State Beer Laws Take Baby Steps in Right Direction

Why are these idiotic beer laws on the books in the first place?

Though nowhere is it hot enough to fry an egg on the ground, it sure felt like it across much of the country this week. No doubt many folks have sought and found cold solace in beer.

Depending on where you live, you might be able to take advantage of some good new laws on the books that have given you even more choices of where, what, and how to drink.

In New Jersey, for example, a new law will help brewpubs and craft brewers in the state expand their offerings.

“Specifically, the new law ups the amount of product that can be produced by a restricted license brewery (brewpub) from 3,000 to 10,000 barrels per year, and gives them access to the state’s wholesale distribution system,” reports the Ocean County Signal. “Limited license breweries (microbreweries) may now sell product for on-premises consumption at a licensed facility, and may sell limited amounts of beer for take-out at that facility as well.”

That law is similar to a new one that came into force last month in Texas.

As the Houston Chronicle reports, brewpubs in the state can now sell to customers on site.

And under new laws that took effect on July 1, drinkers throughout Michigan and in parts of Maryland can now buy beer to go in refillable growler containers.

What's the big deal with growlers?

"Growlers are good," says Julia Herz, craft beer program director at the Brewers Association, in an email. "Laws that accommodate growlers as a packaging option are a helpful step especially for small and independent craft brewers who often struggle with access to market."

When it comes to selling beer, that struggle, as I noted in a March column, appears largely to be getting a little easier.

But while all these good new laws represent great news for business and consumers alike, they also raise questions. Why the hell would states prevent breweries from selling beer to customers in the first place? Why are these idiotic laws on the books in the first place?

It’s the usual combination of protectionism and the highly overrated, deeply flawed Twenty-First Amendment—which contains terrible prohibitionary language that has been used by states to restrict all manner of choices. (Section II is the problem. Remove it entirely and you have a great Amendment.)

Related Video: Is Indiana Ready for Cold Beer at Convenience Stories? (article continues below video)

 

That’s why many incomprehensible state and local laws still remain on the books—even in states I mentioned above that just reformed their laws.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Ted S.||

    I'd like to be able to buy wine at the local supermarket, thank you very much!

  • robc||

    I can in KY.

    Wine or Liquor requires some weird partitioning, unlike beer.

    Most supermarkets arent willing to do it, but some do. Its a separate license than the beer retail license.

    In GA, wine is treated like beer, instead of like liquor.

    And TN is really wonky.

    Okay, all 50 states are wonky in some way or another. Some are worse than others (PA). DC seems to have the best laws, as they dont have a required 3-tier system at all.

  • Hyperion||

    And TN is really wonky.

    Have you ever bought a growler in TN? Last time I did it, they had this bizarre rule that you have to take it out the back door where the actual brewing is done. You can't walk out with it through the regular bar/restaurant doors.

    Something about the childins, I am sure.

  • robc||

    I stopped at a big liquor store in Nashville once with great beer selection.

    Two doors, two registers, glass partition between the store stores.
    One half was beer.
    Other half was wine and liquor.

    No problem, right? As I was only beer shopping, no big deal. But, wait, there is more! High ABV beers were on the liquor side. And the limit wasnt that high, maybe 8% ABV. I dont tend to buy 12 or 15% ABV beers, but I do buy some 8-10 percenters.

  • robc||

    Try "glass wall between two stores".

    Partition implies something less permanent than I meant.

  • Hyperion||

    Have you ever had the idea, that lawmakers craft laws just to be doing something?

    Because, I get that idea, a lot.

  • Raven Nation||

    Well, yeah. Think of the way Congress is often evaluated by how many laws it does, or does not, pass i.e. 'do nothing" Congress.

    Hell, I would vote for a 'do nothing' Congress. Or better yet, one that voted to go into recess for a LONG time.

    Of course, then you would get presidents doing much by executive action.

  • Hyperion||

    I dont tend to buy 12 or 15% ABV beers, but I do buy some 8-10 percenters

    IMHO, any beer over 8.something percent, tastes awful.

  • robc||

    IMNSHO, you are seriously wrong.

    You took out a bunch of great styles with that sweeping statement.

    The big belgians, dopplebocks, barleywines, DIPAs, etc.

    Im not a stout fan, but for those who like roast, the imperial stouts are big, but I cant include them on my list.

  • Hyperion||

    I like stouts and porters, but to me, beer tastes awful if it has too much alco. But, that's just my opinion.

  • robc||

    If you can taste the high levels of alcohol, I agree. But a well made beer at that level doesnt have to taste boozy.

  • Ted S.||

    Some people (I'm one of them) don't like carbonated beverages. All beer tastes crappy.

  • Slammer||

    Put a little cold tomato juice in it, takes away the carbonation. Delicious on a hot day. It's called a Red Beer in the American West. I love it.

  • Harlequin||

    You mentioned carbonated beverages. And you mentioned beer. The one is not the other. Proper beer only has CO2 in if you breathe heavily over it.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    The "liquor" limit for beer in TN is actually closer to 6%, I forget the actual decimal. So my search for Hop Devil in the Memphis area continues.

  • robc||

    That is even dumber than I remember.

  • ||

    you have to take it out the back door

    Was visiting my folks in PA last month. Went to the supermarket and nearly had a heart attack. BEER! In a supermarket! In PA! I'm thinking progress.

    Not so fast. While the "beer store" was IN the supermarket, you couldn't pay for it in the normal checkout. Had to go back to the "beer store" to pay for it and wasn't allowed back into the supermarket without said beer being in a brown paper bag (probably some payoff to the brown paper bag industry).

    I guess Jebus, or the PA LCB (same thing really), has determined that chilrenz should not be able to see adults purchasing the demon brew.

  • DEG||

    Some supermarkets in PA have had "separate" beer stores for a while. I like stopping at the Wegman's at 422 & 29 when I'm visiting relatives.

