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Downtown Drinking

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Postby spanky » Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:49 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:Do you believe those things would be easy to accomplish? I sure don't.


So we are looking to pass the alcohol density plan because it is easy, not because it is expected to be effective? Got it.
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Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:50 am

Stu, maybe I missed something. Did you just LITERALLY state that correlation equals causation? The papers you quoted all demonstrated correlation. They in NO WAY demonstrated causation. In order to demonstrate causation the studies need to involve a lot more than just looking at what's currently happening in a place.

Before you even begin to belive that there is causation, you would need to at the bare minimum Demonstrate that the current density in all studies you quoted is not related to forces internal to the study, such as the demand for alcohol establishments. If the demand in an area is extremely high, then there is going to be density. If the demand is low, less density. There must be a valid demonstration that areas with high density are high density for reasons external to simple supply and demand.

Unless you do this, then you cannot state with any certainty that reducing the number of establishments would have an affect, because there would still be high demand, but less supply. There is no reason to believe that would be in any way beneficial. If you compare a low demand, low density area to a high demand, high density area, of course there is going to be more detox and assault cases. That is basic knowledge... alcohol = bad if abused, mmmkay? I am pretty sure I knew that in grade school. What is being debated is not what alcohol does if abused, it is whether any interventionist plan to reduce density would impact alcohol abuse in the overall population or not. There is no way to demonstrate that by just showing density comparisons as you've done.

Even if you do compare analyze the market forces and similar, I would still consider it somewhat hokey science until you did a "real" study with actual valid conclusions relevant to this topic. That would be a study that compared two nearly demographically and geographically identical cities, one with a mandated reduced bar density and one without. By demographically similar I mean the same approximate number of people in each age group, each economic group, and so forth. By geographically similar I mean in reference to the layout of the city with respect to where bars could conceivably exist and whether alternate "main hubs" are around the same distance or even available.

I've lived on state street for half a year now, and I have come to the realization that state street is infinitely safer between 11pm-3am than most other downtown areas, despite the high density of alcohol establishments. That's because it is well-lit and highly trafficked by both police and pedestrians. Anyone trying to commit a crime during those hours is an idiot.

Guess what? That means more police incidents. I'm fairly certain police don't hang around individual bars in podunk. The fact that there are more police around the state street bars necessarily means there will be more incidents because not only can they directly observe violations, but people are going to be less hesitant to call the police since they are about 10 seconds away.

I would have major worries if police were spread out more evenly across the city and state were less trafficked by pedestrians. That would make it easier to get away with a crime, and harder to catch people committing them.

In short, the proposal is bunk and you have done nothing to demonstrate that correlation equals causation, nor have you in any way demonstrated that your proposal would have a positive benefit on the city even if we threw out basic science and assumed that correlation does mean causation.
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Postby gargantua » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:36 am

Well, I'm sorry, but that just makes too much sense and you will no doubt be subjected to a withering rebuttal any minute now.
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Postby Dulouz » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:14 pm

gargantua wrote:Well, I'm sorry, but that just makes too much sense and you will no doubt be subjected to a withering rebuttal any minute now.


It makes sense until you recognize that he is refuting the correlation equals causation argument with anecdotes defines reality. He then creates a demand for a study that simply cannot be met. There aren't any other cities that meet Madison's unique demographics: State Capitol, Big Ten College, drinking culture, etc.

I am not convinced that the density plan will anything other than give the city some extra punch in dealing with bad operators and slumlords, but that might be all it takes. However, to attempt to argue that their is no causal link between alcohol and violent behavior is simply ignorant.
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Postby spanky » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:35 pm

Dulouz wrote:There aren't any other cities that meet Madison's unique demographics: State Capitol, Big Ten College, drinking culture, etc.


Uh, so use Madison as the fucking "study" and recognize that without specific goals, sunset provisions, and measurable criteria this proposal is no more than feel good proposal devoid of any intention of having any real effect.

The only reason I see why the sponsors donâ??t provide these types of performance standards is that they know that the businesses in downtown are already well-balanced between service, food/entertainment, and retail.

And letâ??s just remember this ordinance doesn't stop people from drinking, abusing alcohol, or acting violently you smug fucks.
Last edited by spanky on Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:07 pm

TAsunder wrote:your proposal


Excuse me -- my proposal?

It's the proposal of the alcohol policy coodinator, the mayor, and the two progressive alders on the ALRC. I realize that they don't know as much about the relationship of alcohol and disorder downtown as someone who's lived on State Street for six months, but, hey, at least give 'em credit for their own proposal.

(BTW - it's not just the well-lit areas on State Street that are the concern; most of the people leaving the bars in varying degrees of intoxication have to walk home through darker, less-patrolled areas, yes?)
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Postby spanky » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:42 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:(BTW - it's not just the well-lit areas on State Street that are the concern; most of the people leaving the bars in varying degrees of intoxication have to walk home through darker, less-patrolled areas, yes?)


Perhaps, and guess what - limiting licenses through attrition does nothing to directly address this problem.
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Postby gargantua » Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:20 pm

Dulouz wrote:
gargantua wrote:Well, I'm sorry, but that just makes too much sense and you will no doubt be subjected to a withering rebuttal any minute now.


