The Business of Beer

… happens to be the title of a lovely little essay on just this very topic.

A short read, it is worth your time if you happen to be a student of economics because of the following reasons:

  1. Learn how who gets to tax what and why is (and has always been) a political question rather than an economic one.
  2. Learn how what should be taxed is determined, and ask how this might have evolved over the ages.
  3. Imagine learning about macroeconomics while learning about beer. What better way to start, eh?
  4. Got nothing to do with economics, but I learnt about the etymology of the word spinster.
  5. The Insider Outsider model – heard of it? Read the Wiki article, and ask yourself whether this fits (and if not, why not?)
  6. Should alcohol be subsumed under the GST?
  7. Centralisation of anything isn’t something that proceeds in linear fashion over time. What lessons should we be learning from this today?
  8. The petty tyranny of local inspectors ain’t new. That’s not a new finding, to be clear, but it usually comes as a surprise to newbies in the field of econ history.
  9. Change is important when it comes to society, but the rapidity of this change is rarely welcomed. This is true for individuals, organizations, institutions and society. Trust me on this.
  10. The footnotes have some excellent books to add to your infinitely long reading list.