    The first time I visited it (five years ago I think?), the cashier asked me if I'd like a bag for my purchase. I said yes, and she handed me a bag. She said, "The PLCB won't let us bag your purchase for you. It's a stupid law." Last time I was there (last year), the cashier bagged it for me. Progress! Snail-like, but progress!

    I'd like to see normality in PA booze laws sometime before I die.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    In Jersey they have a back room in some supermarkets where you can get booze.
    It's like going into the "back room" of a book store (back when they had book stores)

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I'd like to be able to buy wine at the local supermarket, thank you very much!

    In CA you can buy all your alcohol in supermarkets.

    And amazingly enough liquor store manage to survive.

  • Careless||

    Are Illinois and California the two easiest stores to buy and sell liquor in?

  • Thomas O.||

    I imagine Louisiana too. One friend of mine who used to live there said in Louisiana, you can buy hard liquor in grocery stores. This was 10 years ago, though, so I don't know if that's still the case.

  • PH2050||

    I miss walking to a corner store at 1am and having the choice to buy some Patron or some rotgut. Freedom is fucking awesome; only miserable losers disagree.

  • Pro Libertate||

    We can in Florida. Then again, we're now under embargo.

  • SIV||

    Who let the cracker in here?

  • gaoxiaen||

    In Taiwan, beer, wine and liquor are available in every food and covenience store, the drinking age is 18, and there are no open container laws, even in a motor vehicle, as long as the driver is not drunk (.20 BAC, recently lowered from .25). Yee-haw!

  • Animal||

    Pretty much the same in Japan, although the drinking age there is 20. And beer machines!

    I spent six months in Shiga Prefecture in 2009. A buddy and I went on many a Friday and Saturday night pub crawl, including a few times down the train line in Kyoto, up in Nagoya and once down to Osaka. Our walking time between bars was nicely punctuated by the availability of beer from vending machines.

    I love Japan.

  • Hyperion||

    How about we can drink some beer at a festival or other outdoor activity without being barricaded in a yellow plastic fence, like livestock?

    When is that going to happen in Murika, the great land of freedom? You can already do that in the rest of the world.

  • John||

    Could be worse, you could be in the smokers' pen.

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, but I don't care about that, I only care about the rights that personally affect me.

    /proglodyte

  • John||

    It is amazing how the bad science that is and was second hand smoke research is now accepted as gospel. If there was a significant risk to non-smokers, they never would have been such a strong correlation between smoking and lung cancer.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Good point.

  • John||

    I am pretty sure they still don't understand the mechanism by which smoking causes lung cancer. For many years the tobacco companies argued there was some other X factor that was producing the correlation. The entire case was always based strictly on a very strong correlation.

  • SIV||

    I recall something about radioactive phosphate fertilizer. Similar to the second leading cause of lung cancer, radon gas.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I always thought it had more to do with breathing burned "stuff" (regardless (irregardless?)of what that stuff was) into your lungs than anything else.

  • John||

    But they have no idea why the burned stuff does that.

  • Robert||

    Actually there's a pretty good model for some cancers based on certain DNA intercalating agents from soot acting on a certain site of a protein kinase gene.

  • Zeb||

    I thought it was nitrosamines.

  • Irish||

    It is amazing how the bad science that is and was second hand smoke research is now accepted as gospel. If there was a significant risk to non-smokers, they never would have been such a strong correlation between smoking and lung cancer.

    I'm sure that being in an environment where everyone is smoking is bad for your lungs, particularly if you're there every day. There's no way inhaling the smoke wouldn't have negative effects.

    That said, there are very few enclosed spaces where everyone is smoking, even prior to all these restaurant smoking bans. If you don't want to be in a restaurant with lots of smokers, don't go to that restaurant.

  • From the Tundra||

    Here in MN we are starting to see more and more small brewers (Surly!), but we still can't buy booze on Sundays. No wine at supermarkets or convenience stores and the beer selection is limited to 3.2 percent. There have been attempts to change the laws, but the liquor store owners like the current arrangement (go figure).

  • robc||

    Liquor store owners fought Sunday sales here in Louisville too. But they got beat down by the big retailers.

    The liquor stores didnt want their payroll going up by 7/6ths. But the supermarkets and convenience stores and etc won out.

  • ||

    Funny how most of a population wants a law repealed, yet it is held up by a tiny group of cronies.

    It will be interesting to see how long the feds will hold out on repealing MJ laws just because it would mean getting rid of a shitload of DEA agents. I suppose they could always move em over to the BATFEM EIEIO.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Funny how most of a population wants a law repealed, yet it is held up by a tiny group of cronies.

    Like foreign military aid, the one spending item that most Americans agree should be cut.

  • Finrod||

    Wow, even Georgia allows Sunday sales most places nowadays.

  • Thomas O.||

    You can buy beer and wine in Texas on Sunday, but you gotta wait until noon. I hate having to appease the bible-thumpers here.

  • Hyperion||

    And while you still can’t fill growlers in some parts of Maryland, even those places where reforms are in place have seen a comedy of errors

    I've never been anywhere in MD that you can't fill a growler. There's even a liquor store about 5 miles from me that has growlers. I've also never been anywhere in MD that you can buy beer in a grocery store or convenience store, well, because you can't.

  • John||

    Monkey County. It has the worst and most corrupt liquor laws I have ever seen.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Racist

  • thom||

    Baltimore has "grandfathered" convenience stores that sell beer and wine. I've seen them in Western MD as well.

  • Hyperion||

    I've seen one deli that sells beer. But it's because they serve food, apparently that they can do it. Never seen a convenience store here that sells any alcohol.

  • thom||

    My neighborhood has a Royal Farms that sells beer and wine. Not on Sunday though, and not after midnight.

    Of course, there's also the package goods stores. Technically bars, a lot of then just seem to be liquor stores with a table and stool designated as the "bar".

  • 21044||

    There is a 7-11 in Ellicot City that sells beer. I have been told that it was grandfathered in.

  • John||

    My favorite idiot law is not allowing liquor stores to be open on Sundays. You can go to a restaurant or bar and drink all you like. But it is some kind of evil sin to buy it and drink it at home.

