Baltimore Evening Sun (15 September 1913): 6.
The Hon. William H. Anderson’s theory that the consumption of alcohol in United States is being reduced by the spread of the local option buncombe is seriously damaged by a study of the internal revenue returns for the fiscal year ended June 30 last, lately issued in Washington. During the fiscal year, it appears, the number of licensed whisky shops in the United States was reduced by more than 20,000, and yet the tax receipts upon whisky, brandy and other so-called hard liquor increased by $7,487,854.77, or nearly 5 per cent.
The Hon. Mr. Anderson, following various other prohibition logicians, has argued that this increase was merely illusory--that it actually represented, not whisky consumed, but merely whisky withdrawn from bond. The law allows whisky to be stored in the bonded warehouses but eight years: at the end of that time it must be withdrawn and the tax upon it paid. The Hon. Mr. Anderson argues that the distillers of the United States have been producing more whisky than they could sell for six or eight years past, and that they are now being forced to withdraw this surplus stock and pay the tax upon it.
But a careful inspection of the report shows that this argument is scarcely borne out by the facts. Whatever may be the case with whisky, it must be obvious that beer and ale cannot be kept so long–that each year’s withdrawal for consumption must represent that year’s consumption very accurately. Well, the the receipts on beer and ale for the last fiscal year showed an increase of $3,136,911.01, or more than 5 percent. And during that same year the number of licenses for retailing beer decreased by 23,000. To put it briefly, the receipts from licenses decreased more than 10 per cent., while the consumption of beer itself increased 5 per cent.
Here we have a plain indication of the effects of prohibition. On the one hand, it cuts down the receipts from licenses, and on the other hand it allows the sale of alcoholic drinks to go on unimpeded. The saloon, which pays a license fee and so helps to decrease the general taxation, is put out of business, and in its place arises the blind pig, which pays only graft to crooked officials. The amount of liquor consumed goes on increasing with the population, but the Government loses its revenues and the police are converted into bribe-takers. That is what has happened in every so-called dry State, from Maine to Oklahoma. And that is what the Hon. Mr. Anderson and his pious sluggers hope to give us in Baltimore.
Not a word from the Harford presbyters about the “horse-breeding” experiments at Havre de Grace! Not a whisper from the alert and vociferous moralists of all that plupious region!
Not a word from the Hon. Eugene Levering on the grand jury’s impious report! And not a word from the Hon. William H. Morriss!
Not a word from the Hon. Eugene Levering! Strange! Strange!
Having made a wild, wild guess as to the report of the late grand jury, the Hon. Donald H. Hooker, M. D., will now play safe, as they say at Havre de Grace, by predicting that Dr. Goldsborough’s Vice Commission will argue that the Police should be forbidden to take graft from prostitutes.
A DAILY THOUGHT. When sin is in the the heart, it jumps out upon the face.–Hannah More.
The estimable Democratic Telegram of this week is adorned with a fine zinc etching of the Hon. Dan Loden, Master of the Job-Hounds. In its literary section it denounces the Hon. William H. Anderson as the “leper” of the recent plebiscite, applies the peanut butter to the Hon. Goose Grease Altfeld, calls upon the Hon. Charles H. Grasty to confess his errors, says a kind word for Admiral George Dewey and prints an editorial in praise of the Hon. George A. Frick, its editor. The absence of the Hon. Mr. Frick upon a brief holiday gives opportunity for this eulogy. It is a genuine pleasure to second it. The Hon. Mr. Frick is a genial and persuasive fellow, and he prints a very entertaining weekly.–Adv.
Meanwhile, the Hon. Dashing Harry makes a veiled announcement of his candidacy for the Governorship in the current Democratic Telegram.
The talk in all the barrooms is that the Hon. Lloyd Wilkinson will wipe up the stage with the Hon. William H. Anderson, but the private betting in the backrooms is that Lloyd will lose at least two ears.
But even more interesting than the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte’s comment on the grand jury’s report will be Dr. Donald R. Hooker’s comment on the result in Montgomery county.
Say what you will against the Hon. William H. Anderson, anyhow he’s a good show. Ditto what you ditto about the Hon. Dashing Harry, anyhow he’s ditto.
From the Minneapolis Bellman, quoted by the Christian Science Monitor:
The clamorous reformer cares nothing for peace. He does not realize that he cannot legislate people out of the effects of shiftlessness, incompetence or vice; he does not see that a law is valuable only so far as it is an accurate expression of a real and general desire of the people. He feels simply that the evil can be overcome if only enough laws are made; and so he adds to the burdens of an already overburdened and lawridden public. It is childish to say that any kind of prohibitory law can actually stamp out a great evil, and it is still more foolish to have such unshakable faith in the efficacy of a law as to believe that its mere existence on the statute books proves that it has accomplished its purpose. Yet so long as people will persist in thus blinding themselves to the facts, so long we may expect to be overwhelmed with absurd laws that cannot be enforced and which, if they could be enforced, would be entirely ineffectual.
The following curious news from St. Louis comes by way of the London Daily Chronicle--a proof of the wide advertising value of donkeyish reform waves:
A wave of modesty has swept over St. Louis, and today the cafes and restaurants presented an extraordinary spectacle, most of the statues bring totally covered with some article of clothing under a city ordinance which came into effect today. Cafe and restaurant proprietors are now forbidden to display pictures, paintings or statues in the nude. A “Sleeping Beauty” who has for years slumbered peacefully and unclothed on a slab in one of the restaurants, now wears a policeman’s uniform, the proprietor declaring that he could think of no more fitting garb for a sleeping figure.