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In the 20th century there were various aims that were focused on improving the society. It has been considered as a failure for the state. This fact is attributed to many reasons. Workers from various sections of the economy in the county were not prepared to take up the prohibitions that were in the prohibition act. However this prohibition was necessary in a county that was being faced with a detrimental moral issue of drinking. It had four brewery companies in one city, five bottling companies and more than 25 places that act the center for wine and liquor distribution. They had various volunteer fire companies that were highly depending on the income from liquor sale to finance its operations.
The prohibition act would pose serious economic and social effects on the society. After the passing of the act, there were stern measures that were passed on the liquor industries (Timberlake 67). The production, sale or shipment of all exhilarating beverages was banned in the United States. There were various reactions from the stakeholders in the hotel industry and other liquor businesses. The spokesperson in the industry claimed that the move had a great impact on the employment of its citizens. Various forces have been discussing the impacts of prohibition for ages and it was the turn for the pro-prohibitionists to take pride. When the government of the United States waged war against liquor in the country, it feared that there will be a decline in the raw materials such as wheat that are used in the manufacture of liquor. This was because there were major uprisings that erupted as a result of the prohibition. This act for the government will turn out to be a national crisis. Various brewing companies announced that they were closing down their businesses (Engdahl 156).
There were various social impacts that came forth from the prohibition. These impacts are both positive and negative. One major social impact of prohibition was that it led to a decrease in the number of patients suffering from the disease relate d to drinking. It is a known fact that most individuals who drink smoke. The ailments that come about due to smoking are high and dangerous for life. Most deadly cancers are as a result of tobacco smoking. The prohibition therefore acted as a catalyst that brought down the number of patients who are being diagnosed for cancer in the United States. The other social effects of smoking were reduced. This is because after the implementation of prohibition act, most social places also banned the smoking of cigarettes in public. This act has drawn various personnel to participate in various activities that are enjoyed by smokers. This act boosts business for the owners, which also raises their income and standard of living according to Prohibition: the 18th Amendment, the Volstead Act, the 21st Amendment (6).
The prohibition act has led to the thriving of law abiding citizens in the country. It is evident that after the prohibition the levels of the people who are incarcerated for criminal acts have reduced tremendously. It is therefore seen that Drinking of alcohol and other brews are key to the increased rate of criminal activities in the countries. In the United States the rate of incarceration is higher than the rates of incarceration in other nations worldwide. The issue of immorality of the state was also a major achievement that came forth due to the prohibition. There was a decline in the number of brewing industries and distribution centers in the United States. Most people focused their efforts on other businesses apart from brewing (Buxton 78).
Some of the well known negative impacts of prohibition include the loss of financial support from the brewing industries that was used to finance supportive institutions in the society. A major industry that suffered this threat was the fire fighting department that was financed by the brewing industry. It decline led to social suffering of the people who were served by the equipment. This act did not have only a social impact but also economic impact since the government in the United States had to dig deeper into its pocket to ensure the continued survival of the machinery. The government also had a task of looking into the establishment of programs that aims at bringing the addicts back to a life of living without the brews. These programs are essential to both the individual and the society since they both are affected by brewing. Decline in the brewing industry also led to the decline in the number of people who are getting addicted. This is because when a child is born they are socialized to a society the does not allow drinking.
Economical Effects of Prohibition in Berks County Pennsylvania
There have been several attempts in various states to improve society and enhance the place for the current and future generation. Pennsylvania is one such state as its main objective was to make the state a better society. The most notable effort of such objectives is the Prohibition rule in Berks County which existed in the past 64 years. Prohibition rule aimed at scrapping the consumption of alcohol and other intoxicating substances in Berks County. This was a noble experiment the state carried out in an effort to improve Berks society. The Prohibition rule can be said to have had both beneficial and adverse effects on society. However, the experiment did not achieve its objectives as several decades down the line; the county has nothing to present for the implementation of the prohibition rule. In this study paper, we explore the various economical impacts of prohibition in Berks County.
Prohibition rule banned the manufacture, sale, or transportation of all intoxicating beverages in the United States. The implementation of this rule worried the various stakeholders in the business. At the time, Berks County had 417 hotels and saloons whose leading source of income included the provision of alcohol and other intoxications to its customers. Therefore, the prohibition of this business mainly indicated a decrease in their revenues and customers. Immediately the government announced the prohibition of intoxicating beverages the first notable economical impact was the loss of jobs. Several businesses in the county, especially hotels and saloons, served intoxicating beverages to its customers, and this meant a boom in the income collected. More customers called for more workers hence creation of employment. Lack of supply of intoxicating beverages in such businesses will result in few customers visiting the businesses. In turn, the businesses will have to cut down on the number of employees. The prohibition rule would lead to the loss of 2,500 jobs in Berks County. This was the prediction by the spokesman of businesses which dealt in the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating beverages. Worse still was the closure of manufacturing industries, which had been instrumental in the boosting of the Berks County economy.
