by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
Now let’s talk drugs for a minute — along with the jackassery in both the States and Washington DC.
Everyone is outraged about the number of opioid deaths — and the peddling of synthetics, such as fentanyl. In fact I can make a pretty clean argument for closing the Mexican border and nuking Beijing on that alone. But….. how about something more-mundane?
30% — or about 1 in 3 American adults — don’t drink at all. 20% more have less than one drink a month. The next decile (10%) consume about one drink every two weeks.
The next 10% consume about one drink every three days; odds are they have them both in a given week on one day, probably Friday. The next 10% (we’ve now accounted for 80% of adults) have slightly less than one drink a day.
Now it gets interesting. The second-to-top 10% consume about 15 drinks weekly, or about two a day. This is the limit, according to physicians and such, for alcohol consumption that is generally not (all that) harmful. I have news for you — as I’ve reported here before, I can, from the physiological data off my Garmin, tell you on which days I’ve had one drink, two drinks, or more. So if you say it doesn’t do any harm with the first one, well, yes it does. And so does the second.
But the top decile — the top 10% , which incidentally means more than 20 million Americans — consume an unbelievable 73 drinks a week or more than 10 a day, on average, every day.
To put this in perspective if you add up all the drinks the other consume you get about a third of those that these people consume. That’s right — 3/4 of all alcohol consumed goes down the gullet of 1/10th of the American adult population.
73 drinks is over 7,000 calories a week as a result of alcohol consumption or more than 1,000 a day. That’s enough to put on more than two pounds a week, all other things being equal. Put another way the average sedentary person who is drinking that much is consuming roughly 60% of their caloric requirement in alcohol alone; if that booze is being consumed in the form of beer or mixed drinks that contain sugar in their mixers it’s even worse, likely 2-3x as bad!
ALL of these people are raging alcoholics. ALL of these people are either outrageously obese or nutritionally deficit at a level sufficient to do very serious metabolic damage or kill them, not counting the damage from the alcohol itself.
BUT MORE TO THE POINT EVERY SINGLE PRODUCER AND SELLER OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES IS BOTH UTTERLY RELIANT ON SUCH PEOPLE TO SURVIVE IN BUSINESS AND THUS THEY ARE ALL AIMING THEIR ADVERTISING AND MARKETING EXPENSE AT THEM — THEY HAVE TO IN ORDER TO STAY IN BUSINESS.
I personally do not care if you are (1) an adult and (2) wish to drug yourself to death.
But — I refuse to sit quietly for the hypocrisy both from politicians who bitch and whine about far less dangerous drugs than alcohol (e.g. marijuana and especially CBD, which has no known intoxicating effect) while at the same time there is a store on every single corner that intentionally stocks, markets to and sells dangerous drugs that they known damn well are, 75% of the time by volume, going into the gullet of people who are committing slow suicide.
Further, while you certainly have the right to commit suicide, whether slowly or not, you don’t have the right to demand that I pay for it.
What shocks me in these statistics, however, is that it’s 10% of the population. I knew two people who have drank themselves to death, am absolutely certain that’s both what killed them and have no trouble believing they were consuming 70 drinks a week. But what these statistics say is that this is an amazingly common thing. 1 in 10 American adults?! Seriously? 1 in 10 adults in America are clinically alcoholic and well on their way to killing themselves by being so?