I beg to differ

From an editorial in a Sun Media paper:

The LCBO established a “social responsibility” mandate in 1993, and uses the price of its products as a tool for controlling alcohol consumption.

The implication is clear: The average person can’t be trusted to drink responsibly if the price is set too low.

In other words, the government knows what is best for you, and will impose its will by charging more for the products it sells.

This hike in the price of beer is just another way for the government to social engineer the behaviour of the citizenry, and that should not be the role of a democratic government.

This most sensational evidence to disprove the notion that an average person can be trusted when confronted with low prices is the now-infamous trampling of a Walmart shopper on Black Friday.

In all seriousness, increasing the price is a straightforward and effective way do discourage consumption. There’s nothing new or sinister about a government changing the tax structure (which is essentially what a price change at the LCBO is) to change people’s behaviour. We do the same thing with tobacco products. This is just the flip side of tax breaks for things we want to encourage, like saving for retirement or buying energy efficient light bulbs.


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