibition of a psychoactive substance lasts in the long run but they may well be supplanted by others. I did not expand my literature survey to include sex work and migration laws.

  14. paulie

    The much more likely outcome is to simply suspend Selective service registration. I doubt the military will lose any sleep over it being put in the cooler. Nixon even suspended it in 1975 until Carter revived it on his way out the door in 1980.

    I hope you’re right, but I’m less optimistic. But not so much so that I would be overly surprised.

  15. dL

    I hope you’re right, but I’m less optimistic.

    I wasn’t making an optimistic forecast. It is a simple fact that US imperialism does not depend on Selective Service, and a reasonable speculation that a continued popular tolerance of US imperialism abroad depends on the perception that the military is a “volunteer service.”

  16. dL

    Yes, and that’s consistent with my studies in global history of prohibitions. No prohibition of a psychoactive substance lasts in the long run…

    Isn’t drug/alcohol prohibition in the course of human history a relatively recent thing? Something that by and large only traces back to the late 19th century?

  17. paulie

    I wasn’t making an optimistic forecast. It is a simple fact that US imperialism does not depend on Selective Service, and a reasonable speculation that a continued popular tolerance of US imperialism abroad depends on the perception that the military is a “volunteer service.”

    They want it both ways. SS registration is a way to keep the draft as an option if they think they need it in the future, a compromise between those who want a return to a full draft and/or routine mandatory service and those who want none, an exercise in furthering monitoring (archaic, but still one of the many bricks in a growing wall of surveillance), an act of coerced “voluntary” submission…it serves a variety of such purposes rolled into one.

  18. dL

    Did you read the other link?

    Isolated tobacco prohibitionism in the 16th century. Tobacco prohibitionism in the United States began in earnest at the turn of the 20th century and has steadily increased to the point to seeping over into nicotine prohibition moral panic. A steady, unabated rise.

  19. paulie

    Apparently you did not really read those links fully. That’s OK, I’m not going to spoon feed. I’ve read numerous books that go into a lot more examples than those links provide, but it was a long time ago. The links are there for those who want to do more than just a bit of skimming, but I may be talking to myself because I don’t know if anyone cares. If anyone did they could probably use a search engine too.

  20. dL

    Apparently you did not really read those links fully.

    What did I miss? 7 Historical Bans on Smoking

    (1) Pope Urban 1590
    (2) King James 1604
    (3) Sultan Murad IV 1623
    (4) French ban 1635-1637
    (5) Massachusetts Ban 1632, Connecticut Ban 1647, Philadelphia ban 1680
    (6) States Butt Out of the Tobacco Business By 1900, Washington, Iowa, Tennessee, and North Dakota had all banned the sale of cigarettes, and by 1920 11 other states had enacted similar bans.

  21. paulie

    It helps to read more than just the headings. For example, just one of those reads:

    When Sultan Murad IV took over the Ottoman Empire in 1623, he inherited a land filled with corruption and decadence. He took care of it quickly, though, and by 1633 Murad had banned all tobacco, alcohol, and coffee from his empire. Murad IV made Pope Urban VII look like a pushover–his punishment for breaking the ban was death.

    Murad IV didn’t leave enforcement to his minions, either. He supposedly walked the streets of Istanbul in plain clothes and used his mace to execute anyone he caught using tobacco. As many as 18 people a day met their demise for smoking until Murad’s successor, Ibrahim the Mad, lifted the ban.

    At around the same time, Russia instituted a similar ban. First-time offenders would get a slit nose, take a beating, or be exiled in Siberia. Repeat offenders earned themselves an execution. These stiff penalties hung around until Peter the Great came to power in 1682.

    And from the other link, among many other things:

    A number of Asian rulers had similarly enacted early prohibitions, many of which were later forcefully overturned by Western colonial powers during the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1360, for example, King Ramathibodi I, of Ayutthaya Kingdom ( now Thailand ), prohibited opium consumption and trade. The prohibition lasted nearly 500 years until 1851, when King Rama IV allowed Chinese migrants to consume opium. While the Konbaung Dynasty prohibited all intoxicants and stimulants during the reign of King Bodawpaya (1781–1819). As the British colonized parts of Burma from 1852 they overturned local prohibitions and established opium monopolies selling Indian produced opium.

    Why not just fully read the links or do your own search?

  22. Johno

    The new congresswomen from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar should join this party. She targets one group of people just like David duke. Really shocking. She should be kicked out of dims party. For the the record Steve king of Iowa should be kicked out of the rethugs also. He can join Omar in this party and ban everyone they don’t like together. Prohibition themselves in kumbaya song.

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