Business leaders in a small but thriving community in the southeast have noticed a considerable increase in the alcohol consumption of their workers. This increase, they claim, reduces worker productivity, increases absenteeism and jeopardizes safety on the job. Rather unconvincingly, workers argue that no one drinks more than about a six-pack of beer per day, and this certainly could not cause all the problems management says it does. In an effort to curb drinking excesses, the business leaders are lobbying the state congress to increase the tax on potable alcohol.

Suppose the following utility function describes "tastes" for alcoholic beverages and all other goods of the average person at which desired tax policy is aimed:

In order to determine the desired tax policy, we first need to understand the utility function that describes the average person's tastes for alcoholic beverages and other goods. The utility function is a way to quantify the satisfaction or happiness a person receives from consuming different goods. In this case, we are interested in alcoholic beverages.

To find the desired tax policy, we need to look at how the tax on potable alcohol affects the utility of the average person. If the tax increases, it will result in an increase in the price of alcoholic beverages. This, in turn, may reduce the consumption of alcohol by making it more expensive.

However, we don't have the specific form of the utility function mentioned in the question. Without the specific mathematical form of the utility function, it is difficult to determine how changes in price will affect consumption and overall utility for the average person.

To find the desired tax policy, we would need to conduct research and gather data to understand the relationship between price and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the specific community. This could involve surveys, interviews, or analysis of existing data on alcohol consumption patterns.

Additionally, we would need to consider other factors such as the potential impact of the tax increase on workers' productivity, absenteeism, and safety. It may be worth exploring alternative approaches, such as educational programs, workplace policies, or healthcare initiatives, to address the concerns of the business leaders while also considering the well-being and preferences of the workers.

Overall, determining the desired tax policy requires a thorough understanding of the specific community, its alcohol consumption patterns, and its underlying factors. It is important to approach this issue with a holistic view, considering both the concerns of the business leaders and the well-being of the workers.