The Hess Report

Thursday, July 07, 2005

His Lord High Holiness Ed Rendell Speaks: "Let Them Drink Beer" 

I've written about Pennsylvania's moronic liquor laws before.

Well today, our elected legislators and our Governor, his high holiness Ed Rendell, have decided to allow us, to grant us leave, to give us their heavenly-ordained permission, to buy beer on a Sunday from people who want to sell it to us. I'm so happy, I could just kiss them all.

Today's article from the Post-Gazette is so brief, I'll just quote the whole thing:

Gov. Ed Rendell yesterday signed legislation permitting Pennsylvania beer distributors to sell beer by the case on Sunday afternoons, starting in 60 days.

Each distributor who wants to be open Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. must buy a state permit for $100 a year.

"By modernizing this law allowing beer sales at distributors on Sunday, we will create opportunities for business growth, while mirroring the beer sales practices of other states,'' Rendell said.

The bill protects tavern and restaurant owners, who had enjoyed a monopoly on Sunday beer sales by the six-pack, by providing a 10 percent discount for wholesale liquor purchases.

Up until today, beer distributors (who only exist because it's not legal to sell beer in grocery stores) weren't allowed to sell beer on Sunday. And now, thanks to the beneficent magic of Ed Rendell, who runs this state like a low-level mafioso takes care of his neighborhood, we are allowed to! Before this watershed event, being the clueless subservient minion of the State the I am, I had no idea that it would be a good idea to actually let people buy things that they want from people who want to sell them (and here comes the radical part) whenever the two parties agree to make the transaction! The next thing you know, we'll be allowed to have restaurants that sell food, like, after midnight or something!

Isn't being happy about these statist sons-of-bitches relaxing an iota of their control kind of like thanking the neighborhood bully for only kicking you in the balls three times today, instead of his normal four?

There are so many things wrong with Rendell's statement that it boggles my mind. Pennsylvania's liquor laws are about as modern as the cotton gin. And creating opportunities for business growth? That $100/year fee is a great way to start. It's also good to see that the Post-Gazette at least acknowledges that the State had been giving certain players a monopoly on this for years, but far be it from them to suggest that the State granting monopolies in any retail category could be anything other than just frakking ducky. The PG, in case you're not from Pittsburgh, is a pretty liberal paper, and that means that they just luuuurve themselves the power of the State, especially when it's exercised against for the good of those beer-swilling rednecks.

How about this, guys: anyone who cares to can sell beer, wine and/or liquor whenever and wherever they want to, and for whatever price they can get for it. Trying to avoid paying sales taxes to the State, or selling alcohol to minors will still land you in jail. But just like drivers licensing, all that these ludicrous laws do is make the State's life easier (easier law enforcement and tax collection) while placing a significant burden (in the form of both the direct cost of retail goods and the time it takes to seek out that product under a severely restricted system of distribution) on the law abiding citizens.

But that's just me being stoopid again. I thought they worked for us. Wannabe fascists.

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