Alcohol, Gaming, and Tobacco

May 06, 2003May 09, 2003

Schedule:

Session One: 
Ante Up: An Abbreviated History of
Legalized Gambling in the U.S.A.
Raymond Sauer, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
Clemson University

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

Session Two: 
Let it Ride: Gaming in the
Modern Political Economy
Raymond Sauer, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
Clemson University

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

Session Three
Tort Law and Tobacco
Michael Krauss
Professor of Law
George Mason University

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

Session Four
Lessons from the Prohibition Era
Donald Boudreaux, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
George Mason University

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Alcohol, tobacco, and gaming markets are deeply-rooted in American history.  Not surprisingly, they are also among the most heavily regulated and politicized markets in our economy.  While not all Americans choose to drink, smoke, or gamble, most would agree that the choice to do so is an essential aspect of a free society.  Yet there remains great disagreement over the method, manner, and extent to which government should curtail these behaviors.

For many, these activities have come to embody the American spirit of individual liberty and freedom.  Others argue that drinking, smoking, and gambling impose high social costs on society, and that such behaviors should be taxed and regulated accordingly.  As a result, policymakers face great challenges in developing rules and institutions that effectively address the varied concerns and interests at stake.

By focusing on the principles that underlie the current debates in alcohol, tobacco, and gaming policy, this course will present a multi-layered framework for analysis.  Participation in this program will allow you to better address the following questions:

  • What are the primary justifications for "sin" taxes? Who bears the burdens of these measures? 
  • How and why did public lotteries develop in the United States? 
  • What might explain the expansion of legalized gambling over the latter half of the 20th Century? What about casinos on Indian Reservations? Internet gambling? 
  • What social, political, and economic forces influenced the adoption of the 18th and 21st Amendments regarding prohibition? 
  • Who were the "winners" and "losers" in the recent tobacco lawsuit settlement? 
  • How do international trade negotiations affect the domestic tobacco industry? What about developing countries?