Dear Editor: Temperance
The prohibition party are pushing for a ban on the sale and consumption of all alcohol in the United States. It seems to be widely believed that, without alcohol, the US would become a better place in which to live. The feeling is that prohibiting alcohol would prevent people wasting all of their wages on alcohol. Furthermore, there is a growing need to reduce antisocial behaviour, such as domestic and street violence. As many such incidents are alcohol related, banning alcohol from the country would, arguably, cut down on such behaviours.
Despite the theoretical benefits to the US, I believe that prohibiting alcohol would create more problems than it solved. Currently, there are a large number of saloons throughout the country, as well as many producers of wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks. A ban would mean that these establishments and companies would have to close down. If this happened then a great number of people would be suddenly unemployed, which would negatively affect the country, both on an economic scale and a social one.
Drinking alcohol is a popular recreational activity, and one that Americans are unlikely to welcome a ban on. If alcohol is made illegal in the US, it is probable that the buying and consuming of it will still happen, only it will be driven underground. Alcohol could be smuggled into the country and sold on the black market. Not only will this give people access to alcohol, it will also create a criminal underworld. Policing such activity will cost the US a great deal of money, and is likely to be an uphill battle.
The prohibition of alcohol in the US is unlikely to solve the social and economic problems of the country. Rather, it could make them a great deal worse.
Brinkley, A. (2010). The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People,
Volume 2 (6th Edition). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.