I ended the previous segment of this series by commenting that alcohol has had a tremendous impact on human development throughout history. This article, part 2 of a planned 3-part set, looks at the economic side of that influence.
Alcohol has been used to pay workers and buy slaves; it’s started wars and been used to celebrate the end of wars; it’s created and destroyed empires (the Roman Empire, for instance, went downhill partially because the lead in their winecups was dissolving into their drinks–and those folks really liked to drink). To this day, alcohol stands as an enduring, driving force behind countless enterprises (for example, ethanol is really just moonshine denatured with some gasoline) and an ever-evolving influence on nearly every aspect of the worldwide economic landscape.
Note: The full article was originally accessed by a link at this point; however, it is no longer available online. As my web site and blog evolve, some things have dropped off. This was, unfortunately, one of them. I will be pulling this entry on my next cleanup sweep. Sorry for any inconvenience.