Think of the Children! (But only on Sundays, say area liquor stores)
Connecticut is considering a law lifting the ban on Sunday liquor sales. The current prohibition is a throwback to the religious blue laws. Of course, like most legislation that comes under the banner of morality, someone is sneering and profiteering. Opposed to the legislation is the Connecticut association of liquor stores. Head
cynic (err, President) Alan Wilensky justifies his opposition:
We retailers are smart business people. If we thought that an additional day of operation would be profitable and in the public interest, we would have proposed the bill ourselves years ago.
Smart business people compete effectively. Very smart morally bankrupt business people collude effectively. Coordinated store hours raise search costs for consumers, allowing retailers to charge higher prices. Such coordinated closure is illegal (see, for example, the case of the FTC vs. Detroit Auto Dealers). But if we can get legislation to do it for us under some cynical moral banter, all the better:
We do not feel that this sensitive product should be more available … at a time when there is great concern regarding sales to minors.
Of course, protecting the children is the liquor cabal’s favorite non sequitur. I’m sure that Mr. Wilensky’s own liquor store is diligently screening underage consumers the six days it is open. Presumably, adequate safeguards don’t expire every Saturday evening, only to be reborn Monday mornings.
UPDATE: I promoted Mr. Alan Wilensky from “cynic” to “cretin” in proportion to his hyperbole. On his association’s web site, he claims that Sunday sales are “blood money”. Sales on Saturday, from which Mr. Wilensky handsomely profits, are presumably more holy.