New York vs. Consumer Choice, Part 3,492,238

I was strolling the bucolic, stroller-infested streets of Cobble Hill this weekend when I encountered a handmade cardboard sign hanging in the window of Scotto's Wine Cellar, a place I urge Brooklyn Reasonoids never to patronize. Here's why: The sign, consisting of ecstatic, loopy black-markered handwriting set against a neon green background, reads:

"To our valued customers, friends and local legislators: Thank You for your continued support in defeating the wine in grocery proposal. *Our success is due to you!*"

In New York, grocery stores can't sell wine. Winners: wine stores, up-market vintners, boutiques. Losers: consumers, the wine industry, and the economy of New York, to which $300 million would be added if Fairway or Trader Joe's had the right to sell one of the state's most successful agricultural products. The grocery store prohibition shelters a small number of apparently well-connected wine dealers at the expense of practically everyone else. As the above-quoted sign makes clear, the law restrains consumer choice (there's a Trader Joe's within a mile of Scotto's) by using the government to protect a handful of businesses from the ravages of the free market.

When the wine-in-groceries proposal was floated a few months ago, Scotto's and the rest of the wine store lobby did everything it could to shoot it down. And apparently this is the best argument they could come up with for why certain legit businesses shouldn't be allowed to sell a legal product:

Michael McKeon, a spokesman for the Last Store on Main Street, a coalition of businesses, wineries and other groups opposing the governor's proposal, said the sale of wine in grocery stores would not only have an adverse affect on storeowners, but it would increase underage drinking by making wine more available to youths at gas stations and bodegas.

The next time I walk past Scotto's—on my way to another, better wine store nearby—I hope to see another sign telling me more about the dangers the product they sell poses to local "youths."

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  • ||

    Armin, you might be disappointed to find a nicer sign but with the same message at that other better wine store. Don't take the attutude of liquor store owners personally.

  • ||

    The next time I walk past Scotto's—on my way to another, better wine store nearby—I hope to see another sign telling me more about the dangers the product they sell poses to local "youths."

    "Notice of Landlord Distraint" would be better.

    "Notice of Closure Due to Violation of Regulation 1125(89)(B)(vii)" would be ironically satisfying as well.
  • ||

    damn HTML tags.

  • ||

    A "bodega?" Do yutes normally hang out is places with as stupid a name as a "bodega?"

  • Smooth_L||

    I don't think ol' Scotto spelled "legislators" properly, but you bailed him out on it anyway.

  • Astrid||

    Yes, "Legislatures[sic]" would have been much better than correcting the error.

  • ||

    I remember when New York started to allow booze sales on Sunday (you still had to be closed one day of the week, but could choose which), and there was resistance to even that.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Yeah, down heah in Vahjinyah we-all have a bit of a brouhaha ouwahselves regahding the state regulation of the sale of likkah.

    In Virginia, you can get beer and wine at the grocery store. But the state itself has a monopoly on the sale of hard stuff.

    Governor McDonnell said during his campaign he would privatize liquor stores by selling off licenses and shutting down the state system, and use the one-time hit of revenue generated from the license sales to fund our much-needed transportation repairs.

    He's facing a lot of opposition from a couple different quarters. Problem is, they so far have not been able to come up with anything resemling a coherent, rational or - more importantly - convincing argument why it's such a horrible idea.

    One state senator wrote that if we allowed mom and pop stores to sell liquor, there would be a liquor store on every corner, including ones near schools and ballfields, where our chilluns would be tempted!!

    I wrote him a note to point out that there is a Virginia ABC store about 2 miles from my house, located directly across the street from an elementary school and a county park that has a ballfield in it. To my never-ending surprise, I received no reply.

  • ||

    I wrote him a note to point out that there is a Virginia ABC store about 2 miles from my house, located directly across the street from an elementary school and a county park that has a ballfield in it. To my never-ending surprise, I received no reply.

    Apparently, it's the "mom and pop" part that riles him up, not the liquor...

  • Edwin||

    libertarians love to nitpick about every little government intrusion, and this would seemingly be one instance, this is issue can actually be pretty annoying - If I'm shopping for all my ingredients for cooking, I may need to buy some wine, too. It's annoying if I have to go to another store.

  • Warty||

    "Seemingly"? Way to take a stand there, Nancy.

  • Edwin||

    I meant to say "this would seemingly be one instance, BUT this issue..."

    sorry for the confusion

  • ||

    Warty, I was calling people "Nancy" two days ago, and now you swoop in and take credit for it. I will laugh when you get the banhammer...

    MWAHAHAHAHa

  • SIV||

    I've been calling TAO/A_R "Nancy" for years

  • ||

    I was riffing off of some cuntface that was telling Warty that he stole other people's memes, and that they let him because he would be banned first...or something.

    Besides, it's Nancies all the fucking way down, man.

  • Piss Arch||

    Nancy trolls are Nancies.

  • Warty||

    Yeah, I'm still confused about all that.

  • SIV||

    Does this all go back to the litigious sheepfucking aviation lawyer fallout?

  • Warty||

    Yep. Read the proxy thread from Friday (I think), if you dare.

  • Warty||

    But, for all his baffling wharrgarbling, he did leave us with some wisdom.

    Belicose@Bradenberg|9.25.10 @ 8:19PM|#
    Wikipedia Entry 2020: Hit'n'Run, a failed Turing Test where the bots were left wondering if the human responses were sentient.

  • DG||

    At least it's not PA where there is one store for beer and another, different store for liquor and wine. What a pain in the ass.

  • albo||

    You forgot to add a third store--a local tavern if you only want a six pack, not a full case or keg of beer, which are the only lots you can buy at a beer distributer.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    What the fuck kind of horseshit is that?

    He in KY, we have a href="http://www.liquorbarn.com/">Liquor Barn which sells every sort of liquor you've ever heard of, and probably 3x more that you haven't.

    For those who enjoy drinking (I'm not one of those), Liquor Barn is your friend.

  • Jason||

    No Kindl beer.

  • ||

    Re-posting for relevancy from the locovore thread...

    JW|9.27.10 @ 12:29PM|#

    On a related note, someone linked to me a survey that the MD state gummint is conducting on ordering wine over the Internet (on surveymoney no less. How modern!)

    They are asking quesitons about how many wine festivals you attend in-state and out, how much you spend on wine at festivals, how many bottle you buy, if it's the same price online and in a store, where do you buy it?

    How is any of this the state's business and how is it relevant to whether or not I should enjoy a basic liberty? Are my free speech rights dependent on how many magazines I read a month?

    I didn't bother finishing it, because it was absurdly lengthy and was a fairly obvious proxy for the in-state middlemen who stand to lose from this revolutionary and dangerous idea of ordering things online.

    http://www.comp.state.md.us/co.....survey.asp

  • albo||

    PA's laws make NY look like a night at Lindsay Lohan's house.

    "Protect the teens" is one of the reasons state liquor store supporters always use. Yep, I remember when I was a kid--we were always on the lookout for a nice Cotes du Rhone we could pass around behind the roller rink on Friday night.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Did you know, in PA, hard cider is exempt from liquor tax?

    I live in South Jersey. We get a steady flow of PA residents from Philly and the Main Line at our liquor stores. PA started stationing unmarked PA State Police in NJ to follow people with PA tags that were at a NJ liquor store, back into PA and pull them over. That usually happens right around the holidays.

  • albo||

    Did you know, in PA, hard cider is exempt from liquor tax?

    I see it at beer stores, so I'm assuming it's classified as a malt and brewed beverage and thus subject to the sales tax.

    If it were in state liquor stores, it would also have the 18 percent johnstown flood tax of 1936 added.

  • DG||

    The guy who owns the beer distributor I go to told me a story about a customer from WV who came up to PA to get beer, and on the way back home, he got a flat tire. While he was fixing the flat, a state trooper stopped to help him and saw the beer in the back of his truck. The customer ended up getting over a $1,000 fine.

  • Libertarian||

    It's illegal to bring liquor into PA? What does THAT law look like? I used to bitch about Florida laws until I was informed about PA and NY and others. Our beer variety stunk. Beer could be sold only in 8, 12, 16, 32 ounce and maybe a couple other sizes. That meant no wonderful microbrews in 22 oz bottles. (gee, I wonder who was behind THOSE rules (hint, Busch has 2 plants in the state). Good news, though, the law was abolished several years ago. Now I bitch that only microbreweries, not brewpubs, can sell you a growler to take home.

  • ||

    Yep albo, I remember hearing that malarkey when they were deciding whether to let Giant Eagle sell beer.

    Also, I think the only people supporting the existing situation are the liquor store employee's union. I've been here a while and have never heard anyone extolling the virtues of our state run system of liquor sales.

  • albo||

    Yep, the unions have locked in the state legislature--privatization is a union litmus test vote, so all the Democrats vote no.

    Combine that with a couple dozen temperance Republicans, and for the forseeable future the PA liquor system will remain the most prominent bastion of communism north of Key West. (The Harvard humanities faculty not included.)

  • ||

    After I made that post I googled some statewide polls on this issue, and the split is ~60/40% for privatization.

    Which is good, but who the hell are the 40%? Mennonites, the Amish? They always seemed like 'live and let live' types to me.

  • Libertarian||

    Exactly. I see similar polls about other issues. You wonder why some view points are in the double digits at all. It's head-shaking.

  • ||

    In the Virginia debate, I've seen some liberal bloggers claim that "I'm no socialist and I'm in favor of the free market, but it doesn't make sense for the state government to give up all that profit it can make from running those stores, they'd have to replace the tax revenue somehow."

  • creech||

    Peasant! We would order the latest cab from some California boutique winery and wait two weeks for it to arrive so we could drink it behind the 17th green at Merion.

  • ||

    The next time I walk past Scotto's—on my way to another, better wine store nearby

    How do you know this store isn't rent-seeking scum as Scotto's is?

  • ||

    The other store may be rent-seeking scum, but at least they don't advertise the fact.

    How gauche.

  • ||

    Winners: wine stores, up-market vintners, boutiques.

    I call bullshit on the boutiques. You really think their sales would have gone down if people could pick up a bottle of Yellowtail at the grocery store?

  • ||

    Yes. specialty grocery stores carry some very high end wines in states where they can.

  • albo||

    Hey, a Wegman's in PA has a wine "kiosk." Google it.

    It's a true government Frankenstein--an automatic vending machine that still requires a government employee to interact with you live.

  • ||

    PA is gradually getting more liberal with their liquor laws. Having lived in PA most of the time, and with 3 Wines&Spirits; within 2 miles of my house along with 3 beer distributors I just don't see the horror of the current system.

    I hate rent-seeking protectionist bullshit, but the state run Wine&Spirits; is a far cry from the DMV.

  • ||

    oh and I've been to that Wegmans, Brthlehem PA? It was very nicely done though they have posted limits on how much you may buy at a time.

  • ||

    nit-pick: do tell, what is bucolic about a neighborhood, albeit an upscale one, in the middle of Brooklyn?

  • ||

    Typo. Meant to write "Bubonic."

  • CatoTheElder||

    Even Texas, the buckle of the Bible belt where Baptists preach against the evil of strong drink, allows grocery stores to sell wine.

    If fundamentalist Baptists can tolerate it, why can't nanny-statists allow a grocery store to sell wine? Maybe it's worth recalling that Prohibition was a major issue on the Progressive agenda in the early 20th Century.

  • ||

    I don't think anybody poses it as a matter of morality. In Colorado last year (or maybe the year before) there was a proposal to allow grocery stores to sell full-strength beer (at the time they could only sell 3.2) and the Colorado Brewers Guild strongly opposed it on the grounds that liquor stores would go out of business. Of course anybody with a brain realized that grocery stores were going to stock macro lagers and a few choice craft beers but you'd still have to go to a liquor store to have a quality choice of beer. It's economic protectionism pure and simple, and opponents simply paint it as a matter of preserving consumer choice and service (just like the wine store above did).

  • ||

    I don't think anybody poses it as a matter of morality.

    Did you miss the part about "for the CHILDREN!1!"?

  • ||

    I think Club just assumed we all knew that argument to be total absolute bullshit which the thieves resort to when they exhaust their protectionist bullshit.

  • ||

    To be honest, I actually jumped the gun and posted my comment before getting to the second block quote. I can't believe they actually made that argument. If it was ever made in the course of debate in Colorado, it at least never garnered enough attention to make it into the papers.

  • albo||

    If fundamentalist Baptists can tolerate it, why can't nanny-statists allow a grocery store to sell wine?

    Ridiculous liquor laws created the industries that now depend on government to keep them alive and protect them from competition.

    Example: In PA, it's the taverns we're always protecting. That's why only they can sell six-packs of beer, and bills have even been proposed to give them gambling.

    It's because their business has been killed by DUI and anti-smoking laws. Which, ironically, were enacted by the legislature--the same legislature that is now expected to save the taverns. It's insane.

  • ||

    "The grocery store prohibition shelters a small number of apparently well-connected wine dealers at the expense of practically everyone else." But this is the role government plays in our society. It exploits some people for the benefit of others. I have no idea why lefties (and righties) can't see that.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    The key word, I think, is "bodegas."

  • creech||

    Something tells me the "spokesman" would not be mollified if the legislature offered to quintuple the penalty for selling to minors, if that's what it takes to permit grocery stores to sell wine.

  • Baby Bimbo||


    In New York, grocery stores can't sell wine. Winners: wine stores, up-market vintners, boutiques. Losers: consumers, the wine industry, and the economy of New York, to which $300 million would be added if Fairway or Trader Joe's had the right to sell one of the state's most successful agricultural products. The grocery store prohibition shelters a small number of apparently well-connected wine dealers at the expense of practically everyone else. As the above-quoted sign makes clear, the law restrains consumer choice (there's a Trader Joe's within a mile of Scotto's) by using the government to protect a handful of businesses from the ravages of the free market.

    I'm actually happy to see the 'little-guy' for a change win over the 'Walmarts'.

    I guess the 'Free-Market' people feel that it is OK if all small business shops close down and we only have a Walmart for our grocery, shoes, prescriptions, clothes, and maybe even wine.

    Call me crazy or stupid but I don't think it's a free market when the WALMARTs run mom/pops out of business.

  • ||

    Dumbass.

  • ||

    Crazy or stupid dumbass.

  • ||

    That, or low grade trolling? It's a little too pitch-perfect otherwise.

  • ||

    You know what? Fuck you guys. Why do your market principles force you on to your knees at the Almighty Walmart? Can't you ever root for the little guy?

    Protectionist bullshit and rent-seeking are sucky, deplorable tactics made possible by too much government. The problem is the face of the anti-walmart crowd is pure stupid disconnected from reality drivel.

    Ugh, unless you live in an incredibly rural area there is NO chance that a Walmart will ever have a monopoly on all your consumer needs unless the government mandates it.

  • ||

    The "little guys" aren't entitled to special treatment. If they want to stay in business, they have to learn to compete with places like Wal Mart. That being said, I usually buy wine from the local store on my block. They can't compete on price, but they have an excellent selection and the staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeble. The excellent customer service makes it worthwile for me to spend a little more than I might at a large wholesaler.

  • ||

    Call me crazy or stupid

    Don't mind if I do.

    What are you, crazy? Or just plain stupid?

  • Ted S.||

    I would have said both.

  • ||

    Call me crazy or stupid

    I'll pick stupid. You don't seem fun enough for crazy.

    Really, you know why mom & pop's go out of business?

    It is because they suck, no one wants to go to a store that doesn't stock what you want or need, and charges more for the stuff they do have.

    Also, driving around town to 20 different stores burns a lot of gas= more money down the pisser.

    Where do you shop, Bimbo?

  • Baby Bimbo||

    What you say about mom-pops is absolutely true. They do suck.

    And I'd shop at Walmart if it were close.

  • ||

    You fucking got me...TWICE!

    I need to learn to be less reactionary.

  • Nephilium||

    Damn... then the little beer and wine shops I go to to pick up most of my beer should have been run out of business years ago. I mean... WalMart, Target, gas stations, AND grocery stores sell beer and wine here in Ohio.

  • ||

    Interesting. Ohio is generally a nightmare of regulations, but their liquor laws make sense. Never woulda guessed.

  • Nephilium||

    Not all of them... 40 proof or less can be sold at the grocery stores and such... 41 proof up to 151 can only be sold in licensed liquor stores (which can be inside a grocery store). Beer can only go up to 13% ABV. Compared to some of the insanity in other states... I think I can live with the confusing and mild insanity regarding alcohol here in Ohio.

  • Libertarian||

    Just for the record (as if anyone cares) I'm a red-blooded libertarian who knows that the free market is best, and I would never be in favor of using government to restrict Wal-mart. However, I HATE Wal-Mart, and I do not shop there, for reasons that are irrelevant in a libertarian discussion of free markets. (a parallel would be that I'm against anti-smoking laws, but you'd have to put a gun to my head to get me to smoke).

  • Apogee||

    I HATE Wal-Mart, and I do not shop there, for reasons that are irrelevant in a libertarian discussion of free markets.

    I'd argue that it's absolutely relevant.

    I shop many places for many reasons. A free market means that you are free to choose where to shop, as well as where not to shop.

    It's a common mistake of central planners to assume that everyone draws value in inverse proportion to price.

    If this were true, there'd be no Apple, inc., as well as many other high end brands. The survival of those brands, despite market share, has to do with the unpredictable and varied responses of individuals in the market making their own choices.

    Central planners have simplistic (and incorrect) assumptions about the free market, and embarrassingly broadcast that ignorance whenever they give reasons for the necessity of regulation that will favor or discourage a certain business.

  • Jason||

    If this were true, there'd be no Apple, inc., as well as many other high end brands.

    I like to throw back at them how the store brands haven't killed off Coke or Pepsi.

  • Libertarian||

    And I'd argue that it is NOT relevant, any more than my dislike of cigarettes is relevant to my libertarian view of government intervention.

  • Some Dork||

    Wal-Mart phobia is just ridiculous. I wonder sometimes if it's because Wal-Mart grew up in the middle of the country. They didn't start opening stores in the Northeast and West Coast until the 1990s, at which point they were already a behemoth, and it took the country's elite by surprise, and they've been panicking about it ever since.
    Here in Oklahoma, Wal-Mart has been around since I was a kid in the '70s. When a local Wal-Mart first appeared it did help drive some Mom-andPop businesses under, but not so many since Wal-Mart was a smaller store back then. And then each time the store expanded it drove some more small businesses away. But guess what? After a few years, new Mom-and-Pop stores would appear, and some of them would succeed. Today, after some three decades of Wal-Mart domination, there are more Mom-and-Pop stores in town than there ever were before. And they know how to compete against the giant Wal-Marts.
    The same thing will happen in other towns, too, if the local government doesn't do anything to screw up the situation. Just give it some time. It's how business works.

    And one day, of course, some enormous chain will rise up and drive many of the Wal-Marts out of business, just as Wal-Mart pushed out Kmart, which drove away many of the Sears stores, which had replaced the Woolworths.

  • ||

    If these fuckers were smart they'd let stores sell any wine any day of the fucking week, but grandfather themselves in some wholesale licenses. Also, make the newly licensed grocery stores buy from an "established" in-state wine wholesaler.

    That is how you fucking rent-seek.

  • ||

    That is Ike-banging-his-kindergarten-teacher style Ni-ice.

  • Ted S.||

    Eisenhower banged his kindergarten teacher? Ewww.

  • ||

    A. I should be a able to buy booze in any form, at any time of day, any day of the week, from anyone who desires to sell it to me.

    B. What is the problem people have with the word "bodega"? That's what they are called.

  • albo||

    B. What is the problem people have with the word "bodega"? That's what they are called.

    It's a NY thing, like NYers stand "on" line instead of "in" line. I don't think other places call small shops "bodegas."

  • ||

    No, I get that it's a NYC thing, that's where I picked it up. I just see people O_o-ing about the term all the time and think it's a little weird.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    This thread is the first time I've ever seen the term.

  • .||

    It's just the Spanish term for a small market, retardos.

  • Baby Bimbo||

    So then all you free market people will be OK with ONE bank brand and ONE store brand?

  • ||

    Moron.

  • ||

    Look Bimbo, in PA we have the opposite of a free market when it comes to liquor; state owned stores. They are all the same, and if you don't like shopping there, then you are shit out of luck.

    The only way there would be one brand of anything, and this is shown by history, is if there is massive government interference.

  • ||

    I like shopping there.

  • ||

    Although the staff is generally knowledgeable the sterile environment of the state store is not conducive for the perusal of libations, in this souse's humble opinion.

  • albo||

    You're right. Thanks to agressive advertising and consolidation and partnerships with major retailers like Wal-Mart, there's like, what, 3 national beer brewers left in the country? Choice is gone, man.

    Oh, sorry. I forgot the 1,500 craft brewers. Never mind

  • ||

    In Bimbo's defense, thanks to grocery stores selling booze in Illinois I have to walk a whole block and a half to get to an independent liquor store. If such privileges were rightly restricted to liquor stores, I would have at least one of my two next-door neighbors would be a liquor store, and that WOULD be pretty sweet...

  • ||

    Corporatus Paranodium Extremis. I'd seek professional help if i was you.

  • Baby Bimbo||

    So, is it ok if ONE company (let's use Walmart for example) is able to wipe out all of it's competition since it offers the best product at the cheapest price and is available pretty much everywhere?

  • ||

    Idiot.

  • Baby Bimbo||

    Name calling doesn't help. What is your point.

    I simply asked a general question from everyone. It's not a strawman question either. It's something that can and does happen (without government intervention).

  • ||

    Example?

  • ||

    (*crickets*)

  • ||

    That's right... Amalgamated Crickets. I totally forgot about that example. It's a shame how they drove CricketCo and Allied Insect out of business the way they did.

  • ||

    Yeah. I understand they're moving in on the Arachnid Octopoly as well.

  • Libertarian||

    It's true, Bimbo. Try to name a "monopoly" that got to be a monopoly without government help/interference.

  • ||

  • -||

    Baby Bimbo|9.27.10 @ 4:57PM|#
    "Name calling doesn't help. What is your point."

    Name-calling is the point here. Ask Episiarch.

  • Number 2||

    You know, it is funny when we hear a state such as New York tell us that the reason for their silly law is to protect against the alleged deleterious consequences of what they are prohibiting, without actually looking at the experience of other states in which the practice is legal to see if the feared consequences actually happen.

    NY claims to ban wine sales in grocery stores to keep the stuff out of the hands of minors. If that is so, one should be able to point to the epidemic of underage wine drinking in states that allow grocery-store sales, right? Wouldn't there be drunken kiddies all over Florida if grocery store wine sales were as dangerous as NY claims?

    Nah, let's not let facts get in the way...

    Similar to New Jersey being the only State in the country to ban self-serve gasoline. One justification offered for the ban is to prevent us consumers from pouring gasoline on ourselves and setting ourselves ablaze. Doesn't that happen every day in the other 49 states? No?? No matter. Nannies need no proof.

  • creech||

    48. Oregon has no self service either.
    I've had more overfills running down my car when filling in Jersey because the attendent was off smoozing with the chick in the car three pumps over.

  • Number 2||

    Creech,

    I thought Oregon repealed its ban 2-3 years ago.

  • ||

    "Nannies need no proof"

    Bullseye. Nail on the head.

    And the teethgrindingly aggravating thing...the nannies will never see the problem with that.

  • Libertarian||

    I think we're giving the opposition WAY too much credit. Nannies? More like rent-seekers who use nanny-like arguments for.......... that's right, money!

  • Ted S.||

    They're perverts.

    They get their rocks off doing shit like this.

  • ||

    @ Rosen and most of you ignorant shitheads: I love hearing all your sanctimonious and pious bullshit about free markets and consumer choice. I'd like to point out that these mom and pops did something that YOU never did, and couldn't do on a bet. They created their own business that supports their family and maybe even a few other part time and full time employees. They contribute to society instead of costing society like you probably do! Morons. Frankly I thijnk you deserve Wal-mart. Stop by on your way home from the unemployment office and the welfare department and get a bottle of two-buck-upchuck.

  • ||

    I know. I hate Walmart with their low prices, reasonable quality, good selection and pleasant stores. Who do they think they are

  • Number 2||

    Hey pal, I do not know where you come from, but in my neck of the woods, the Mom and Pop stores were gone long before Wal-Mart showed up. Unless you consider Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale's, Home Depot, Lowe's, Nordstrom's, etc., to be Mom and Pop operations. These are the stores that Wal-Mart took business from.

  • ||

    Nice non sequitur, since when does "liquor vendor" automatically equal "mom and pop" store?

    And there are far more "mom and pop" convenience groceries than "mom and pop" liquor stores.

    Nobody here questions the right of someone to run a business. It is simply that we do not say that anyone has a right to protection from competition.

    Your crack about Walmart 'two-buck-upchuck' actually points to the reason that specialty stores tend to flourish in an open economy: The big box, mass-market stores carry only those items that have the fast turnover, not the specialty items sought by those seeking more upscale merchandise.

    Also, if you are just looking for a good bottle of wine, are you going to want to go through the hassle of finding a parking space, fighting through the Walmart crowds, searching through their giant store and waiting in their lineups just for a two buck saving on Gran Cru de Snob? (Which they may not have at the moment.) Or are you going to go Adele's Winery, where you know it's in stock and can be in and out in three minutes?

  • ||

    I agree except that, if one indulgently reads eCONOMIST's (should one capitlize the s?) complaint, one must credit his observation that Wal-Mart has succuessfully used the state to loot billions from the taxpayers.

  • ||

    Don't forget the alt text!

  • ||

    Well, you can thank you state senator and assemblyperson for keeping wine out of grocery stores by voting them out in November. Remember, they raised your other taxes because they didn't want to take the license fees from the food stores who already sell beer and wanted to sell wine. And now the state will lose the annual excise and sales taxes from wine that would have been sold in food stores. Besides there's no evidence that any 'mom and pop' liquor store will go out of business just because wine is also sold in food stores. The Last Store on Main Street is a NYC PR firm. So much for mom and pop. Talk with your vote in November.

  • PostCop||

    Well, you can thank you state senator and assemblyperson for keeping wine out of grocery stores by voting them out in November.
    >Actually it was Silver and Smith that did that. No one else ever had a chance to vote. Why do you blame them?

    Remember, they raised your other taxes because they didn't want to take the license fees from the food stores who already sell beer and wanted to sell wine.
    >Actually, they wanted both. Did you ever see a politician that would turn down any revenue?

    And now the state will lose the annual excise and sales taxes from wine that would have been sold in food stores.
    > This is patently false. Excise tax revenue is exactly the same and sales tax is at least the same if not better. Remember, if grocery stores do sell the wine cheaper (which I doubt) then the sales tax collected would decrease.

    Besides there's no evidence that any 'mom and pop' liquor store will go out of business just because wine is also sold in food stores.

    > How can you say that with a straight face? Only a person with an ax to grind would say something as blatantly false as this. In an attempt at full disclosure you should identify yourself as part owner of one of a handful of farm wineries that supported the effort to put over 1000 family owned liquor stores out of business.

    The Last Store on Main Street is a NYC PR firm.
    > Actually it is a coalition of liquor store associations that banded together to exercise their right of free speech. Apparently they were heard and believed.

    So much for mom and pop. Talk with your vote in November.

    > You are deluded if you think your vote makes any difference on this or most other matters. If you really want to help then buy a bottle of New York wine from your local liquor store.