  • Hyperion||

    Baltimore County, no Sunday sales. Howard County, all you want on Sunday. Baltimore City also has some stores open on Sunday.

  • John||

    And the Baltimore crack markets are always open. So there is that.

  • Hyperion||

    The market works!

  • wwhorton||

    PG county: no liquor on Sundays. You can buy a case of malt liquor, but no bourbon.

  • Ted S.||

    You can buy a case of malt liquor

    Why would you want to?

  • C. Anacreon||

    Because it works, every time.

    /Billy Dee Williams

  • wwhorton||

    I'm not sure of the exact law, but there's one Rite Aid that has a liquor store in the back in Annapolis. I gather that there's some strange regulation where like every county or every zip code or something can have one non-liquor store that sells liquor.

  • Careless||

    I know in Colorado the rule was (is?) that any single owner could only have one liquor store in the state. The big stores all had a single store with a liquor section somewhere.

  • PH2050||

    I'm new here but the nonexistence of ABC stores (fuck you, VA and NC) is a welcome change, despite the restrictions.

  • wwhorton||

    In Annapolis, Ram's Head (before it got bought out) did growlers, but they stopped around the time they sold out. That might have been related to the license changing, though. And besides, their beers taste like crap since they've shifted the brewing out to Delware and dumbed down the recipes, so I definitely wouldn't want to buy any in bulk.

  • Rich||

    Come on, you can do better than thatdude.

  • General Butt Naked||

    What dude?

  • Hyperion||

    Anonbot is really losing his mojo these days...

  • Rich||

    Word, H.

    I'm starting to suspect -- dare I say it? -- he's really a *human*.

  • Slammer||

    good new laws on the books that have given you even more choices of where, what, and how to drink

    "Laws" have "given" me choices. And I'm supposed to be grateful?

  • John||

    http://www.talkleft.com/story/2013/7/19/161153/926

    Holy cow. It seems that Obama has lost talk left on the Zimmerman issue. The Zimmerman case acts like some kind of infectious disease of stupidity. A few people seem to be a bit immune to it. But wow. When you have lost Talk left...?

  • Hyperion||

    It's just O and big Al against da murl.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Maybe it's separating the proglodytes from the actual liberals.

  • Hyperion||

    I think the actual liberals, at least in this country, are called Libertarians.

  • ||

    Not fiscally.

  • Calidissident||

    Classic liberals align most closely with libertarians (out of all modern American political philosophies) across the board

  • Zeb||

    That is a very good article. I'll have to save that for lefty friends who have bought the stupid racial narrative on this.

  • John||

    I know. It really is. I never thought the words "really good article" and "talk" left would be in the same sentence. But they are.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It's stronger than what appeared in certain libertarian sites - it doesn't make the ritual gesture toward moral equivalence by alleging Zimmerman's "moral guilt" or calling him a "nudnik."

  • John||

    It really is. Better than nearly everything Reason wrote about the trial.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    They can do that, because the left is immune to racism cries from the left.

  • Calidissident||

    Can someone not be critical of Zimmerman in some way while still firmly believing that he was rightly found not guilty? In what way is that wrong?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Certainly, there are people who say Zimmerman has some moral but not legal guilt. But I don't see the evidence for either proposition.

    The evidence doesn't, in my mind, even show he's *morally* culpable, if we accept his story that he was simply patrolling his own neighborhood calling in suspicious persons in the wake of some housebreakings. Of course, *possible* he chased Martin down and called him some kind of racial slur, provoking a fight. But the evidence is very far from *proving* such a thing.

    Now, maybe some new evidence will come to light confirming moral or even legal guilt. Until that happens, I'm going with Occam's Razor and the hypothesis that he was doing his Neighborhood Watch duty, got jumped, feared for his life, and finally shot his assailant.

  • Calidissident||

    I would agree with this. I don't know if there was anything immoral about it, but I do think his decision to leave his car in that situation wasn't very smart

  • Finrod||

    Sounds like it's a day to buy a lottery ticket.

  • Pro Libertate||

    To run with the injustice campaign, almost every single piece of evidence has to be ignored. Some people, even leftists, aren't willing to do that. There's a point where these delusions take too much effort to maintain.

  • ||

    WOW! That was a damn good article.

  • ||

    Man, I just love the people who are apparently incapable of comprehending that bashing someone's skull against concrete can have adverse effects--see snarky comments about "weaponized concrete".

    I bet it would really blow some of these minds to reveal that man has killed man for thousands of years before gun was even a twinkle in somebody's imagination. With sticks and stones and bare hands.

  • Irish||

    Also, if concrete isn't a threat to our health, then why do we wear helmets while biking? I mean concrete can't hurt us! Who cares if you fall and hit your head?

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I've always had such a disgust for white liberals. There is a long, smug post in that link that ends as follows, and I just wish I could punch this guy, or at least smash his head on the concrete a couple of times:

    "So, no, you do not have to be black to understand what it's like to be black in America. All you have to do is read Black Like Me to understand. That and have an open mind - and some black friends."

  • Irish||

    "I read a book that was published in 1961. Clearly the racial situation in America has not changed since then."

  • PH2050||

    "I read a book once, and my mind was so open that my brain fell out. I've been operating on autopilot ever since."

  • Jordan||

  • John||

    Hoarders and wreckers are destroying the entire thing!!

  • Sevo||

    Left this over in 24/7, but same subject here:
    In a letter to the Chron today, some idiot gripes that without Obozocare, he's "toast".
    His current insurer is leaving the CA market; the guy's dumb enough not to realize he's in trouble *because* of Obozocare.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I think 90% of the country still thinks Obamacare = free healthcare.

  • PH2050||

    Obstructionist health insurers!

  • Slammer||

    Iowahawk: If Zimmerman wanted Obama to leave him alone, he should have just killed a US ambassador.

  • John||

    Awesome.

  • Rich||

    Yep, the guy is just amazingly astute.

  • John||

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....mac-donald

    Heather MacDonald, who can be totally wrong about things like stop and frisk, writes a tremendous take down of the myth that the justice system is racist against blacks.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Larry Elder pointed out that black men between the ages of 14-50 are 3% of the population and commit 50%+ of the violent crimes in the US (according to victim surveys)so of course that demo is subjected to greater scrutiny than the general public.

  • John||

    But recognizing that fact would require actually addressing the dysfunction that causes it. And no one wants that.

  • PH2050||

    The dysfunctional drug war?

  • robc||

    I feel like I should be in this thread for some reason. Guess I should read the article first though (not that that has stopped me before).

  • John||

    The threads are nearly always more interesting than the articles.

  • robc||

    True dat.

    OT: Ive mentioned that a friend of mine had a Finnish exchange student for the last year, she went home earlier this week, apparently went to an "American-style" diner in Helsinki today. Here was a facebook post from a few hours ago:

    So this "american style" diner gives drinks with no ice and no free refills WOW GUYS WOW WAY TO NOT LIVE UP TO YOUR PROMISES AT ALL SHITHEADS

    I think my friends successfully corrupted her.

  • John||

    That is awesome. Whenever something says "...style" this or that. It means it is not that.

    And America really is the land of convenience and service. I love Europe. But it is a lot easier to live here.

  • PS wanders the Wasteland||

    Unless you want to buy beer or drink it in public.

  • PS wanders the Wasteland||

    Or smoke a joint in a bar or cafe or park.

  • PS wanders the Wasteland||

    Or meet a woman who doesn't think it's a sin to be feminine.

  • William of Purple||

    or be thin.

  • Ted S.||

    Well, Finland has a state alcohol monopoly, although you can buy

  • Ted S.||

    Oh shit. I forgot that using the less than sign would cut off the rest of the comment. Fucking screwed up H&R commenting system. You can buy stuff less than 4.7% ABV in supermarkets.

  • Hyperion||

    diner gives drinks with no ice

    In Murika, it's just ice, all the way down...

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rog8ou-ZepE

    (apologies in advance for the link - it's the one thing which makes me ashamed to be white)

  • robc||

    So Im out with the hottest woman in the history of the universe (yeah, I dont know how that happened either) back when that was a hit song.

    A song comes on the radio, she says "This is that Vanilla Ice song?" (she was a country music fan). It was Under Pressure.

    I explained nicely (not sure how I restrained myself). She agreed by the end of the song that it was much better than Ice Ice Baby.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Did you use the dings while mansplaining it to her?

  • Hyperion||

    People actually read the articles?

    Admittedly, I do sometimes read them. If I don't have any daily puppycide links to post as first order of business.

  • robc||

    Ones I actually want to comment on I read. Or at least skim looking for the juicy bits.

    After reading this one, I shouldnt have bothered, I learned nothing.

  • Hyperion||

    Growlers are good

    They are, as long as you are ready to drink them all at one sitting. In my experience, if you open one, and don't finish it, it will be sort of flat the next day.

  • robc||

    One day isnt bad, but yeah.

    That is why two new products have just come out to help with that. Here is the one Im familiar with. A friend of mine is in on the deal, I think he has received it, I need to check with him on how it works.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/pro.....est-friend

  • Hyperion||

    Looks promising.

    I've never actually poured out a growler the next day, although in my experience, it always tastes a little flat. But if you leave them 2 days, yech, undrinkable.

  • robc||

    Its a bit pricey. But if you are want to pop into your local brewery on Monday for a growler fill and drink one with dinner each night that week, it would be worth it in the long run.

    Or for high ABV (yeah, not your thing) beers that you dont want to drink more than 1-2 small half pints in a sitting.

  • Mike M.||

    So that old hag Helen Thomas is dead, huh?

    Good riddance. She was as vile and nasty as she was ugly.

  • John||

    She finally died? I hate to speak ill of the dead, but I will make an exception here. She was a horrible anti-Semitic bitch.

  • Slammer||

    She'll be happy she won't have to share Hell with Jews

  • Mike M.||

    Why do I have this funny feeling though that Reason will end up doing about a dozen glowing tributes to her?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I know you'll find this hard to believe, but Melissa Harris Perry's show is about how completely, utterly racist this country is.

  • John||

    And Florida is a racist cesspool that somehow managed to go for Obama in the last election. Those racists really know how to hide their motives.

  • Hyperion||

    That's what she thinks it is about.

    What it is really about, is demonstrating how ignorant she is.

  • John||

    It is all they have. They only thing they have left is to cry racism. That gets blacks to vote Dem because they think everyone hates them and gets whites to vote Dem out of guilt. They have no rational case to make. They just have division and paranoia.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yep and the really sad part is that it's so destructive at an individual level. How can anyone be happy and well adjusted if they believe that the world's out to get them and they could be killed at any moment.

  • John||

    Or the flip side, that the entire society they live in is racist and evil. It would be like being a slave owner who knows slavery is bad but still takes the benefits of it. Liberals think America is horrible and evil. Yet, they live very comfortable lives thanks to this alleged evil. That really must fuck up their psyche.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    That's the source of white guilt that race baiters need for political viability.

  • Slammer||

    Detroit is messed up because the government is too small!!

    MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry went on to note that Detroit’s tax base, e.g. the city’s population, has declined dramatically in the last decade. Harris-Perry presents this fact as though former Detroit residents left – estimated in 2011 at one resident every 22 minutes — on a whim without making a cost/benefit calculation as to whether to continue to reside in a city with one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation with a poverty rate of a staggering 40 percent.

    Furthermore, since Detroit’s population has fallen below 750,000, it was not legally allowed to collect income taxes from its residents until Gov. Rick Snyder and the state’ legislature reduced that threshold to 600,000 two years ago. The city’s population hovers today around 700,000 residents.

    “But this lack of tax base is also exactly the thing that many Republicans would impose on us even when our cities have sufficient populations,” Harris-Perry added. “Even when our communities have sufficient populations.”

