Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/326

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I think it is clearly proved that the animal expenditures of the people of the United States for liquors and tobacco must come to at least $23 per head of the whole population, amounting on eighty million people to $1,840,000,000 in one year.

But there is an unknown addition which can not be readily computed but which should be added to this expenditure. The editor of the American Grocer deducts from the quantity of spirits consumed as a beverage from which the government revenues are derived 16,000,000 gallons, said to be used in the arts. There is reason to believe that more than half the quantity of spirits said to be used in the arts is consumed in making beverages, temperance drinks and quack or proprietary medicines, for which a very high price is paid by ignorant or uninformed persons, many of whom are totally unaware of the fact that they are drinking intoxicating liquor. I will not attempt to add an estimate in money for this waste, resting on the average of $23 per head on 80,000,000 population, $1,840,000,000, which, it will be observed, is ten per cent, of my large estimate of the total expenditures of the people of this country for food, clothing and shelter and all other products necessary to life.[1]

Omitting the short period of war revenues, 1898 to 1902, now abated, the revenue derived by the Government of the United States from liquors and tobacco, domestic and foreign, for twenty years before the beginning of the Spanish War averaged $2.50 per head, to which rate we may return after July 1, 1902, which rate on 80,000,000 people will yield $200,000,000 a year. During the same twenty years prior to the Spanish War this revenue from liquors and tobacco, at $2.50 per head, covered all the normal expenditures of the government of the United States, except interest and pensions, year by year, at $2.50 per head, varying but slightly, namely, the cost of the civil, judicial and legislative departments, the support of the army and of the navy (including naval construction during those twenty years), public buildings, deficiency in postal service and all other normal expenditures.

  1. Per Cent. Alcohol by Volume in Various Compounds.
    Ayer's Sarsaparilla, 26.2 per cent.
    Hood's" 18.8 ""
    Golden's Liquid Beef Tonic, 'recommended for treatment of the alcohol habit,' 26.5 ""
    Liebig Company's Cocoa Beef Tonic, 23.2 ""
    Praker's Tonic, 'purely vegetable, recommended for inebriates,' 41.6 ""
    Boker's Stomach Bitters, 42.6 ""
    Warner's Safe Tonic Bitters, 35.7 ""

    For an analysis of a very large number of these nostrums, not only in respect to alcohol, but for the proportion of iodide of potassium and other poisonous drugs and chemicals, see 'Report of Massachusetts Board of Health,' Pub. Doc. No. 34, pp. 614 to 620 inclusive; published in a separate pamphlet.