The Angry Lady – How politician scare tactics work

2013-02-24  |  Magical Gold & Money Stories

While driving through Ireland I listened to a local radio station. There was an interview going on between the radio host and a female politician. The politician lady was very angry about the drinking behaviour of the Irish. Well… the term ‘drinking behaviour’ includes everyone having a pint in the pub, at a party, a wedding and at home – and even people on holiday; meaning a tourist who loves to get pissed listening to Irish music in the pub.

She continued to highlight the effects of ‘too much pub’ costs the Irish taxpayer every year 4 billion Euros. Giving the fact there’s only 4.5 million people every year – that’s a decent amount of money but obviously that doesn’t include the tourists.

Now, except for the holiday season the costs of a litre of beer ranges between 3.50 and 4.00 Euro in regular times at the Off-licence and supermarkets. You can get cheap German beer at Aldi and Lidl’s at 1.79 Euro per litre.

As a German, I’m naturally familiar with beer prices. A litre of premium beer in Germany costs 1.00 Euro. You can get the cheap stuff around 0.59 Euro per litre at Aldi and Lidl’s. After this excursion in the European beer markets, let’s continue with the Angry Politician Lady.

She continued to tell the radio host that ‘We can’t allow supermarkets like Tesco’s and Off-licences to sell alcohol on a non-profitable basis.’

I studied the Irish beer market in depth. Around Christmas time you can get a can of ‘premium lager’ at 1.00 Euro per can, which means 2.00 Euro per litre. A local Off-license owner told me that 75% of the total cost of a can of beer is taxes. And he couldn’t offer me a discount even if I would have bought 5 hectolitres (hectolitres is a beer-insider-term in which beer is measured and calculated. One hectolitre = 100 Litre.).

The Angry Lady

So the Irish supermarkets and Off-Licences sell beer between 2.00 and 4.00 Euro per litre – meaning 100 to 400% above the price of German premium beer. So the question I asked myself while listening to the angry Politician: “How much more taxes can you milk from the people – if you’re already 400% above German average?”

The Angry Politician continued: This is an unbearable situation – We need to tackle this.

Well, on a side note, every time you hear from officials: We need to tackle this – run – as fast as your legs can carry you. Find shelter in the next pub. Two beers please – Thank you.

The Angry Lady

She sounded massively important having a ‘4 billion Euro issue’ at hand and therefore felt entitled to speak about these things on the radio. So the bottom line of the question ‘How are WE gonna tackle the situation of the Irish drinking behaviour was: ‘Raise the total prices on alcohol by 40%. That means a pint of Guinness goes from an average of 4 Euro to 5.60 Euro in the pub or a litre of beer goes from 4 Euro to 5.60 Euro in the supermarket – bad news for the economy.

Given the fact the Irish economy is in pretty bad condition already… if you raise taxes on alcohol by 40% that will most probably result in 30% less pubs… and more people on the dole.

So, who does this possible tax-raise serve?

One need to think about these kinds of stories… it opens up our perception to the subtle manipulation that’s going on.

Here’s the recipe on ‘How do I scare the shit out of people’:
 
1) There is a ’big’ problem – usually related to something people love
 
2) We need to tackle this – this situation is unbearable
 
3) Offer a solution by creating consensus
 
4) Result: Milk more people of their hard earned money
 
Anger is being used to bring the attention to a certain subject. So the attention goes to ‘The drinking problem’; it is made of impertinence. But the truth is that Pharmaceutical companies push products into the markets that are more expensive and less effective. A study showed that only 15% of the medication that was introduced since 1990 shows better results in the cure. So it’s all show - Do you see?

We’re all manipulated into silently ‘agreeing to tax increase’ but the problem lies somewhere else. So the learning effect is: Never, ever, ever, react to anger. Anger is being used to seek attention and manipulate you. Offer a smile and walk away.

How does the line of the famous song ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ from Pink Floyd go: Teacher… leave them kids alone; we don’t need no education.”

The Angry Lady

But we say: Lady… leave us pub visitors alone. We want to drink as much as we want.”

Always remember this… this radio interview happening reminds me of the deceitful scare tactics of the ‘system’. It’s so easy to follow along and agree on… but it’s a trick.

Never mind, eh? Who wants to come to the pub and have a drink? Cheers.