Just like any other county in the United States, revenue collection was mainly from the existing industries. These included manufacturers and distributors of intoxicating beverages in the County. Those opposed to the government’s move of banning alcohol business predicted a loss of $72,000 in licensing fee. The collection of licensing fee had been economically significant in the development of Berks County and now the government aimed at denying itself this revenue. Prohibition rule was mainly morally motivated and did not explore the economic impacts the move would have on the county’s developments. Before the implementation of the prohibition rule, Berks County collected $700,000 from federal stamps on each beer brand. During the era, this was a massive collection which made Berks County rank as a million-dollar revenue district.
According to the information provided for the pushing of prohibition was the government’s fear of losing cereals, fruits, and grains to the manufacture of beer. The proponents of this act figured this would cause a national crisis. There was the enforcement costs involved with this prohibition rule. The government had to come up with proper mechanisms, which would oversee the implementation of the law. Considering most of the county’s population was people with white collar jobs and their mode of entertainment was through consumption of alcohol in social areas (Baur and William 67). Cutting off the people’s only source of entertainment will need the government’s best machinery and this will mean more finances. Economists figured this was a totally wrong investment which only considered the moral value of consuming intoxicating beverages. Instead of the government channeling more funds to rule the best ways would to use better ways to create a better society. Prohibition was not economically effective as it cut off the leading source of income and at the same time increased its expenditure by creating enforcement machinery. The announcement of the prohibition led to the closure of several liquor businesses from the manufacturing ones to suppliers and other intermediary businesses.
January 10, 1920 was the official date for the commencement of the prohibition act, and all the moral supporters anxiously waited for the day. The businesses, which had complied with the act, had long been closed down, and number of unemployed people in Berks County went up. This was evident from the reduced number of hotels and saloons dealing in the liquor business. The official implementation of the prohibition act led to numerous arrests of people who contravened the law. Considering the liquor business was a source of livelihood for many people across the United States, it was easy to quit the business. In enforcing the law, the government deployed federal agents to raid liquor businesses still in operation. Economically, this was a strain to the government because there were no enough personnel to oversee the law enforcement. Other areas continued in the business such as Reading. By the time the government discovered, lots of liquor products were destroyed as businesses had come to a close. The federals would spill all the alcoholic products, and this was not economically productive. The fact the government did not put in place strong machinery to enforce the law, businesspersons continued to engage in the business illegally. Economically, this was not viable to the government as the intoxicating beverage business was still in place and no collection of revenues.
The proponents of the prohibition act, churchmen and religious leaders, however, talked of the positive economic impacts in Berks County. According to their view, most people especially those who comprised the county’s work force engaged in consumption of liquor products. This, according to these proponents, was a considerable source of unproductively among the people. Four years since the implementation of the law, the proponents talked of increased production at work places. People had cut down on their drinking and directed their energy to work. In as much as the county had lost its revenue from liquor businesses, people had replaced this from the increased work concentration. Intoxicating beverages had caused loss of jobs for many residents of Berks County and the law had helped people sustain their jobs. However, this argument cannot be proved like the loss of revenue from liquor businesses. More so, the government did not offer an alternative to intoxicating beverage business hence people engaged in the business illegally.
The government has a significant role in ensuring that the society remains a better place for all its residents. The indulgence in brewing activities in Berks County had both social and economic impacts on the United States community at large. Some of the most endured effects include loss of jobs for those employed in the industry together with the burden that the government took to reinstate the individuals who were largely affected by Prohibition. Prohibition did not only affect Berks County but also the other parts of the United States. It is up to the state legislation to ensure that people live in an improved society. This can be through implementation of different rules and laws which guide the citizens in their living properly. For this reason, the US government undertook to ban the manufacture, distribution, and transportation of intoxicating beverages. It is almost certain that alcohol consumption, especially when over consumed, has negative impacts on the users. The advocators of this law figured that the liquor businesses contributed majorly to creating an unsuitable environment for the Berks County citizens. The implementation of this prohibition law had a considerable impact on the county and government at large. From the above discussion, the prohibition rule led to the loss of jobs and revenue for both the county's local authorities and the people. On the other hand, the advocators of the rule insisted on the positive development at workplaces which led to more economic value. Prohibition rule ensured that people focused on their work hence improving the county’s economic state.