Today is a short one. I had trouble finding something that fascinated me enough to write about, so I went with an old favorite.
Ever since I started this blog and started reading beer related stores every morning to comment on them, I’ve been fascinated by stories like this one out of Johnson County, NC. I’m not fascinated by these stories because they are about beer or alcohol. They aren’t. I fascinated by them because they are about revenue both business revenue and tax revenue.
These ballot measures are almost always spurred by one of two groups realizing they are leaving money on the table: business owners and politicians.
This holds to my theory that all laws involving alcohol are primarily enacted to decide who gets to economically benefit from the sale of alcohol even when they are wrapped in a cloak of morality or purity.
The most famous beer law, the Reinheitsgebot, was created to stop competition between bakers and brewers over grains they both wanted to use for their respective business. By restricting brewers to barley, bakers would use the cheaper grain keep bread affordable for the masses. It was also a way to protect drinkers from beers using potentially dangerous adjuncts.
Here is a bit of rampant mostly uninformed speculation: Prohibition lasted as long as it did, even in the face of obvious failure, because politicians played teetotalers off bootleggers to rake in power from one side and money from the other, all the while drinking as much Canadian whiskey as they could get.
That is a thing that happens a lot, particularly in this country. Politicians using the sincerity and ferocity of the religious as their foot soldiers to pass laws while taking money from the craven who are benefiting most from the laws they pass.