The first time I went out drinking with my older brother (after I turned 21, obviously...), I noticed halfway through the night that he was clandestinely watering down my whiskey and Cokes. I was going drink-for-drink with a much older contingency and he was making sure I wasn't getting too tipsy by tricking me.
He thought he was doing the right thing. A utilitarian lie for the greater good.
This is essentially what some noted researchers are suggesting we do on a national scale: water down our drinks en masse, to curb America's drinking problem. Big Brother would be taking lessons from my big brother. And dammit, that's not OK.
If you haven't cracked open the latest edition of The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology (and I'm absolutely sure you have not), the newly published research paper titled "Evidence of reducing ethanol content in beverages to reduce harmful use of alcohol," argues that America needs to make the alcoholic content in its alcoholic beverages weaker.
To paraphrase the academically dense and pedantic paper, reducing the alcohol content in beer, liquor, and wine presents a solution to harmful drinking habits and patterns. It ensures liquor companies won't lose any profits by selling less alcohol, and the rest of us would still be able to indulge in as many alcoholic drinks as we desire. The logic is sound… in theory. If people are going to keep drinking in excess, let's reduce the amount of alcohol in their drinks. It's the same! Just less.