It makes sense until you recognize that he is refuting the correlation equals causation argument with anecdotes defines reality. He then creates a demand for a study that simply cannot be met. There aren't any other cities that meet Madison's unique demographics: State Capitol, Big Ten College, drinking culture, etc.

I am not convinced that the density plan will anything other than give the city some extra punch in dealing with bad operators and slumlords, but that might be all it takes. However, to attempt to argue that their is no causal link between alcohol and violent behavior is simply ignorant.


I certainly wasn't trying to argue that there is no causal link between alcohol and violent behavior....although it doesn't make me violent, and never has. I'll repeat what I said on a related thread a few months ago. I oppose a policy that penalizes everyone. I would support penalties that are draconian enough to deter alcohol-fueled violent behavior. The idiots that ought to have their wallets emptied, kicked out of school, and tossed in jail will still find a way to drink up and act like idiots whether this proposal is implemented or not. We won't fully appreciate how much we'd rather have these folks drinking in bars until they start drinking in less supervised settings. But either way, you're very naive if you think they're going to stop drinking because you reduced density.
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Postby TAsunder » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:56 am

Dulouz wrote:It makes sense until you recognize that he is refuting the correlation equals causation argument with anecdotes defines reality. He then creates a demand for a study that simply cannot be met. There aren't any other cities that meet Madison's unique demographics: State Capitol, Big Ten College, drinking culture, etc.

I am not convinced that the density plan will anything other than give the city some extra punch in dealing with bad operators and slumlords, but that might be all it takes. However, to attempt to argue that their is no causal link between alcohol and violent behavior is simply ignorant.


It doesn't have to be a state capitol. How about a city of approximately similar size with a university in the heart of downtown? Drinking culture, that is almost every college in the united states. I think we can find one of those. If we aren't going to find one of those, at least the debate should be whether madison should be the one to experiment on this idea instead of the currently stated belief which is more like, "we KNOW it will help because of the correlation".

No one said there is no causal link between alcohol and violent behvaior. Read my post again, especially the part where I said I knew that there is a link back in grade school.

I didn't realize I had to even spend this much time refuting the idea of correlation proving causation. It is itself a fundamentally flawed assumption that no respectable scientist would ever make.
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Postby TAsunder » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:12 am

Stu Levitan wrote:
TAsunder wrote:your proposal


Excuse me -- my proposal?

It's the proposal of the alcohol policy coodinator, the mayor, and the two progressive alders on the ALRC. I realize that they don't know as much about the relationship of alcohol and disorder downtown as someone who's lived on State Street for six months, but, hey, at least give 'em credit for their own proposal.

(BTW - it's not just the well-lit areas on State Street that are the concern; most of the people leaving the bars in varying degrees of intoxication have to walk home through darker, less-patrolled areas, yes?)


Your proposal, as in, your pet proposal, the one you are apparently championing.

And how many months have you lived on state street, stu? None? I am not claiming to be some sort of expert, but it interesting to me that an area so densely populated with drinking establishments is nonetheless seemingly safer than areas less densely populated.

What is this proposal going to do about dark, unpatrolled paths home that people will continue to walk?

Maybe I don't know as much as your buddies, but I know enough to not state a blatant logical fallacy such as you did.
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A modest proposal

Postby Leoburt » Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:55 pm

I'm skeptical, but not going to reject this policy outright. Do I think that a liquor-license moratorium will reduce drinking in the downtown area? No, not at all. People. Love. Booze. Will decreased bar density lead to fewer people all packing out into the street at once, thereby reducing the number of meatheads picking fights with each other on the street at any given time? Maybe.

But what are we going to do about the real cause of crime and property damage downtown: "Idiots"?

My personal suggestion? Get rid of the UW athletic department. Big Ten sports draw an unsustainable number of dumbasses to the University of Wisconsin and the downtown area in general. Boil this sausage fest in beer for a few hours, and... well, you get the idea.
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Postby TAsunder » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:13 pm

Leo, if you think the UW athletics are bad, you should have been downtown during the weekend of the wrestling tournament. I thought I was living in a national lampoon movie.
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Postby Leoburt » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:29 pm

TAsunder wrote:Leo, if you think the UW athletics are bad, you should have been downtown during the weekend of the wrestling tournament. I thought I was living in a national lampoon movie.


I feel a little bad living up to the "Madison Elitist" stereotype by making fun of such a bunch of hapless hicks, but you're absolutely right about the wrestling tournament. God that was annoying.
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Postby Stomach » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:32 pm

TAsunder wrote:Leo, if you think the UW athletics are bad, you should have been downtown during the weekend of the wrestling tournament. I thought I was living in a national lampoon movie.


It's Friday, give us at least one story.

I like that their letter jackets have all their little glory badges hanging off of them.

Leo, you're right. The wrestlers bring out the ugly Madisonian in me.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:58 pm

I don't know what the problem is with kids today.

Alcohol only makes me violent when it's denied me completely.

Oh, and inebriation to the point of fall-down drunkenness is the surest sign of a weak tolerance. Toughen up, kiddos, or take your lightweight asses back to Scarsdale!
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