Thursday, February 12, 2009

The happiest hour of the day no longer?

The Minneapolis City council is considering a ban on drink specials, including happy hour, in an effort to reduce binge drinking. Also being considered is a limit of one drink per person at a time and a ban on drinking games.

I went looking for information on the City Council's web site and came across a link to a site advertising the best happy hours in the city; it says "Minneapolis Happy Hours". Sort of ironic and it gets to the heart of the problem, everyone likes happy hour. The bar owners need it, the bar patrons love it, about the only people who are against it are public health experts, but I've got to suspect that even some of them enjoy a happy hour from time to time. There is a reason it's called happy hour after all. Cheap booze makes people happy.

This comes after the University of Minnesota decided that only the rich people can drink at their new football stadium and the Minnesota legislature decided that only out of town Republicans are responsible enough to stay out till 4 am drinking. The utter contempt for people of modest means just oozes out of all these proposals, the idea that poor people should have different rules than rich people.

The problem with this kind of solution is that it's a half measure; it is really only an impediment to poor students. Students who are financially better off will still be able to drink themselves silly and a rise in the number of house parties, which is a worse environment than the bar for binge drinking, would likely follow. It seems to me that if the real issue is binge drinking among college students and you're going to target bars there is a much simpler solution, ban the sale of alcohol on campus, including at the new football stadium.

Leave the rest of us our happy hour, we deserve it.

1 comment:

  1. For me happy hour is about the only time I can actually afford to go out to the bar and considering the economic times we find ourselves in I'm sure I'm not the only one. I habitually use sites like Thrifty Hipster to find out who's got what specials and when, often making my decision on this information, as well as beer selection of course.