Preview
Preview

Essay on The Economics of Prohibition

No Works Cited
Length: 832 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Economics of Prohibition
Prohibition's supporters were initially surprised by what did not come to pass during the dry era. When the law went into effect, they expected sales of clothing and household goods to skyrocket. Real estate developers and landlords expected rents to rise as saloons closed and neighborhoods improved. Chewing gum, grape juice, and soft drink companies all expected growth. Theater producers expected new crowds as Americans looked for new ways to entertain themselves without alcohol. None of it came to pass.

Instead, the unintended consequences proved to be a decline in amusement and entertainment industries across the board. Restaurants failed, as they could no longer make a profit without legal liquor sales. Theater revenues declined rather than increase, and few of the other economic benefits that had been predicted came to pass.

On the whole, the initial economic effects of Prohibition were largely negative. The closing of breweries, distilleries and saloons led to the elimination of thousands of jobs, and in turn thousands more jobs were eliminated for barrel makers, truckers, waiters, and other related trades.

The unintended economic consequences of Prohibition didn't stop there. One of the most profound effects of Prohibition was on government tax revenues. Before Prohibition, many states relied heavily on excise taxes in liquor sales to fund their budgets. In New York, almost 75% of the state's revenue was derived from liquor taxes. With Prohibition in effect, that revenue was immediately lost. At the national level, Prohibition cost the federal government a total of $11 billion in lost tax revenue, while costing over $300 million to enforce. The most lasting consequence was that many states and th...


... middle of paper ...


... for the first time.

The greatest unintended consequence of Prohibition however, was the plainest to see. For over a decade, the law that was meant to foster temperance instead fostered intemperance and excess. The solution the United States had devised to address the problem of alcohol abuse had instead made the problem even worse. The statistics of the period are notoriously unreliable, but it is very clear that in many parts of the United States more people were drinking, and people were drinking more.

There is little doubt that Prohibition failed to achieve what it set out to do, and that its unintended consequences were far more far reaching than its few benefits. The ultimate lesson is two-fold. Watch out for solutions that end up worse than the problems they set out to solve, and remember that the Constitution is no place for experiments, noble or otherwise.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Economics...In Real Life - The 1920s were a time of luxury and economic stability in the United States, that is, until the day the stock market crashed and the country was plummeted in to a time of misery and uncertainty called the Great Depression. The ten year span from 1929 until 1939 is one of the worst episodes the United States has ever experienced; it held a great shortage in the money supply, massive unemployment, and despair and doubt for all of the people who lived through it. Frederick Lewis Allen’s book Since Yesterday: the 1930s in America gives a wonderful depiction of exactly what went on during this period of time in the United States, it explains what everyday life was like for the common people and g...   [tags: Economics]
:: 6 Works Cited
1583 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
National Prohibition in America Essay -      National Prohibition, brought about by the Eighteenth Amendment and enforced through the Volstead Act, lasted for over ten years. Besides a growing lack of public support for both Prohibition and temperance itself, the outlaw of alcohol continued throughout the United States—at least in the law books. In practice, however, National Prohibition was much less effective than temperance and Prohibition leaders had hoped, in the end causing more problems than it solved. Once started, Prohibition led to the rise in crime during the twenties, the public health problems associated with bootleg liquor and alcohol substitutes, the problems between religious, racial, and the political rise in res...   [tags: Eighteenth Amendment]
:: 4 Works Cited
2582 words
(7.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Economics of the Revolutionary War Essay - Economics of the Revolutionary War After the end of the French and Indian War in 1763 the American people had taxes placed on them by the British. The British Parliament claimed that by placing the taxes they were defending the colonies for the Americans. During the twelve years following the war, the British enacted a numerous amount of taxes that allowed them to raise revenue from the American economy. This taxing of the American people hurt the American economy and started to push the American colonists toward an independence movement so they could have a free economy....   [tags: Papers] 3110 words
(8.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Oil Prices and Economic Growth Essay - From the middle of twentieth century, due to exceptional importance of the crude oil in the supply of the world's energy demands, it has become one of the major indicators of economic activities of the world. Even after the appearance of alternate forms of energy like solar power, water and wind, the importance of crude oil as the main source of energy still cannot be denied. This sharp increase in the world oil prices and the volatile exchange rates are generally regarded as the factors of discouraging economic growth....   [tags: Economics] 515 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Oil Prices and Economic Growth Essay - From the middle of twentieth century, due to exceptional importance of the crude oil in the supply of the world's energy demands, it has become one of the major indicators of economic activities of the world. Even after the appearance of alternate forms of energy like solar power, water and wind, the importance of crude oil as the main source of energy still cannot be denied. This sharp increase in the world oil prices and the volatile exchange rates are generally regarded as the factors of discouraging economic growth....   [tags: Economics ] 1241 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Oil Prices and Economic Growth Essay - From the middle of twentieth century, due to exceptional importance of the crude oil in the supply of the world's energy demands, it has become one of the major indicators of economic activities of the world. Even after the appearance of alternate forms of energy like solar power, water and wind, the importance of crude oil as the main source of energy still cannot be denied. This sharp increase in the world oil prices and the volatile exchange rates are generally regarded as the factors of discouraging economic growth....   [tags: Economics ] 1241 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Prohibiton Was a Failure - Prohibition Was a Failure      Alcohol is illegal. “The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and corncribs. Men will walk upright now; women will smile and children will laugh. Hell will be forever rent” (Thorton 9). The Eighteenth Amendment of the Constitution went into effect on January 16, 1920, with three-fourths vote from congress (Boorstin 994). The National Prohibition of Alcohol was adopted to solve social problems, reduce the crime rate, stop corruption and minimize the tax burden created by prisons....   [tags: Alcohol Ban Laws Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1521 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Relationship Between Oil Prices and Economic Growth Essay - From the middle of twentieth century, due to exceptional importance of the crude oil in the supply of the world's energy demands, it has become one of the major indicators of economic activities of the world. Even after the appearance of alternate forms of energy like solar power, water and wind, the importance of crude oil as the main source of energy still cannot be denied. This sharp increase in the world oil prices and the volatile exchange rates are generally regarded as the factors of discouraging economic growth....   [tags: Economics ] 973 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Prohibition Amendment Essay - The Prohibition Amendment, which took effect on January 16, 1920, outlawed the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol in the United States and its territories, until its repeal on December 5, 1933. Today, Prohibition is often referred to as the “Noble Experiment” because it was created to reduce the adverse effects that alcohol had on families and society. Excessive consumption of alcohol, primarily by men, often resulted in domestic violence, poor work performance, and wasteful spending of wages on alcohol, which were needed to support families....   [tags: alcohol prohibition, crime]
:: 11 Works Cited
1823 words
(5.2 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay Prohibition: A Call For Reformation - During the late eighteenth century, reformers and politics debated the sale of alcohol for many reasons. Issues such as prohibition caused many individuals to engage in politics and propaganda sometimes took the focus off the real problems. President Cleveland won the election in 1884 for the Republican Party, it was said to have been because of a quote by a Republican clergyman. Directed primarily toward Democrats, it labeled them the party of “rum, Romanism, and rebellion.” In 1850 annual consumption of beer had reached up to 2.7 gallons per capita but had risen dramatically to 17.9 gallons per capita in 1880....   [tags: Prohibition, alcohol, history,] 935 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]