Driven to Drink pt. II


Viikko 13


Motion: THW take drastic measures to fix Finland’s alcohol problem(S)
Role: MP (govt.)
Date: Mar 5th, 2016

Alcohol policies are debated on a regular basis. One strong current is liberalism, meaning that people should be able to behave as they please and have their needs met accordingly, per the laws of any other branch of capitalism and market economics. Others oppose to this, saying that as long as the state is footing the bill for the wellbeing of all of its citizens and the general overseeing of lawful conditions, it can also regulate the purchasing and consumption of alcohol.

I have two solutions for the alcohol ”crisis”, one of which is a one-size-fits-all solution and the other a bespoke, tailor-made, individualising solution. Implementing either would take about the same amount of precious legislation-and-implementation time, so I’m not telling you which alternative to choose but just presenting you with them.

The first solution, solution #1, is to make alcohol a forbidden fruit in the privacy of the home when drunk alone. Most alcoholics drink copious amounts of the stuff alone @ home. We’re talking of mountains of beer cans, plastic bagfuls of recycled liquour bottles and cardboard on cardboard of discarded cardboard. Some outsource the obtaining and recycling processes to other, abstaining people.

The social control that comes with drinking in company is crucial. It controls drinking mannerwise, moneywise, timewise and volumewise. The govt. could reduce the role of ALKO (the national alcohol monopoly) to the sale of alcohol merely for weddings, funerals and baptisms and so on. The rest would have to be drunk in bars, pubs, at restaurants, festivals, concerts and other public events. This would necessitate driving down the price of alcohol on such occasions to maybe a half or a third of what it is now. So, in the future, a GT would cost 4 or 5 euro at a rock concert or a Christmas warm-up party in the workplace (with an open bar licenced for the occasion). Beers could be had at 2 or 3 euro apiece, so that the volume of consumption made up for the losses in retailing. The hopeful idea is that if people ceased to be able to buy for their personal, solitary drinking, hospitality-industry turnovers could potentially skyrocket.

The second solution, solution #2, is to think of alcohol tolerance and alcoholism-risk per an individual. We could be thought of as having a personal tolerance that comes in the size and shape of a T-shirt. That is one of the easier ways to visualise it. Some of us are of the size XL, some L, some M, some S and the rest of the size XS. Personally, I’d be totally happy if my size was the same as my real shirt size has been for a long time. The ”size” of one’s tolerance would be attributable to genotype and phenotype. These are concepts of biogenetics that come in handy here. Alcoholism-related genes are already known to exist to medicine. More and more becomes known every year. They are sequences of DNA that expose a person to alcoholism, and they may be region-specific, family-specific or tribe-specific; in other words, detectable anywhere that inheritance and heritage play a role. If one’s region, family or tribe was alcoholism-prone, that would automatically raise one’s risk status. Also, if one’s social class was a factor, that would be factored in. For example, an unmarried man is liable to drink more than a married woman. This is because his testosterone levels are higher and he has no children to tend to. In consequence, the alcohol-tolerance ”sizes” or T-shirt sizes of married women from Coastal Finland would likely but not necessarily be the biggest, whereas the T-shirt sizes of single men from Eastern Finland would likely but not necessarily be the smallest. And others would fall somewhere in between.

Thirdly, all of this would be handled digitally as fits the times we’re living in. Each citizen would be issued a card of the bus-card type that was swiped every time an alcohol purchase took place in public. The card would allow purchases only up to the point of one’s personal limit (XL, L, M, S, XS). The limit could be overdrawn by drinking alcohol (from) beyond the national borders, but that’d require extra effort on the part of the ”alcoholic” citizen. For one, I don’t have that kind of potential for squirming, but loopholes do exist; let’s be clear about that.

At any rate, I believe people would take pride in knowing their genotype x phenotype = their limit, and begin appreciating how the govt. takes care of its own. Even a fashion fad might result, if people took to wearing their personally calculated T-shirt for real in public. Nice!

Alkoholi 3

Puheen kesto: 6 min 18 sek
Arvio: * * * * ½. Puheessa ei jää aikaa kysymyksille paitsi yhdelle. Aina ne eivät ole tarpeen. Tässä esitetään kaksi ehdotusta, joista toinen on todennäköisesti liikaa, mutta eipähän tule ainakaan haaleaa tai viileää puhetta. Tiedän kyllä, että puhetta on helpompi suoltaa kuin seurata, sillä puhuja voi seurata muistiinpanojaan mutta kuulija ei. Jollakin tavalla puhuja ja kuulijat kuitenkin päässevät edes osin samalle aaltopituudelle. Näistä kahdesta sama-aiheisesta puheesta tämä jälkimmäinen ehkä onnistuu paremmin; ajan kuluminen antaa sille etua.



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