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The ever readable Tom Palmer points me to a story that I have forgotten, incredibly:

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.

I am sure I am just cherry picking again. Sadly, I’ve got enough to make a lifetime’s worth of pies and jams. Keep this in mind as the wizards in DC and our capitols continue their assault on salt, trans-fats, chips, aluminum bats, and even our garbage. But this, of course, is an incendiary caricature.

5 Responses to “Murder by Government, A Continuing Series”

  1. Dan says:

    I wonder if this practice has ever been defended by an ethicist. That would be an interesting argument. I would imagine that someone can say “Regardless of whether a piece of legislation is just, or fair, or efficient, or ‘good’, if government passed it, then it should enforce it.” Slate did a interesting piece on this over the summer.

  2. Harry says:

    If you are an Iowa corn farmer and have given up feeding pigs and have built a still to turn your corn crop into ethanol to power cars into the next few years into the twenty-first century, you know you have to add a little poison to your moonshine before it fouls the carburetors of hundreds of thousands of small engines. That’s called denatured alcohol, the same substance kids used to get from the drug store to cook assorted chemicals they got with their chemistry set.

    The inspectors and revenuers are there to inspect every step in the process, lest the farmers sell a few gallons of moonshine without it being taxed, all under the pretense that one might blind a farm boy a mile away in the next farm, and prevent him showing up to his next Economics 101 class. This is the common bond between Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin.

    Thanks for the post, WC.

  3. […] Murder by Government, A Continuing Series […]

  4. mark says:

    You are not Cherry picking. the FDA and other governments have arm-twisted drug maker’s into putting acetaminophen into common cold medication as well as low-strength narcotics (like hydrocodeine). the rationale was the same as it was in 1933, poison people into giving up drugs because some abuse drugs like dextromethorphan or hydrocodeine which in high doses can give the user euphoria, relaxation, and even hallucinogenic and dissociative properties. But acetaminophen, especially when combined (but not only when) with alcohol, can lead to serious and permanent liver damage and even overdose death. I think its incredibly underreported, but a few thousand people die from NSAID overdoses, especially acetaminophen, so it’s very plausible to say that the government is seriously maiming or murdering hundreds of people

    so this is to say that the government is still getting away with this crap and killing their own citizens in the vein of, “we know what’s best to put in your body and not you and we will poison you if you attempt otherwise” kind of thing.

  5. Harry says:

    Mark, chef Wintercow picks cherries at Wegeman’s for the bigarade sauce he prepares to go with the duck he cooks for Tuesday night supper. Up to this point his sous chef is not reporting to the Central Committee that he has sprinkled too much Tylenol, salt, or mind-altering substances into his family’s food.

    That pork chop recipe was a giveaway that Wintercow is biased against southern Asia west of Croatia to the Ganghes River, or whatever Alexander conquered.

    In any event, WC is a true cherry picker.

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