Gallup released its annual poll yesterday about drinking in America. It's a prudish-sounding poll that started way back in 1939, and it gives an interesting perspective on how little America has changed in 71 years.
Here's my favorite part of it: analyzing the fully 1/3 of American adults who don't drink alcohol. This has to be among the highest percentages of any non-Muslim nation, and there's a reason: We still have lots of stupid people.
The facts are these. Americans who don't drink are most likely:
Uneducated: 42% of Americans who haven't gone beyond high school do not drink, compared with only 21% of college graduates.
Poor: 54% of Americans with incomes under $20,000 don't drink, compared with 19% of Americans with incomes over $75,000. (To be fair, it makes economic sense if you're that poor to save your money for food and rent.)
Protestant: 39% of American Protestants ignore the fact that Jesus turned water into wine, and don't drink God's gift to us, compared to 22% of Catholics and 20% of non-Christians.
Old: 41% of people over age 55 don't drink.
I'm glad to see Gallup point out that this is the age group that should be drinking, one glass a day at least, to get the benefits of alcohol in protecting against heart attacks.
One other item from the Gallup poll: The wine producing and writing worlds continue to be mostly male, but the customers in the US are not: Women prefer wine to beer by a huge margin (48 to 27%), while men prefer beer by an even larger margin (54 to 17%).
This makes me feel a bit like Freddy Rumsen on "Mad Men," using my superior knowledge of how women think to reach them on wine issues. Let's see: Wine will help you get married, not drinking wine will keep you single ...
Actually, I can just cite the facts:
Drinking wine makes you more educated, wealthier and younger! And, er, less Protestant.
(If you know the difference between causation and correlation, I'll bet you went to college. Which means if you're not drinking, you should be.)