    “This is what it looks like when government is small enough to drown if your bathtub and it is not a pretty picture,” she said.
  • John||

    The liberals bitch and moan about how Detroit died because all of the people left. Well, why do they think the people left? Socialism only works if you build a wall so no one can leave. As long as they can leave, stealing from the productive will just cause all of the productive to leave.

    They really seem to think that everyone moved out of Detroit because they just didn't get enough free shit, as opposed to escaping high taxes and horrible government.

  • robc||

    Socialism only works if you build a wall so no one can leave.

    And even then, the wall only delays the failure.

  • Hyperion||

    Socialism only works if you build a wall so no one can leave

    Well, I hear that McCain has a plan for that...

  • robc||

    Someone doesnt understand the concept of "per capita".

  • Fatty Bolger||

    If the government is so small, why do they have so many employees?

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Holy shit. That may be the dumbest conclusion ever drawn.

  • Robert||

    http://www.employmentcrossing......0720082130 for an infuriating/funny Detroit story with a happy ending.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I watched as much as I could stomach, which was about 10 minutes.

    The self pitying and blaming others on display is disgusting. It's also destructive to an individuals happiness and success in life.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I have never seen this woman talk until I put on MSNBC the other night to enjoy the butthurt from the verdict.

    I can't believe a person that dumb, and with a speech impediment, can make a living doing "news" on TV.

    What are her qualifications?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    His current insurer is leaving the CA market; the guy's dumb enough not to realize he's in trouble *because* of Obozocare.

    Cause and effect is racist.

  • Hyperion||

    But, if only dear leader had more power so that the Rethuglicans couldn't ruin all the great wonders he is trying to perform, things would be perfect by now.

    It's just those dusty old obsolete pieces of paper that the baggers are always clinging to that is the root of all our problems.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Black people who probably get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to sit in a television studio and bitch about how oppressed they are do not do not arouse my sympathy.

  • John||

    They are right up there with upper class white girls living on their parents' dime blogging in Jezebel about how hard they have it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "We have been socialized to believe black life is worth less."

    Could it be that decades of policies based on a fundamental assumption of black people's inability to succeed without government assistance may have something to do with this?

  • John||

    Or maybe fifty years of being preached at about how horrible they are and how they owe black people a duty might cause some resentment among white people?

  • ||

    Or maybe fifty years of being preached at about how horrible they are and how they owe black people a duty might cause some resentment among white people?

    This.

    All my life, I have been proud to claim that I didn't have a racist bone in my body. I will now admit a real resentment to those who believe they are owed something more by virtue of their skin color.

    These media idiots, who claim to be defenders of the abused, are the ones PROMOTING racism.

    I refuse to be guilted into giving one group more rights than another. Not playin that game anymore. Equal rights. You bet. That means EVERYBODY has EQUAL protection under the law.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    “This is what it looks like when government is small enough to drown if your bathtub and it is not a pretty picture,” she said.

    This is what it looks like when municipal government is distilled to the purest essence of corruption and incompetence.

  • robc||

    My city of 5k people has a MUCH tinier government than Detroit has.

    And much, much more competent.

    When you can walk 2 blocks to the city hall, interrupt the mayor and bitch at him for not doing his job, you get stuff done.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The metropolitan area that I live in (which is itself part of the LA CSA) has a population 5 times the size of Detroit and consists of a patchwork of cities in the 100,000 -300,000 range.

    None of which imposes an income tax and all combined, despite the assumed inefficiency of the administration being handled by dozens of incorporated cities; has lower per capita spending and debt levels; much lower crime rates and much higher levels of economic activity.

    But yeah, obviously Detroit's problem is too small of a municipal government.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Because nothing says small government like an income tax.

    It's important to remember that this retard is a tenured university professor.

  • Finrod||

    Those two items in your last sentence correlate disturbingly often.

  • Hyperion||

    Did the 16.9 trillion dollar debt go down the bathtub drain along with the tiny government that created it?

  • Hyperion||

    Talking fed here, not Detroit, but same point in different sized perspective. Going broke is still going broke because the government is too big, not too small. She's a loon.

  • John||

    Hearing idiotic and totally counter factual shit like that reminds me of this quote describing the Communists when they ran Eastern Europe

    “Every public holiday became an occasion for teaching,” Applebaum writes, “and every organization, from the Konsum food cooperative in Germany to the Chopin Society in Poland, became a vehicle for the distribution of communist propaganda.” Today it seems almost comic to read of an East German communist cultural bureaucrat saying, “If you look at Goethe’s work, you can see that he always worked toward dialectical materialism, without realizing it.” It did not seem comic then. This was a society in which everything had to yield before the state’s definition of reality. “We need support by our satirical press in the republic,” a member of the German Central Committee explained when the government shut down a mild humor magazine.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/art.....nist-rule#

  • Killazontherun||

    Goethe was a classical liberal par excellence in his political essays. False consciences are only for the lumpenproletariat; Goethe as a legendary writer was someone useful to them, so instead of being a victim of social constructs that favored the capitalist class like the commoners he was part of the process of dialectical materialism. No, no class prejudice to see here from the communist.

  • Mike M.||

    I can 't wait to hear what Paul Krugscum has to say about Detroit (so far not a word). It ought to be pretty damn entertaining!

  • Fluffy||

    To be consistent with his work on Greece, Cyprus and Spain, Krugman will need to say that the real problem is that Detroit did not have control of its currency, and needed to be able to just print dollars to pay off its debts.

    Because providing government services that you can't possibly pay for is rendered A-OK if you just debase your currency when the bills come do. That has always worked great, all through history. It's only evil Teathuglicans who stopped Detroit from saving itself by issuing special DetroitDollars and forcing everyone to accept them on as the equivalent of real dollars.

  • Fluffy||

    Ack - come "due".

    Holy fuck.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I'm pretty sure his advice will amount to this.

  • Ted S.||

    Why is a white guy driving that car? That's RACIST!!111!!!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That's an astute observation. Because if it was a black guy, all the right people would cry racism for real, and the cartoonist could be in deep shit.

