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American v. Russian Liquor Laws

liquor

To understand alcohol laws, taxes and sales in America is almost impossible. Laws and regulations vary by State, and in Virginia we're taxed at the third highest rate in the country. Liquor can only be bought in State controlled liquor stores, not in grocery or convenience stores. In Pennsylvania, you can't even buy beer at your local market, and there's a limit on the number of packs you can purchase during a single visit. The strictest laws of the nation exist in this area. In the South, there are still several "dry" counties, where all alcohol is prohibited. All of this in the decadent, spirtualless West! :) During a Friday night visit to the liquor store, I came across these two bottles, sitting beside each other on the shelf. I wonder which is tastier? There are a lot of Russian vodkas for sale in U.S. liquor stores, but we tend to like flavored vodkas more than the plain stuff. In general, attitudes and laws toward alcohol vary greatly between our nations.


Virginia is proud of taxing all the alcoholics. All liquor stores in my area have this sign hanging at the entrance, showing the drunkards their great achievements and contribution to the State economy. The Governor has proposed yet another tax increase to fix holes in the budget. Until recently, all liquor stores were closed on Sundays, but now they operate from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday - Saturday and 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. on Sunday.

sign

Meanwhile, I recently read that Putin decided to lower taxes on vodka. Why? A drunk, non-thinking population is much easier to control, manipulate and make happy during turbulent times, right? Or, is there another reason for this break in vodka prices? America can't escape the fact it's one of the fattest nations in the world, and Russia can't escape the reality that it's one of the drunkest.

I rarely drink, but it's always a ritual each time I'm in Russia to consume alcohol with my Russian friends. If I recall, liquor can be purchased everywhere in Russia - grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores...Is it true? I only remember that sales are cut off at a certain time, late in the evening. This is a vivid memory because we ran out of vodka at a party, stumbled to a local store and discovered that vodka sales were closed, and then purchased a bottle from some shady person in a car on the street. :) Do laws and regulations vary depending on the region of Russia?

What do you think? Should alcohol be so tightly controlled and taxed, or do you prefer less regulation? I prefer the latter. People must learn to be responsible, behave as adults, or pay the price for decadent and reckless behavior. Not only with alcohol, but in all aspects of life...





Comments

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origen_72
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:08 pm (UTC)
I recently read that Putin decided to lower taxes on vodka. Why? A drunk, non-thinking population is much easier to control, manipulate and make happy during turbulent times, right? Or, is there another reason for this break in vodka prices? America can't escape the fact it's one of the fattest nations in the world, and Russia can't escape the reality that it's one of the drunkest.
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Цену на водку в России задрали выше цены на водку в США. Другой момент, в США традиционно наряду с алкоголем потребляют очень много наркотиков - США потребляет около 50% всех тяжелых наркотиков мира. Кроме этого, в США традиционно домашнее изготовление алкоголя - особенно много пьют "шмурдяка" фермеры (американцы презрительно называют своих крестьян "реднеками").
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Я бы назвал американцев - самой "упоротой" нацией в мире. По сравнению с американцами, русские выглядят трезвенниками.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:39 pm (UTC)
что "шмурдяка"? Maybe you mean "moonshine?" Nope, U.S. is not a drunk nation in comparison to Russia. Look here, from a UK publication http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1357892/U-S-drinks-lowest-alcohol-developed-world-figures-reveal.html. Compare with Russian alcohol use - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_consumption_in_Russia. Russia, and many former Soviet bloc countries, consume the most alcohol in the world. Drunkest populations in the world. About drugs - I support legalization. Soon cannabis will be legal in all 50 States! :)
(no subject) - origen_72 - Jan. 12th, 2015 03:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
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10_4
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:11 pm (UTC)
I don't drink and I'm far from being the biggest advocate for taxation in ANY form (though, it's necessary evil according to the founders and given the fiscal failures in the first decade of American independence). I don't see a reasonable non-leisure purpose of an alcohol (like gas for our cars, that get us to work), so I guess it can be taxed to an extent. But at the same time, citizens should be allowed to brew their own.

Oh, and PA laws changed recently. Wegmans actually challenged our beer retail legislation and eventually won. So certain supermarkets are selling beer in PA already (Wegmans and Weis) and more to come.
yostrov
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:38 pm (UTC)
>citizens should be allowed to brew their own
My dream! I'll invite you to test :)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 12th, 2015 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
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2tvlad
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:12 pm (UTC)
"There are a lot of Russian vodkas for sale in U.S. liquor stores, but we tend to like flavored vodkas more than the plain stuff."

