In this Dismal Economy, There’s One Thing that’s Booming!
“Curious Cat,” a commenter on my article, Welcome to 2016! With Just a Touch of Mayhem, started out with this:Further study: "Questions America Wants Answered: 'Is Craft Beer Bullshit?'" and from the Journal of Wine Economics (perfect when paired with the Journal of Leisure Studies): "Craft Beer in the United States: History, Numbers, and Geography".
Wolf –Here’s my answer for Curious Cat: There is “one positive thing” in this economy – more than one, actually, but one sticks out. It’s a huge boom with a delicious product. It’s a true American success story, pushed forward not by central banks, governments, or misbegotten stimulus programs, but by scrappy upstarts that fought all odds and disrupted a tired oligopolistic industry. And now, after a few decades, they’re attracting mega-tons of money: craft brewers.
I would feel a lot better about the world economy if I heard one positive thing from anyone other than “US consumers are continuing to spend” (until they can’t any more) and US folks are buying cars (on a trillion dollars of borrowed money). Does anyone have anything positive to say about the world economy other than it’s not as bad as we thought it might be?
The Brewers Association reported that the total number of breweries in the US soared to 4,144 in 2015 – a phenomenal 36% jump from a year earlier. Since 2011, the number of breweries has skyrocketed 252%.
So it’s only a tiny slice of the US economy, but it comes at the expense of an oligopoly of multinational brewing conglomerates that have totally forgotten about their customers – which makes the story quintessentially American.
In 1979, near the low-point in American beer history, there were only 44 breweries. But that year something happened: The industrial breweries were down to 42; but craft breweries doubled in number to … two!
And it opened the floodgates. The next year, craft brewers quadrupled to … eight. A dizzying boom had started:....MORE
And from the Stoner's Cookbook:
America’s Economy Will Be Saved With Marijuana
Marijuana has many benefits. Pain relief, sleeplessness, nausea, fighting cancer… The list goes on and on. While all these benefits are great, in the end, they aren’t what will really sell legalization in the minds of fat cat politicians.
Government leaders have been amassing power and making money off the suffering of commoners since the beginning of civilization. No, marijuana’s greatest benefit is money.
The money the American government has made by keeping pot illegal is nothing compared to the financial windfall it will see when it is finally legalized. Here’s why.The Prohibition Model:
Prohibition is a political tool. It is used to divide the masses against each other. By condemning a behavior or belief that gives the people happiness, they draw power from the fearful in the form of allegiance, taxes and manpower.
They prey on the disenchanted, who would otherwise question the divisions of power, and question authority. If a people are happy and you try to change things, they will fight. If, however, they are miserable, they will always welcome a guiding hand, even if it makes the situation no better. If Machiavelli’s Prince had been a modern politician, he would have taken credit for the exploits of Harry J. Anslinger, Nixon, McCarthy, and their ilk.
Financially, this model benefits those in power by giving a “need” for them to be in power: to protect us from “evil”. They can justify big budgets, increased police personnel, and large salaries. Getting paid to watch people sit in cells, snooping in American lives, and reveling in the power of office all sound a lot better than getting real jobs....MUCH MORE