Apologies for light posting of late.
On Wednesday last week I went up to Wellington to talk to the Brewers Guild about the difference between economic and public health (what I call healthist) measures of the social costs of alcohol and about the Law Commission's report. Slides from my talk are available here.
A lot of the talk drew on material I'm working up for the Centre for Independent Studies' Policy journal; I'll link to the text there when the piece is available. Short version: where economists only view costs as relevant to the extent that they aren't matched by benefits, healthists take health as the only social goal. When healthists use economists' language in discussing social costs, they give a sciency flavor to their paternalism without being constrained by any of the rigor of real economic analysis.
I later attended Beervana, where I got to taste some excellent beers. Highlights: