Tuesday, June 24, 2008


So, the Irish are disgusting drunks, or something.
Irish families are spending more of their income on alcohol than any other country in the EU, according to an analysis of the household budgets of the 27 member states.
Now, the headline of this article could have been "Stereotypes Sometimes True: Besotted, Hairy, Belligerent Irish Subhumans Piss (Literally and Figuratively) Away Salaries on Hooch" but the Times appears to have exercised just a modicum of restraint in only hinting at all these things through innuendo. As usual with media reports, facts are often deliberately misinterpreted in order to fit the Procrustean bed of the media narrative. So, with that in mind:
Irish households commit twice as much of their budgets to alcohol as they do to education, excluding income tax contributions.
Irish education is apparently socialized, so, as you might have guessed, this comparison is meaningless. Ah, journalism.
Drink also accounts for a bigger proportion of expenditure than health, meat, or dining out in restaurants and cafes.
Booze is pretty expensive in restaurants, and the article doesn't clarify if the cost of dining out includes the cost of booze or not, so this comparison is less than helpful. I also resent the implication that spending money on alcohol isn't a "health expenditure."

Here's some good news masquerading as a crisis:
"For binge drinking, especially among young girls, we are the highest in Europe and our spending is the highest,” she said.
Visit Ireland.
Rackard said this has happened and that increasing the cost of alcohol is the best way to combat its damaging effects. “The government has continued to allow alcohol to be too affordable. The price of alcohol hasn’t gone up with inflation,” she said.
There is no such thing as "too affordable" with any consumer good. Nor do I shed any tears when the government "allows" people to purchase what they want and to enjoy the benefits of the free market. Perhaps if Ms. Rackard would binge-drink like the fun Irish girls, she'd come off as something other than a neo-prohibitionist buzzkill. That an obnoxious teetotaler is the chief authority cited in this article would be evidence of its bias even in the absence of its hilarious tendentiousness.

I'd engage in a spite whiskey sour but I finished off my Jameson on Saturday night. Still, I shake my fist at the Times.


At 10:49 AM, June 24, 2008 , Blogger Nick Milne said...

You were right; I did like this.

At 2:16 PM, June 24, 2008 , Blogger Freiheit said...

I wonder if the article was prompted by Ireland rejecting the Lisbon Treaty. Clearly, the Treaty is so awesome that only a bunch of drunks could reject it.


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