Our federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a newly-released report, says "binge drinking" (defined as "men drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks within a short period of time or women drinking 4 or more drinks within a short period of time"; said period of time is not defined) is a greater problem in the United States than previously thought. The proposed approaches to the problem, of course, largely involve empowering government further or allocating more government resources (i.e. spending money on government).
Reason.com's response: "First, as noted, the length of an
"occasion" is left to the respondent's interpretation; it could be
"a few hours," but it might be five or six, or an entire Saturday.
Second, the number Parker-Pope cites is actually the average for
"the largest number of drinks [respondents] had on any
occasion in the preceding 30 days" (emphasis added). In other
words, it is atypical, by definition, for any given individual.
Furthermore, because it is an average across all respondents,
including very heavy drinkers, it does not necessarily mean most of
them consume that much even on one occasion per month."
Or, as they cynically titled the essay: "CDC: If You Drink Enough to Enjoy It, You've Had Too Much."