Regulation helps big business vol. 197: More Baptists & Bootleggers 

Regulation often serves primarily to protect incumbent businesses from new competitors, even while politicians tout it as protecting the public interest. Liquor control laws are a great example.

I blogged last night about New York liquor stores lobbying — in the interest of the public’s sobriety, of course — to keep grocery stores from selling wine or liquor. Today, at Reason, I come across similar stories from Oregon and Tennessee.

In Tennessee, Radley Balko tells us:

There’s … currently a movement underway to allow grocery stores to sell wine in Tennessee, but so far it’s been held at bay by the state’s liquor stores, which are currently the only places you can purchase retail wine.

In Oregon, admittedly, big brewers might not be behind this, but it sure helps them:

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has banned taste contests for home-brewed beer, as well as home-brew club tasting nights. It has even barred people from taking home-brewed beer to a friend’s home to drink. The bans are part of a reinterpretation of a state law that bars unlicensed brewers from brewing beer except for “home consumption.”

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Timothy P. Carney

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