George Mason University's Don Boudreaux recently sent this letter to the New York times:
Labor-union official Vincent Fyfe wants the state of New York to continue prohibiting supermarkets from selling wine (Letters, Feb. 12). His reason? Supermarket wine sales will put some liquor-store owners out of business and their employees out of work.
Note to Mr. Fyfe: the purpose of the wine trade – like every other trade – is to serve consumers, not to create jobs for producers.
Ok, here comes the patented Don Boudreaux Karate Kid Crane kick. Get ready for it:
If job creation were paramount, then government should not only continue to prohibit supermarkets from selling wine, but should require that bottles of beer, wine, and spirits be hand-delivered to retailers, one at a time, while cradled in the arms of carriers each pulled though the streets in a rickshaw.
Of course, such a requirement would harm consumers, but it would also create lots of jobs.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Go up to the first link to read comments about the bizarre world of cronyism afflicting each state. Pennsylvania, for instance, has nothing but state-owned liquor stores. Colorado and Oklahoma can't sell anything but 3.2 beer. In Indiana, supermarkets can sell wine and beer, but they can't sell them cold ??? ! !?? ! ??
And one commenter, speaking of rickshaws, mentioned this classic Seinfeld moment: