I’m not a big fan of the Fourth of July.
(I want to clarify first that I do, however, love America. It’s great. We eat hot dogs here and watch baseball and one of my favorite Americans created Mickey Mouse, so I’m pretty excited about all that.)
The reason I’m not a fan is the same reason I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Eve — it’s usually just one more excuse for my American friends to get drunk and be stupid (don’t believe me? Weekly liquor sales often surpass $1 billion around Independence Day).
I’m all for some wine or beer consumption occasionally — er, most days — but I like it how I like most things — in moderation.
Because without it, we all pay.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive drinking costs the economy more than $220 billion — or about $1.90 per drink. While a huge chunk of the costs come from lost workplace productivity — 72 percent — another 11 percent come from health care expenses. (Other costs come from law enforcement, crime and car wrecks.)
Here’s the worst part: Uncle Sam picks up 62 percent of the health care tab connected with alcohol abuse.
Oh, and it’s only the binge-boozing 15 percent of the population that’s responsible for three-quarters of alcohol consumed.