If it’s a tradeoff between health and money, what do we compromise? Do we care about our citizen’s well-being or the growth of the economy? Japanese officials believe they have a high population rate so they decided to target the drop in tax revenues even if it promotes unhealthy lifestyle habits.
The Japanese government introduced a national competition, called The Sake Viva!, where they support heavy drinking practices to compensate for the falling tax revenues. According to government statistics, “Booze tax revenue in the fiscal 2020 year was about $8.4 billion, which is a whopping drop of more than $813 million from the previous year.”
This campaign targets 20-to-39-year-olds and calls on them to draw up business plans to attract consumers to purchase alcoholic beverages. Based on the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry statement, “around 30 percent of people in their 40s to 60s drink regularly, compared to just 7.8 percent of people in their 20s.” These youngsters are lagging and should model the older age groups.
The citizens are getting mixed signals from officials as this competition contradicts Japan’s Health Ministry statement. Prior to this, they had released alcoholic consumption warnings educating people on the risks of excessive drinking. People were encouraged to build healthier habits.
This competition pushes those warnings aside and encourages people to pop the bottles. Alcohol addictions are hard to break and these conflicting messages are puzzling for the people at rehab.
For those squirming in confusion, the message is clear. Drink up, folks. Wealth accumulation takes priority over lives — people can adopt and maintain destructive habits if it means the economy is flourishing.