Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people. Although mostly forgotten today, the "chemist's war of Prohibition" remains one of the strangest and most deadly decisions in American law-enforcement history. As one of its most outspoken opponents, Charles Norris, the chief medical examiner of New York City during the 1920s, liked to say, it was "our national experiment in extermination." Poisonous alcohol still kills—16 people died just this month after drinking lethal booze in Indonesia, where bootleggers make their own brews to avoid steep taxes—but that's due to unscrupulous businessmen rather than government order.-The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequencesOne comment that needs to be made concerning current "lethal booze" is that the "unscrupulous businessmen" making bad booze are incentivized to do so because of government policy (steep taxes), so, indirectly, the state is still responsible for those deaths, too. Another one of those inconvenient "unintended consequences" of government intervention.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Your Evil Government: How the U.S. Government Poisoned Alcohol During Prohibition
Posted by Nick
So you didn't know the U.S. fascist federal government poisoned its own citizens during prohibition (1920-1933)? No, you didn't? What did they teach you in school? Not a goddamned thing except statist propaganda?
at 10:38 PM