There is no characteristic that inheres in beer or bikes suggesting that the consumption of the former is in any way tied to the riding of the latter. On the contrary, the two activities should probably be segregated for safety's sake (to say nothing of the legal implications). And yet, as our periodic pub crawls demonstrate, a certain cultural link exists between bikin' and drinkin'. (Also, there is an inarguable link between me and drinking.)
So it was with some interest - and some confusion - that I read the piece in today's Courant concerning renewed debate among our state's legislators and boozewallas on the question of whether to legalize the sale of intoxicating liquors on Sundays. Not surprisingly, the proprietors of dram shops near the borders with our more libertine sister states decry the loss of clientele on Sundays, when many a tremor-handed dipsomaniac can be seen piloting his automobile onto foreign soil to spend coveted, highly taxed American greenbacks on the sinful stuff. Some legislators also raise the alarm, noting that Connecticut's treasury should be the first to benefit from her citizens' vile habits. But strangely, the liquor sellers' lobbying group and most liquor shop proprietors in the interior of the state oppose Sunday sales. They think if sabbath booze-purveying were allowed, they would have to stay open that day to stay competetive, which they don't want to do, either because they like having a day off (fair) or fear that the sales would not increase enough to cover the cost of being open (also fair).
But here's what I don't get: If they don't want to be open Sundays, why don't they just, you know, stay closed? I mean, if they're already not doing business on Sundays, they wouldn't be any worse off if they continued not to do business on Sundays, would they? There is no limit on the hours when gas stations can stay open, but I've never heard the argument that all of them should close at, say, midnight so it would be easier to be competetive. You know why I've never heard that argument? Because it's stupid and doesn't make any sense. And who ever heard of a lobbying group for a group of retailers that advocates for limiting their clients' ability to sell stuff? It's like if prostitutes threw a bake sale to raise money for more vice squads, except more boring.
So what gives here? Can someone with more experience in Connecticut politics explain this craziness to me? Just thinking about it makes me need a drink.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Posted by El Presidente de China at 11:22 AM