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Old 11-13-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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Ever notice the great presence of convenience stores that offer beer and/or hard liquor for sale, many of them open late into the night? This includes 7-11s, gas stations, independent shops. They seem to be on every corner in every suburb. Why are they so common? Is the built environment designed in such a way that it promotes depression, loneliness, alienation. Creating a great demand for cheap booze on every corner?

You sit in your big suburban house where only thing to do after driving home from your 45 minute commute from work and/or school is plop in front of your TV or computer playing video games for a couple of hours. Not very fulfilling, so you drive down to your local 7-11 or corner liquor store to buy a couple of 40 ounce bottles of Budweiser and end up drinking yourself to sleep. Not to demonize the suburbs because I think the urban environments in the US are just as poorly designed, but the suburban lifestyle is highly anti-social because it is meant to be. The public realm is non-existent in any significant sense. Private space is valued above all else. Suburbs are unnatural habitats for human beings, they violate human psychology and sensibilities and are bad for the natural environment as well.

Note: Americans are also the world's biggest consumers of illicit drugs and prescription antidepressant medication. We have the highest rate of drug addiction in terms of both per capita and total consumption. The US may be the richest country in the world, but apparently money can't buy happiness.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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Um, what?

List of countries by alcohol consumption - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The United States isn't even in the top 50 countries for alcohol consumption per capita. As to suburban vs. urban liquor stores, there are plenty of urban liquor stores and bars in any city center. There are plenty of things to criticize about American urban/suburban design, there is no need to make things up.
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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No, I saw a lot more liquor and convenience stores in cities than I do here. Didn't really matter what city, they all had an abundance of liquor stores. If you want alcohol here, you just got to the grocery store unless it's something hard to find. That's where the liquor stores come in. The heaviest alcohol consumption I've ever seen was in Prague. Most people barely drink at all in America. Maybe few nights a week they'll have a few with dinner or something or the beer after work. I drank heavily pretty much every day I was in Prague. Every meal you had beer, then you'd usually go out and have five or six more pints after dinner, then maybe go to a friends and have a few shots... then stumble home with all the other drunks on the night tram. Do that here and you're labelled an alcoholic and liable to get arrested for public intoxication. Given, I doubt most people in Prague drink as much as the 20 something expat crowd.... but then most people in America don't drink as much as college students. And I drank a hell of a lot more in Prague than I did when I was in college.

America has one of the highest income disparities in the developed world. Past basic needs, money doesn't really buy happiness. What buys happiness is having more money than other people. The more income disparity, the more important having more relative wealth is. Less equal societies have more conspicuous consumption, more crime, more mental illness, etc, etc than more equal societies. It really doesn't have anything to do with suburbs. I don't personally much care for them, but if you're day consists of working, TV, beer until pass out... well, frankly, that's not the suburbs fault.

Last edited by Malloric; 11-13-2011 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:17 PM
 
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Suburban living was supposed to discourage drinking, by reinforcing the importance of home and family to working men, while concentrations of people supposedly led working men past the tavern where they would drink away their paychecks. Alcohol prohibition, like suburbanization, was another Progressive-era idea.
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Because Hennessy is my friend. What did Paul Masson do to you?
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:18 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Part of the reason Americans drink less than Europeans is we have a culture that values work above all else. Unfortunately, working gets in the way of drinking. It didn't used to be that way, in pre-industrial America efficiency was valued less. Alcohol consumption in colonial and early to mid 19th century America was many times higher than today.

Getting back to the OP, I think the reason for proliferation of alcohol selling convenience stores is due to alcohol is a bit of an impulse buy and people like to be able to buy alcohol close by. Small stores can't compete with supermarkets on price and selection, especially since people have cars and can go out of their way once a week and stock up on groceries. But maybe not so much a 6-pack.

I was did a long bike ride today mostly in rural areas and saw a number of convenience stores that probably didn't sell much more besides alcohol, soda and junk food while real grocery stores were limited to sizable towns.

And does the US really have the highest drug use and addiction rate? I find that hard to believe. The libertarian in me is happy to say my region of the country (New England) has close to the highest drug use rate in the country (but not necessarily drug addiction rate).
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Um, what?

List of countries by alcohol consumption - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The United States isn't even in the top 50 countries for alcohol consumption per capita. As to suburban vs. urban liquor stores, there are plenty of urban liquor stores and bars in any city center. There are plenty of things to criticize about American urban/suburban design, there is no need to make things up.
What exactly did I make up? My post isn't about which country consumes the most alcohol. Nowhere did I say the US was the greatest consumer of alcohol. I wish people would learn to read!
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:35 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Don't all communities, whether cities or suburbs, have rules about how many liquor stores can be in a community?
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Quote:
Why the high concentration of liquor stores in US cities and suburbs?
Because that's where the concentration of people is?

Quote:
You sit in your big suburban house where only thing to do after driving home from your 45 minute commute from work and/or school is plop in front of your TV or computer playing video games for a couple of hours. Not very fulfilling, so you drive down to your local 7-11 or corner liquor store to buy a couple of 40 ounce bottles of Budweiser and end up drinking yourself to sleep.
You really don't get out much, do you?

And Budweiser is gross.

Quote:
Suburbs are unnatural habitats for human beings, they violate human psychology and sensibilities and are bad for the natural environment as well.
Soooooo ... wait. You wonder why there are so many liquor stores in suburbs and cities, yet only suburban drinkers are violating human sensibilities (or whatever it is you're blathering about)?

I'm desperately searching for some logic here ...
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
And does the US really have the highest drug use and addiction rate? I find that hard to believe. The libertarian in me is happy to say my region of the country (New England) has close to the highest drug use rate in the country (but not necessarily drug addiction rate).
Not hard to believe at all. Whenever you turn the TV on, you are bombarded with commercials for prescription antidepressant medication, 24/7. Antidepressants are the most heavily advertised type of prescription drug in the US. You can't turn the TV on without seeing an ad for one, no exaggeration. These medications are often just as addicting as any illicit drug.

I don't want to split hairs between drug use and addiction, because you can be a user of drugs without being addicted. But if a country has a large number of people that are using or are dependent on (potentially addicting) drugs, legal or illegal, then it follows that a high rate of addiction will be present in the population as well.
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