Potato Juice Just Got Upped

The world has changed immensely and there were once things that were sacrilegiously respected. But, that’s no longer the case. The Chinese were always the baddies ready to overrun us and the dangers came from the East behind the Iron Curtain that had been drawn, leaving the Russians in the dark, while the West went on living the high-life as if it were the roaring twenties still. Now we know that was all a lie. It’s the USA that spies on people while the Chinese criticize the lack of democracy in our shamelessly hopeless quest for an image and a place in the expanding world that is leaving little room for us as we elbow and vie for a place amongst the crowd. The Russians were once notorious drunks, boozing on the potato juice like Bob Marley on weed on a summer’s day where there was no woman, no cry. Now, that is set to change. The Russian government has suddenly come to the conclusion that alcohol is bad for your health and they need to cut down on the hangover treatment. Once upon a time it was if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Now, the Russians are following suit and burning age-old traditions of vodka boozers, bringing them in line with prohibitionist tea-totalers.

That’s the idea anyhow!

Vodka prices set to increase

Vodka prices set to increase

Vodka

  • Vodka is set to increase in price between January 2014 and August that same year by at least 30%.
  • That means that the cheapest vodka on sale in Russia will go from 170 rubles to 200 on January 1st 2014.
  • It will then increase to 220 rubles in August 2014.
  • That’s the equivalent of $6.65.
  • There is also talk of actually increasing the legal age to purchase alcohol in Russia (which currently stands at 18 years of age) to 21 years of age.
  • According to recent studies that have been carried out alcohol consumption is actually waning in Russia and has been for a number of years now.
  • However, there are some 30% of deaths that are linked every year to alcohol consumption and abuse.
  • The average age of Russian males is 62.8 today and only 76.1 for females.
  • Russia has a surprisingly large disparity between males and females (in fact, the largest in the world).
  • The World Health Organization says that this is primarily due to alcohol consumption.
  • Annual per-capita consumption of alcohol stands at 15.76 liters.
  • 0.4% of the population died from accidental alcohol poisoning in 2012. But, the number of deaths linked as a primary or secondary source to alcohol in Russia is estimated to be much greater.

Remember Boris Yeltsin was asked to be the ambassador for Evian, the drinking water. He declined. Had he accepted he would have made a mint! People love iconic figures that don’t have anything to do with the brand they are selling and Boris probably didn’t touch a drop of the stuff (i.e. water!).

But, to what extent will making alcohol more expensive actually eradicate the problem. Don’t people continue smoking when the prices go up? Don’t they just end up buying their smokes on the black market? Increasing the price of alcohol in Russia was tested in 2010, but it just meant that people started distilling their own vodka in the back bedrooms of their apartments in Russia. That just leads to uncontrollable dangers and even greater problems.

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating (or rather the drinking, in this particular case). We shall see if there will be no woman, no cry. No vodka, no boozing.

Will the Russians be crying over their vodka?

Will the Russians be crying over their vodka?

Maybe Bob Marley was right after all when he sang:

Said said

Said I remember when we used to sit

In the government yard in Trenchtown

Oba, ob-serving the hypocrites

As they would mingle with the good people we meet

Good friends we have had, oh good friends we've lost along the way

In this bright future you can't forget your past

So dry your tears I say

He’s was pretty visionary even back then; he got the first syllable of the President rightat least “Oba, ob-serving the hypocrites’. It’s the weed that must have made him predict the future. Good on ya, Bob. The future might be bright, but we always forget the past.

The Russians will be doing cold Turkey with their price increases on the sale of Vodka.

Will it lead to a change in the consumption habits of the masses? Doubtful! You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, they always used to say, didn’t they? Does that still stand?

About The Author

tothetick

Professional team of writers/analysts analyzing the financial markets.

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