December 6th, 2007



So, I am reading up on the Stop Drink tax, and trying to get a feel for the history of alcohol taxes in general, etc, and I keep coming across this line:

The people who are purchasing poured drinks are not the same people riding the buses.

Really? The set of people who drink is different from the set of people who take public transportation? Is that so? Well, I suppose that I do not exist then -- since I am a member of the Pittsburgh Beer Society and buy beer on tap at many places frequently, AND I use public transportation almost daily (excepting weekends). Also, when I see my fellow bus patrons, they are usually of drinking age. Who is to say that none of these people are buying drinks at their local restaurant or bar?

I mean, even if you assume that the people who take the bus are poor (which is not necessarily the case), why would the assumption then be that the poor don't buy alcohol? Isn't that contrary to studies and widely held opinion? Weird. Even in a covertly bigoted statement, the bigotry is only used for convenience -- oh, well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised there.

But it makes me squeamish for another reason. See, I live in a bar district. I really love my neighborhood, except that I really hate going out at 2am. Why? Because all of the drunks come out of the bar and get into their cars and drive away. So I will twist the above statement around and point out:

WHY are the people who are purchasing poured drinks then not riding buses?

It's a rhetorical question here, I need not get into the answers to that question in this post; I am using that question to only point out that the original presumption of people who drink are not on the bus is... a very poorly thought out idea. We should not be proudly proclaiming this line in any context, because in any group of people drinking, a fair number of them absolutely should be taking the bus.
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