Saturday, 11 February 2012

Oh not another one

UK Parliamentarians are throwing around aggregate social cost figures mostly consisting of costs borne by drinkers as representing costs to British taxpayers of harmful drinking. Nanny state Labourites? Nope. A Tory. Read the excellent Chris Snowdon for the details.*

This is the corruption that comes of social cost studies that disguise private costs as publicly borne unless you check their work more carefully than any journalist or parliamentarian ever will.

* I'll quibble with Chris on a couple minor points. Crime costs can be legitimate social costs, even if they're not a financial hit to the government. It's just that these studies utterly confound "committed a crime after having recently had a drink" with "crimes in which alcohol was causal and which would not have occurred but for the consumption of alcohol".

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