  • Irish||

    I can 't wait to hear what Paul Krugscum has to say about Detroit (so far not a word). It ought to be pretty damn entertaining!


    8 cities and localities have now declared bankruptcy. They are as follows:

    -- City of Detroit
    -- City of San Bernardino, Calif.
    -- Town of Mammoth Lakes, Calf. (Dismissed)
    -- City of Stockton, Calif.
    -- Jefferson County, Ala.
    -- City of Harrisburg, Pa. (Dismissed)
    -- City of Central Falls, R.I.
    -- Boise County, Idaho (Dismissed)

    6 of them are left-wing areas. If Krugman hasn't talked about the 3 California towns and cities that have declared bankruptcy in the midst of his attempts to claim California's coming back, then I assume he's going to mention Detroit as little as possible.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    It should be pointed out that Boise County's filing was due to a $4M judgement in a Fair Housing Act lawsuit, rather than financial mismanagement.

    http://www.spokesman.com/blogs.....led-teens/

  • ||

    I think the fiscal conservatives need to take the initiative on Detroit. They need to show the clear correlation between failing shithole cities and progressive philosophy.

    If they sit on their thumbs, the left will find ways to make it look like the fault of fiscal conservatives and the sheep will buy it, destroying the opportunity.

    Time to attack.

  • John||

    They should. the story is so damning. Detroit was the second richest city in America in 1950 and the most powerful industrial city in history. Good God, it is just astounding what they did to the place.

  • Irish||

    The average black worker in Detroit was much wealthier than the average white worker nationwide.

    This was clearly a travesty, so the Democrats set to work fixing the problem.

  • General Butt Naked||

    C'mon Franny, they can't be bothered to fight a winnable fiscal fight when there's an abortion battle in Texas and dirty beaners infiltrating our society! Jesus man, get your head straight.

    You really do want the terrorist to win, don't you?

  • Acosmist||

    Because immigration has nothing to do with socialism. Libertarianism is a suicide pact.

  • PH2050||

    I'm thinking that Detroit has plenty of broken windows for him. He should be happy.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Well, get it over with and drown the damn thing.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Just before I changed the channel, some woman was bitching about the astronomical unemployment rate in the black community. I wonder if she is even capable of identifying a causal relationship between local business regulation in cities like Detroit and Cleveland and that black unemployment rate.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    All that talk about racism, but Ray Kelly's name was never mentioned.

  • John||

    I am thinking if Obama were young and in NYC today, he would definitely be stop and frisked and would likely end up with a criminal record thanks to the choom gang.

  • ||

    Though nowhere is it hot enough to fry an egg on the ground, it sure felt like it across much of the country this week. No doubt many folks have sought and found cold solace in beer.
  • John Galt||

    Purchased a full case and a half stubby brown bottles of traditional American style lagers. Plenty of food in the cupboards. Sufficient quantities of ice cold beer. No need to go anywhere this weekend. Not unless I'm discovered by the thirsty beerless masses. Shhh!

  • Killazontherun||

    Picked up a six pack of a Belgium blonde I have not tried before, Leffe. Though not in my top twenty, not bad. The lingering esters are complex in taste and not overly acerbic. I would definitely get another pack at this price (7.99 USD).

  • Zeb||

    I like Leffe a lot. They also have a brown, though I'm not sure if I have seen it in the US, which I think I like better..

  • Killazontherun||

    I just put the fourth down, it's definitely growing on me.

  • Robert||

    I was scrolling up and initially read that as, "I just punt the fourth down...."

  • John Galt||

    Never tried it. It may take a long while, if ever, it gets to my state. This one still laments the loss of prohibition as the greatest times ever.

  • John Galt||

    A "Leffe" aka a Left-handed Hefeweizen.

    Summer is great for wheat beers given their natural citrus-like flavors.

    Drinking Full Sail's Session beers, today. Nothing like a classic American lager 24/7/365.

  • Killazontherun||

    It's never too long ago to extend a law that was repealed forty years ago for the purpose of FYTW.

    http://rt.com/usa/gold-coins-p.....amily-626/

    A federal judge has upheld a verdict that strips a Pennsylvania family of their grandfather’s gold coins — worth an estimated $80 million — and has ordered ownership transferred to the US government.

    Judge Legrome Davis of the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a 2011 jury decision that a box of 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle coins discovered by the family of Israel Switt, a deceased dealer and collector, is the property of the United States.

    In the midst of the Great Depression, then-President Franklin Roosevelt ordered that America’s supply of double eagles manufactured at the Philadelphia Mint be destroyed and melted into gold bars. Of the 445,500 or so coins created, though, some managed to escape the kiln and ended up into the hands of collectors. In 2003, Switt’s family opened a safe deposit back that their grandfather kept, revealing 10 coins that turned out to be among the world’s most valuable collectables in the currency realm today.

  • Killazontherun||

    BTW, those leftards who think FDR's program of taking the capital out of capitalism didn't extend the Great Depression by many years are smoking something from beneath the kitchen sink.

  • Jordan||

    If I was that family, I'd dump those coins in the ocean.

  • Killazontherun||

    I would never have reported them. A trip to the Caymans would have been in order and well worth the cost.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    DOOM

    Indeed, a major significance of Detroit’s bankruptcy is that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, and the legislature, dominated by rural and suburban lawmakers, refused to lend a helping hand. Following in Gov. Walker’s footsteps, Mr. Snyder signed a 2012 law giving municipalities more autonomy and power in rewriting union pension and benefit deals.

    "Detroit getting into trouble? Not a surprise. State of Michigan not coming to help? It is a big surprise, and I think I am not the only one to say that," Richard Larkin, director of credit analysis at HJ Sims, tells Reuters.

    The State of Michigan threw Detroit to the wolves. They never did anything for them.

    Jennifer Granholm's take on this might be fun.

  • Irish||

    Why should the rest of the state be required to foot the bill because Detroit is overpaying its municipal workers?

  • Killazontherun||

    From the prezzy at yesterday's conference.

