Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Creeping Puritanism

From Hit and Run, the Supreme Court is hearing two cases on bans on selling interstate wine. This is the sort of thing that goes under people's radar because it's a)a boring trade issue and b)only affects a tiny portion of the population, the kind of people who seek out local wines.
Hit and Run sees this as a liberties issue, and I agree. But more than that, if you peel some of these cases back, you'll see the squirmy little worms of the war against the small businessman in this country.
This is a perfect example of how self-righteous Puritans are being used as tools to shut down small business and reduce competition for big businesses. Alot of small wineries need that Internet business to grow. And I know for a fact that there are a lot of small restaurants that specialize in having an ever-rotating list of wines that their customer base is unfamiliar with.
It would be interesting to see if there is a paper and money trail around these laws that are being challenged that would lead back to corporate liquor and restaurant interests. I wouldn't be surprised. My guess is that is probably the driving force, if even the Washington Times tips their hat to this fact:

Lawyers for Juanita Swedenburg, the winery's owner, told the Supreme Court that it is unfair that out-of-state wineries must go through an expensive bureaucracy of wholesalers and retailers to sell in New York, while in-state wineries can ship products directly to buyers.

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