Monday, 7 July 2014

The prohibitionist mindset in a nutshell...

... appears in this story about some people who want to ban the sale of energy drinks to chiiiiildren (ie. teenagers):

“Pupils don’t want to be sold the drinks even though they’re buying them"

The false consciousness of the peon masses! Pay no attention to people's revealed preferences. What they really want to do is the opposite of what they actually do.

So why do they do what do?

"– it’s because they’re cheap and addictive, and their peers are taking them."

Firstly, energy drinks are not cheap; they're more expensive than almost any other non-alcoholic drinks.

Secondly, I'm unconvinced that caffeine is addictive in any meaningful sense. I go from drinking lots of it to drinking none of it without the slightest side effect. However, I accept that some people claim to get mild withdrawal symptoms so maybe different individuals react differently.

Thirdly, the fact that their 'peers' are drinking them is not evidence that people don't want to buy them. On the contrary, it is further evidence that people do want to buy them.

The quote above comes from a fifteen year old who is being used as a tool by a Scottish pressure group called Responsible Retailing of Energy Drinks. She's young and we shouldn't judge her too harshly, but her claim that people do the opposite of what they really, truly want to do has been the calling card of prohibitionists through the ages. She will probably grow out of this phase, but the prohibitionists will always have a teenage mentality.

By the way, don't be fooled into thinking that this is just a campaign to stop the sale of energy drinks to chiiiiildren. As always, the demands don't stop there...

Pupils are set to be turned away from tills and the addictive drinks removed completely from general display, with sales assistants fetching individual cans from back rooms for adult customers.

Yes, they want a retail display ban. Following the anti-smoking blueprint to the letter.


Longrider said...

When I was a child, some of my peers smoked. I didn't. Maybe there's something wrong with me. Do I need counselling?

And, yes, at nearly two quid for 250ml, Red Bull ain't cheap. And it is not addictive.

nisakiman said...

Pupils are set to be turned away from tills and the addictive drinks removed completely from general display, with sales assistants fetching individual cans from back rooms for adult customers.

Ah yes, I'm sure the retailers will just love that, having to go to the stock room for a can of Red Bull after they've spent five minutes scrabbling around under the counter looking for a particular brand of unmarked ciggies.

These people, with their cosy little ideas to stop people doing what they don't like, are so far removed from reality that it beggars belief.

Michael J. McFadden said...

For a while the Antis sought refuge in tests that showed smoking made MRI brain scans light up in the same regions as cocaine, and thus "prove" their addiction model. Unfortunately for the Antis' argument it eventually came out that watching TV, gambling, playing computer games, and just about everything else that some people find enjoyable and engage in on a repeating basis lit up the SAME areas of the brains.


Furor Teutonicus said...

One way to end the "From the stockroom" madness is to order your whole months supply..... ONE can at a time. You want twenty cans, she has to go to the stockroom twenty times.

Can not be helped that you forgot that Uncle Fred wanted one as well, and "OHH! Sorry., I will need one more, Aunty Mildred will be coming. Of ourse waiting until she has brought you one can before "remembering" every relative and friend in your address book.

And do not forget, AFETER that "I need a packet of fags, what brands have you got, and how much?".... Carry on as for the Red Bull. Apply as needed.

Macheath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Macheath said...

Given the sort of shops this is likely to concern, I'm sure the owners will be delighted at having to leave the displays unattended every time someone wants to an energy drink.