    There are very few African-American men in this country who have not had the experience of being followed when they are shopping at a department store. That includes me.

    There are very few men, period, including myself, who in their teens, did not catch the unwanted attention of in-house security and did so often, likely quite a bit more often than some prep school darling like yourself. If you were not so narcissistic and thin skinned you would know that.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I'm sure almost every young man in this country has been given the hairy eyeball by cops, clerks, and security guards, and I remember in-house security shadowing my friends more than once.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That should be "me and my friends."

  • Zeb||

    That was my first thought as well. I think that is something that all young men experience.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Collectivists, collectivising

    But the main reason to challenge these laws is that they reverse the course of history. The rise of civilization has relied in large part on humans handing over the control and use of violence for protection and defense to the government. Societies built on moral codes that tell individuals “thou shall not kill” have proved to be more long-lasting. At a deeper level, they reflect an expanding respect for life, not just for family or nation, but for all.

    Stand-your-ground laws give too much authority back to individuals to decide the places or circumstances in which they can use violence. Many people have only a vague understanding of the laws’ legal distinctions or are able to assess the probability of harm being done to them. Other people may purposely kill off a harmless opponent, claiming a threat was imminent and with little risk of being charged.

    “When you make it easier for people to use deadly force, you get more of it,” said Mark Hoekstra, an associate professor of economics at Texas A&M University and the lead author of the 2012 study, which found these laws cause an additional 500 to 700 homicides each year.

  • Virginian||

    2011 had 14,612 homicides. The last time there were that few total homicides? 1968. Which of course was a time with a much lower population. 100 million fewer people, to be precise.

    Mark Hoekstra is a liar and a charlatan. Either that, or he doesn't actually know shit about crime and self defense.

  • Zeb||

    Maybe he neglected to mention all of the other homicides it prevented.

  • Virginian||

    Oh is this more of this magic "jobs created or saved" type bullshit?

    Like more Americans die in Chicago then in Afghanistan but it would be much much much worse if it weren't strict gun control. Because leftists say so.

  • PH2050||

    Not ONE of these fucks has shown any definite correlation between *legal* gun ownership and gun violence.

    Instead, they just subscribe to magic government powers making all guns disappear.

    I'm ashamed I ever believed these people for one second.

  • Irish||

    “When you make it easier for people to use deadly force, you get more of it,” said Mark Hoekstra, an associate professor of economics at Texas A&M University and the lead author of the 2012 study, which found these laws cause an additional 500 to 700 homicides each year.

    This is also ridiculous because it doesn't say if those homicides are justified. If I protect myself with deadly force, that counts as a homicide but I clearly had the right to do so.

  • William of Purple||

    George Zimmerman's brother says Obama's Friday statement "is reinforcing much of the mythology surrounding the case

  • William of Purple||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I tuned out at the part about Obama being a communist who wasn't born in this country.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    More-

    The popularity of the laws reflects growing distrust or lack of faith in government. “Lynchings, riots, civil disobedience and vigilantism are all expressions of individual or collective action that reject both legal norms and the authority of state actors,” writes Columbia University law professor Jeffrey Fagan. If that is the case, then America’s political system needs urgent repair.

    What could possibly have eroded Americans' trust and faith in their government?

    It's BAFFLING.

  • Irish||

    Societies built on moral codes that tell individuals “thou shall not kill murder” have proved to be more long-lasting.

    The Roman Empire lasted 1000 years. The Byzantine Empire lasted another thousand. That's 2000 years of rule by nations that descended from Romulus. I challenge this writer to convince me that Byzantium and Rome didn't allow lethal means of self-defense.

    That seems to show that the argument that nations that force you to cede your right of self-defense to the government are longer lasting is untrue.

  • Irish||

    ^This was supposed to be to P Brooks. His anti-threading disease seems to be spreading.

  • John||

    See, Hamarabi's Code and the Old Testament. No civilization I know denies the right of self defense.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Judge Legrome Davis of the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a 2011 jury decision that a box of 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagle coins discovered by the family of Israel Switt, a deceased dealer and collector, is the property of the United States.

    Take THAT, dead Jew hoarder!

  • Robert||

    Where do you keep all those dead Jews?

  • Slammer||

    I saw a statistic where it cost the city of Detroit $62 in administrative fees just to cut a check.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What specific crime was Mister Switt alleged to have committed in regard to his Double Eagles? He apparently acquired them legally, but declined to hand them in; that's not the same as robbing the Mint at gunpoint.
    Isn't there a statute of limitations applicable?

  • John||

    It is analogous to finding a bottle of cognac your grand parents bought and smuggled into the country during prohibition and the government demanding you turn it over.

  • ||

    I gotta give you props in that your analogies are ACTUAL analogies and make sense from a legal standpoint. That's refreshing, especially here. As a long time poster at volokh.com, it's refreshing to have somebody here who understands both case law and legal concepts, even if I might disagree with you on some stuff. Very refreshing

  • John||

    Thank you. I am pretty sure it is legal to own those. So it was contraband in 1933 or whatever but isn't now, just like Cognac.

  • ||

    I am assuming it was contraband because of the means (smuggling) used to acquire it?

    Because prohibition didn't outlaw the POSSESSION of cognac, merely the distribution/sale/manufacture of same.

    So mere possession of cognac wouldn't have violated the laws during prohibition, but of course since THAT cognac was smuggled, I guess that would be why it's contraband.

  • John||

    It outlawed ownership. Everyone had to turn in their gold coins. It was illegal to have one.

  • ||

    Right. That's my point. In that way, it was different than prohibition since prohibition allowed ownership of alcohol.

  • VG Zaytsev||

  • Killazontherun||

    Also, the law was stricken from the books in 1972. No matter what the shithead Dunphy said, given it was stricken, there is no law to be enforced here.

  • ||

    smooches

  • DK||

    Oh, but by not turning them in, he deliberately increased the value of those coins. It would only be fair if the government redistributed that ill-gotten wealth to the numerous law-abiding citizens and their heirs. But, darn the luck, the government didn't keep those records.

