It’s now official – the tax hike on alcopops drinks has had no affect whatsoever on the level of binge drinking in Australia! How surprising! Sure, the sale of alcopops has decreased but Mr or Ms Drinktoomuch has now switched to mix-your-own drinks buying cheap spirits and fruit juices or sodas.
I’m not sure where our Federal Government got their advice from on this issue but it seems like a no-brainer to me! The problem is not alcopops – or any other alcoholic drink, or even the availability of alcohol. This was proven in the prohibition era when the alcohol industry simply went underground and some people still drank too much because that’s what some people will do.
Hiking a tax on one brand of alcohol is like putting bandaids on measles spots. It might hide the problem for a short period of time but the real problem is still simmering beneath the surface – because the real problem is internal not external.
The problem that binge drinkers have is something within them. That’s true of all life-controlling problems and banning something or increasing its cost will only shift the problem; it will never cure it.
Jesus came not to put bandaids on our problems but rather to address the core issue – the human heart. The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus’ solution? To give us a new one – a heart that desires to do the right thing; to live a life of goodness, moderation and self control.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).