Lecture Notes

I’m working on a talk about Prohibition that I’ve been asked to give next month, and in reviewing the literature, have come across some interesting tidbits I thought I’d share.

Everyone knows that liquor taxes provided the federal government (and some local ones) with an important percentage of their annual revenue. I had forgotten quite how much. During the decades after the Civil War, liquor taxes comprised between 30 and 40% of the federal government’s  revenue. That’s HUGE. No wonder politicians were reluctant to consider prohibiting alcohol manufacture and consumption–they’d be out of business. And what on earth would replace that money?

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Published in: on September 2, 2019 at 9:17 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. I have read that the lack of alcohol taxes made Hoover raise income taxes to obtain money for his reaction to the depression and the increased taxes helped deepen the recession into the “great depression”.


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