A Night At The Bars, Another Milwaukee Death...
And as the victim is recovered in the water - - as have other young men here - - we also note that local officials are adding movable beer 'gardens' in county parks on top of the pedal taverns that move through the bar/restaurant/tavern heavy downtown, 3rd and 5th wards.
Despite the media cheerleading for an alcohol culture that continues to take lives and costs a fortune annually, we ask: does Milwaukee really need these new alcohol outlets?\
Should government enable all this sadness?
Look how high Wisconsin rates on the Tavern Scale:
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, Wisconsin, with 3,043 taverns, is third in the nation for total drinking establishments. The data don’t include bars with full-service kitchens. It’s a unique look at the kinds of mom-and-pop watering holes where people go to socialize and drink — the kinds of places that to a great extent define Wisconsin’s identity.
The Census Bureau’s numbers have Wisconsin trailing only California and New York for total taverns and edging out even Texas, which has about five times the population. Wisconsin also ranks third in taverns per capita with one for every 1,862 residents.And should local governments be pushing these new establishments into the parks and on to the streets, when the cost in lives and dollars is known?
“We’ve always known that Wisconsin has a serious problem with alcohol, but until today, most of us could only guess about the scale of the problem and the cost we all pay,” Maureen Busalacchi, executive director of Health First Wisconsin, said. “The results of the report are staggering. Excessive alcohol use costs us $6.8 billion and results in 1,500 deaths a year. Over-consumption of alcohol is a serious problem in Wisconsin that demands serious action.”
The report finds that the high costs of excessive alcohol use in Wisconsin are largely shouldered by taxpayers, who pick up more than 40 percent of the costs, or approximately $2.9 billion a year.
Wisconsin has the highest binge drinking rates in the nation – as defined by consuming five or more drinks on an occasion for men and four or more drinks for women. Overall, alcohol consumption is nearly 30 percent higher than the national average. Excessive and dangerous drinking behaviors led to high costs, notably in lost productivity ($2.9 billion), premature death ($1.9 billion), health care ($749 million), the criminal justice system ($649 million) and motor vehicle crashes ($418 million). The costs place a tremendous burden on the state’s businesses, health care system and law enforcement and criminal justice systems.
We recently drove through many small towns in New York and Pennsylvania, which were similar in many respects to Wisconsin towns, except for the noticeable absence of bars on every corner. It's only when you get outside the state that you realize just how out of kilter this culture is relative to much of the rest of the country, even in areas with the same ethnic backdrop.
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