  • ||

    The anti-self defense brigade can wank all they want. This country has a long tradition of respecting/supporting people's right to self defense and it aint changing.

    The burden SHOULD be on the state to disprove self defense. Sure, that means some guilty go free, and yes that includes cops, but that's how our system is supposed to work- better some guilty go free than innocents convicted.

    If man doesn't have the right to basic self defense, he is not a free citizen and the other rights in the bill of rights are diminished. Ultimately, the right to self defense includes a right to defense against tyrannical govt.

  • ||

    "We have been socialized to believe black life is worth less."

    Not really. But criminals have enforced that reality, since black on black crime is rampant and a black male is FAR more likely to be a victim of violent crime, to include murder, robbery, etc. than a white male.

    It is criminals that have made black lives so expendable, and states that don't allow concealed carry are disproportionately harming blacks, since they are much more likely to need the right and the MEANS to self defense than whites.

    States that do not support the RKBA are diminishing the worth of black lives disproportionately to white lives.

    Even if every cop shooting of a black man was UNjustified (and of course an overwhelming majority are justified and thank the courts and prosecutors for recognizing that), the # of blacks killed by the state are a drop in the bucket compared to those killed by criminals in street violence. Those states that don't allow average joes to carry a gun are leaving black men in those states with no means to defend themselves and their loved ones.

  • John||

    Yes. And since black people are much more likely to be the victims of violence, they most benefit from liberal self defense claims. Claiming self defense is racist is really insane.

  • Virginian||

    I blame TV. If a show like Law and Order was a realistic, about half the episodes would be Ice Dog shooting Ray Ray because Ray Ray took a kilo on credit and didn't pay him back once it was sold.

    Most of the rest would be stupid arguments escalating for no good reason, probably fueled by booze or drugs. Only about 5% or so would be some elaborate plot or cover up.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    According to Law and Order, most crimes are committed by creepy priests. Or the priest knows who did it but won't say. Or the killer was once molested by a priest.

    Or by BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH! when he was Pres.

  • ||

    The prosecutor in Law and order (especially the one played by the Ameritrade guy) is the WORST kind of liberal who works as a prosecutor. Half the episodes are him twisting the law so as to fit it into a crime that didn't happen.

    I call it "Jack McCoy'ism" where the law is just a tool to be subverted because the end justifies the means. He has no respect for rule of law (really), and his character just cares about WINNING, principles be damned.

    I know many people here think prosecutors are evil, but ime prosecutors and defense attorneys are both on average, pretty good people doing difficult jobs. I've really grown to like and admire many of the prosecutors and defense attorneys I work with. One defense attorney even said if I ever want to work as a defense investigator, I got a job with her. Former cops make great defense investigators because we know how to read between the lines in police reports and where to look for holes in cases.

  • John||

    He is the worst. But sadly typical. Total, Nancy Grace, they must be guilty of something or justice is not done type.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yeah, I'd say that Jack McCoy is a pretty accurate representation of prosecutors.

    The original prosecutor on that show played by Michael Moriarty was an example of the tortured liberal that wanted to blame society for criminals and bent over backwards to protect civil liberties. Never met a prosecutor like that but I heard that they actually existed in the 70s and early 80s.

  • ||

    I love Law and Order (the original), although it's really formulaic. That's part of its charm, but I totally agree. It's very PC in the regards of the kinds of cases/crimes it represents. Most murders are boring. They aren't whodunits. They are "we pretty much know whodunit but can we PROVE it".

    The formula is very comforting, as this video shows

    You dont' even need dialogue.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfWnITmT1Ws

    btw, one of the officers I work with, is a former homicide detective (15 yrs in homicide division) and her skillz are amazing. Specifically, interview and interrogation.

  • William of Purple||

    L&O was all about pinning it on the wealthy elites.

  • Zeb||

    The problem with complaining that TV isn't realistic is that reality is for the most part pretty boring. A cop show about what cops really do most of the time would probably be incredibly boring.

  • Finrod||

    I recall actual cops being asked which cop show was closer to reality: Hill Street Blues or Barney Miller. To a man, all of them answered Barney Miller.

  • ||

    Oh totally. The "attitude" the cops have on Barney Miller is total real cop-like. My grandfather (Captain NYPD) liked that show.

  • John||

    Yes. Most criminals are stupid. And most crimes are totally pointless and self destructive to all involved.

  • ||

    Exactly. I'm kind of impressed with one of our local burglary crews, because they are not COMPLETE morons - like most criminals.

    They wear gloves, they use off road motorcycles to commit their crimes (making pursuits virtually impossible and they keep their helmets on during the crime, making witness ID impossible), etc. One of them got caught by a homeowner at gunpoint a couple of weeks ago, but other than that, it's been a major bitch making a case against them because of their precautions. They also are careful about pawning stuff, since they figured out that we have computer databases to all the pawn shops (just like with al capone, following the money/swag is the best way to get chargeable cases, although we haven't got them for tax evasion)

  • John||

    True professionals only get caught by dumb luck. Most criminals are stupid. Look at Aaron Hernandez. If you are going to be a murderous thug, you might want to at least take some pride in your work and you know maybe not shoot someone who was last seen with you and leave the body a mile from your house.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If the were that smart, they might have steered away from crime in the first place. Except the really skilled organized criminals, of course, who do a rational if amoral calculation of the the costs and benefits of that lifestyle.

  • PH2050||

    My brother compiled a list of "The First 48" episodes where a homicide was related to petty shit like small amounts of money or cannabis.

    He ended up quitting this pet project because it was fucking depressing.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Where do you keep all those dead Jews?

    In the ashtray of my Volkswagen Porsche.

    duh

  • Ted S.||

    I kept mine with Helen Thomas. I don't know what I'm going to do with them now.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The parallels between South Park's Eric Cartman and Ambrose Bierce

    (unfortunately, it's one of those multiple-page lists)

    http://www.pastemagazine.com/b.....n-and.html

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement