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Ear to the Ground

Ohio’s Unemployed Getting Smashed

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Posted on Jan 28, 2010

While seemingly intuitive, it’s a bit frightening to see the correlation so clearly illustrated: A graphic, covering a 12-year period, shows the tie between Ohio’s unemployment rate and the amount of alcohol purchased. With unemployment and booze consumption at their contemporary highs, many are wondering about the public health effects of unemployment on those out of work.  —JCL

Business Insider:

You can never be sure of a job, a marriage, or even efficient markets theory these days, but through thick and thin it appears there’s at least one constant left in this world—liquor sales will keep rising, at least in Ohio.

In 2009, Ohio’s liquor sales volume hit a record high, for the seventh year in a row.

As shown below, even when recession and mass unemployment hits, the people of Ohio don’t give up when it comes to booze. In fact, by the look of 2009 data, it appears mass unemployment may have helped boost spirits sales. That’s quite a jump from 2008 to 2009. Then again, liquor is probably one of the cheapest forms of entertainment around, thus tight times might lead some people to buy even more of it.

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By Potent_Placebo, January 31, 2010 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sounds to me like Ohio could use a medical Marijuana

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, January 29, 2010 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

“...liquor is probably one of the cheapest forms of entertainment around.”
I am shocked to read the statement above about liquor being one of the cheapest forms of entertainment around. Alcohol drinking, in my book, is not an entertainment, but rather the cheapest way of getting intoxicated and embarking on self-destruction and escapism. It’s possibly the cheapest way of escapism from facing courageously the hardships of life. It’s for sure the cheapest substitute for strong dozes of “morpheme” that keep the masses numbed against rising in a revolution to change their miserable conditions.

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By purplewolf, January 29, 2010 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

Samson: This writer obviously got an American education. Perhaps the rise in alcohol consumption is more directly related to the incompetents of their Republican base in Ohio. You know, like Eric Cantor and John “Boner” Boehner. Now those two alone would give anyone a good reason to hit the sauce.

Why is it that men in the Republican party are so repulsive looking?

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By GW=MCHammered, January 29, 2010 at 8:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Could equally represent:
alcohol sales vs. gas prices
mortgage failures vs. home prices
startle response vs. fox noise viewership
national anxiety vs. GOP leadership consequences

Everything rises and falls…

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By mikeb, January 29, 2010 at 5:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Samson, you’re right. Notice also how the left-hand side of the chart is scaled: by showing millions of gallons from ONLY 8 to 11, it exaggerates the change compared to the unemployment rate.

Also: unless the population growth of Ohio is considered in the alcohol consumption increase, the chart is essentially meaningless.

One wonders what underhanded message is intended by this piece of legerdemain.

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By Ben, January 28, 2010 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder, would the total volume of alcohol consumed be more similar to a graph
of Ohio’s population in the last 10 years?  Though I guess that wouldn’t ‘prove’ a
point that doesn’t need to be proven.  You can do better than this, Truthdig.

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By Samson, January 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

This writer, at least the one at Truthdig, obviously failed math.

The chart shows that there is little or no correlation between Ohio’s unemployment rate and the rate of liquor sales.  Note the big gap that appears when unemployment dips but liquor sales continue to soar.

In fact, it seems to show the opposite.  Liquor sales shoot high above unemployment in good times.  But in the peaks of unemployment in 02 and 09, the unemployment line jumps above a slowing liquor sale line.

For this writer, this appears to be a case of only seeing what they want to see.

The writer in the blurb from Business Insider gets it closer when he says “liquor sales will keep rising”.

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