Made in Poland?

"Meanwhile, I recently read that Putin decided to lower taxes on vodka. Why?"

because

"and then purchased a bottle from some shady person in a car on the street. :)"

Russian bootleggers =(((


peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:45 pm (UTC)
No, the vodkas are made in Russia. The labels say so, and there are so many regulations with labeling in America, esp. for foreign brands. It involves regulation by numerous government agencies - U.S. Customs and the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau). It's mind numbing legal stuff. I once had to help a foreign wine maker, who wanted to sell in the U.S. So many hurdles to jump through w/licensing, regulations, even the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is involved.
(no subject) - phd_paul_lector - Jan. 12th, 2015 05:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 12th, 2015 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - phd_paul_lector - Jan. 12th, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
vitokro
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC)
Drunk people - it is social problem. You can prohibit any alcohol, no problem, we will make alcohol by ourselves. Life is hard, people wanna forget real world and live in much easer drunk world
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC)
Is it really easier to live in a drunk world? Not sure it makes you happier, only numb.
sineglazzka2301
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:27 pm (UTC)
The alcohol-regulating laws are the same throughout all Russia. According to the laws, spirits cannot be sold after 11.p.m. And the range of the stores where you can buy spirits is limited - you can not officially buy vodka in a small convenience store or gas station.
I think there must be some regulation (like not selling spirits to kids under 18), but basically people have to decide themselves. However, since it's mostly innocent people and children who suffer from alcoholics, we can't say that it's only their problem.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:33 pm (UTC)
You're right, the innocent usually suffer from the reckless behavior of others. Are there a lot of anti-drinking initiatives in Russia to discourage drunk drivers? Tough penalties if you're caught driving drunk? For instance, on American highways, you will see signs like the one below. I noticed them especially during the recent trip through the Mid-West, where such signs were in abundance. Honestly, life in remote parts of Kansas doesn't look much different than life in the Russian province, so alcohol abuse is probably rampant in this part of the U.S.

 photo Story_zpsf86d1d5e.jpg
(no subject) - sineglazzka2301 - Jan. 12th, 2015 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - origen_72 - Jan. 12th, 2015 03:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
krasnogorr
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:30 pm (UTC)
Вам повезло =) Я как раз торгую алкоголем, можете мне задавать свои вопросы.

Удешевление водки требуется в первую очередь для того, что бы люди не переходили на менее качественный и дешёвый контрафактный алкоголь.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC)
You work in a liquor store? The counterfeits are from Russia, or neighboring countries?
(no subject) - krasnogorr - Jan. 12th, 2015 03:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
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fostral2
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:38 pm (UTC)
now in Russia
you can buy hard drinks only till 10 p.m.
I don't know, why )
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:40 pm (UTC)
Re: now in Russia
To discourage less consumption, and safer streets, presumably. But if people want alcohol, they will always find a way to get it. :)
Re: now in Russia - origen_72 - Jan. 12th, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: now in Russia - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 12th, 2015 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: now in Russia - krasnogorr - Jan. 12th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
нахуй - fostral2 - Jan. 12th, 2015 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - creaze - Jan. 12th, 2015 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fostral2 - Jan. 12th, 2015 08:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
yostrov
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:40 pm (UTC)
There are no relation between price of alcohol and amount of using in Russia. Low price will only add popularity to Putin.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 04:34 pm (UTC)
Sure, he's a master at manipulating the masses. :)
(no subject) - creaze - Jan. 12th, 2015 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - krasnogorr - Jan. 12th, 2015 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yostrov - Jan. 12th, 2015 08:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
beloborodoff
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:40 pm (UTC)
You can buy alcohol till 22 in russia. Same law almost everywere. Minimal price for bottle of vodka was lowered from 220 to 185 rub. Just little present from Putin for russians. Who tend to like nation leaders how clash vodka prices. You may notice while in Russia how locals hate Gorbachev, he rise vodke from 3.50 to 10 rubles ! And also kills USSR.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 04:32 pm (UTC)
And what's the legal drinking age in Russia? I think it should be reduced to 18 years old here. High vodka prices caused the collapse of the USSR? This is a new theory. :))
(no subject) - beloborodoff - Jan. 12th, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
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g_kar
Jan. 12th, 2015 03:44 pm (UTC)
Never loved vodka myself.
I prefer distilled spirits, like brandy or whisky.

As for regulation - the less we have, the better. The best example is the shit we have now in Russia with pain medicines due to tight "anti-drug" laws.

Edited at 2015-01-12 03:45 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 04:33 pm (UTC)
Americans love whiskey! :) In America, pharmaceutical laws are different. This - a billion dollar and corrupt business in the U.S. I thought you can buy most medicines in Russia without a doctor's prescription?
(no subject) - naglec - Jan. 12th, 2015 05:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
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onkel_hans
Jan. 12th, 2015 04:54 pm (UTC)
What is good in American booze policy is the segregation. One may live a whole life and never see the booze on sale to be seduced.
Regarding the tax, we had a vote on removing it from alcohol. I voted against, but the law passed.

Here is a wonderful move about life in Russia. How they love, how they drink how they betray, how the are defeated the movie just a couple of days ago won a major prize in this country as the best foreign film. The title is Leviathan
It follows the fable of the Book of Job, asking why are we so miserly?

magnet:?xt=urn:btih:8b49e96f0bb89913ee4538951b1b7c0e681f61b9&dn=tfile.me.696718.torrent&tr=http%3A%2F%2Fi.bandito.org%2F&tr=http%3A%2F%2Ftracker.tfile.me%2F&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80%2F

There are pretty adequate English subtitles.

Trust me to copy and paste this in the address window of your browser download it with a program like "utorrent". It is fresh right from the oven, you may buy a DVD later when it is issued.

Edited at 2015-01-12 04:56 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 06:53 pm (UTC)
What do you mean "removing it from alcohol?" There's no alcohol tax in Massachusetts? This film just won a big award at last night's Golden Globe ceremonies. It will probably play now in some small theatre in Washington, DC. They show a lot of foreign films.
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jan. 12th, 2015 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 12th, 2015 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
one more about Leviathan - creaze - Jan. 13th, 2015 02:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - creaze - Jan. 12th, 2015 07:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jan. 12th, 2015 10:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Yeah, luv you too, smartass - creaze - Jan. 13th, 2015 03:25 am (UTC) - Expand
juan_gandhi
Jan. 12th, 2015 05:07 pm (UTC)
I believe it's just a tradition. In Norway and Sweden and Finland it's over-regulated, with "systembolaget" with limited hours etc. Cross to Denmark, you are free to drink.
In Utah the day before the New Year you cannot buy champagne; sounds totally stupid to me; we had to drive back to Nevada, and get our champagne at "the last liquor store on the road".

Here in California wine is freely available, I guess, any time; does it make us alcoholics? Hardly.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 06:55 pm (UTC)
It's not surprising in Utah - Mormon State. :) In Virginia, you can also buy wine and beer in grocery stores, and even places like 7-Eleven. But liquor is available only at ABC Stores, which are controlled by the State.
phd_paul_lector
Jan. 12th, 2015 05:15 pm (UTC)
Gas stations? No, no-no-no. Supermarkets and grocery sores, yes - 11 AM to 23 PM, only to persons over 18 (on the other hand that's too young but on the other one, they are old enough at 18 to join the Army). Concerning buying alcohol "from some shady person in a car on the street" - I would never risk that! That's "Russian roulette" as you can get your fill of methylene or something. A very bad idea!

Then, you know, as far as the prices are concerned - alcohol is quite expensive in Russia. With the present ruble exchange rate, it could seem cheap but the wages did not go up with the dollar and euro excjange rate (neither did the prices, I mean, they did go up but not proportionnally).
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 06:55 pm (UTC)
I think 18 should be the legal drinking age, even in America. If you're old enough to serve in the military, you're old enough to drink.
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jan. 12th, 2015 10:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amandakysses - Jan. 15th, 2015 02:00 am (UTC) - Expand
andrey_kaminsky
Jan. 12th, 2015 05:47 pm (UTC)
Многое надо успеть
I'd like to try out hammer and sickle flavored vodka;)
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 06:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Многое надо успеть
I will be in Russia next month, and will be happy to bring you a bottle if we meet. :)
mybathroom
Jan. 12th, 2015 06:31 pm (UTC)
I think that alcohol should be very expensive and should sell in special places. Today alcohol can be bought almost in every grocery store. It's not right. And Putin made a smart step when he reduced taxes on alcohol. People need to be distracted from situation in the country. It's easy to rule such people.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 12th, 2015 06:52 pm (UTC)
Denis, I agree with your opinion on the topic, but many readers here say that isn't the reason for the tax decrease. They attribute it to prevention of counterfeit/bootleg products, and the promotion of Russian brands. Sure, a stupid, drunk population is much easier to rule and manipulate. :)
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