Binge-Drinking Deaths Higher in PA Than NY, NJ, or Maryland

Who says liquor privatization is deadly?

The folks at Keystone Politics point us to this map, the places in the United States where binge-drinking is the deadliest:

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The lighter the shade the fewer the deaths: Pennsylvania, with 25.8 alcolohol-related deaths per 100,000 adults, is actually a lighter shade of purple; the national average is 27.9 such deaths per 100,000.

But Pennsylvania’s rate is higher than neighboring states of New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Why?

Keystone Politics answers:

If Pennsylvania’s anti-competitive regulations are any good at preventing alcohol abuse, how come states with more competitive retailing like New Jersey, New York, and Maryland all have lower rates of alcohol-attributable deaths?

The answer, of course, is that anti-competitive regulations are optimized to prevent competition between retailers. They are not optimized to reduce public health harms. These approaches are not substitutable. They don’t do the the same thing at all.

In other words: Privatization is not the child-killing horror that anti-privatization forces have portrayed it as. Who could’ve guessed?