  • Sean Healy||

    Huh. In Ireland you can sell wine in grocery stores. I live in a town of a little more than 12k people. We have four wine-selling grocery stores. Yet a second specialist wine shop just opened up in town - in the middle of a devastating recession. We also have a high-end deli that has a limited wine selection. There is enough variety in wines (and snobbery in wine consumers) to support specialist stores. I can't imagine trendy Brooklyn is a whole lot different from Ireland in this respect.

  • Some Dork||

    Here in Oklahoma, wine is only available in liquor stores, or small amounts sold on premises by wineries (and that's only been legal for a few years now).

  • Floridian||

    The rest of the country seems to be really messed up.

  • ||

    I hope to see another sign

    The best sign would be "going out of business sale."

  • ||

    Dear PostCop!

    You, of all people, know that if our local legislators had banded together Silver and Smith would have had to consider wigs for revenue stream. Instead, upstate and downstate legislators kissed the rings of the "leaders."

    What's wrong with revenue to government? It pays for services New Yorkers want and need.

    Hello - if more wine is sold, which it would be if it was more convenient to buy - there would be more sales and excise taxes generated. That, you also know, is patently true ☺

    Where is the evidence that any liquor store will go out of business simply because wine is also sold in food stores?

    Almost every winery (not just a few) in NYS wants wine sold in food stores but have been blackmailed to keep quiet or lose store accounts - as actually happened to some wineries that publicly supported wigs.

    "Buy a bottle of NY wine from my local liquor store" - How? The majority of liquor stores in NYS don't carry even ONE bottle of NY wine. But Trader Joe's on 14th Street carries NY wine.

    Who cares who I am - or who you are? So what if I own a small winery and am in favor of all wines being sold in food stores?

    Making wine available to adults in food stores is good for the whole NYS economy, it benefits small and large liquor stores and all NY grape growers, it would help small food stores who need the margin to stay in business, and it provides consumer choice and convenience.

    NY wineries need a market to compete in - not the current monopoly that stifles them. If wine was sold in food stores that would boost tourism in the upstate NY, Hudson Valley, and Long Island wine regions and that would help the millions of mom and pop businesses who provide tourists with products and services.

    We have our points but you didn't make any positive ones.

  • ||

    Dear PostCop!

    You, of all people, know that if our local legislators had banded together Silver and Smith would have had to consider wigs for revenue stream. Instead, upstate and downstate legislators kissed the rings of the "leaders."

    What's wrong with revenue to government? It pays for services New Yorkers want and need.

    Hello - if more wine is sold, which it would be if it was more convenient to buy - there would be more sales and excise taxes generated. That, you also know, is patently true ☺

    Where is the evidence that any liquor store will go out of business simply because wine is also sold in food stores?

    Almost every winery (not just a few) in NYS wants wine sold in food stores but have been blackmailed to keep quiet or lose store accounts - as actually happened to some wineries that publicly supported wigs.

    "Buy a bottle of NY wine from my local liquor store" - How? The majority of liquor stores in NYS don't carry even ONE bottle of NY wine. But Trader Joe's on 14th Street carries NY wine.

    Who cares who I am - or who you are? So what if I own a small winery and am in favor of all wines being sold in food stores?

    Making wine available to adults in food stores is good for the whole NYS economy, it benefits small and large liquor stores and all NY grape growers, it would help small food stores who need the margin to stay in business, and it provides consumer choice and convenience.

    NY wineries need a market to compete in - not the current monopoly that stifles them. If wine was sold in food stores that would boost tourism in the upstate NY, Hudson Valley, and Long Island wine regions and that would help the millions of mom and pop businesses who provide tourists with products and services.

    We have our points but you didn't make any positive ones.

  • ||

    I love the mom and pop card. In upstate NY the mega liquor stores are putting the small guys out of business and they have convinced the ones that are struggling it is because of wine in grocery stores. Mmmm how come they are going out of business now? Well. The small store can’t buy at the same quantity the mega liquor store can. The larger the quantity the less you have to pay for it and these large mega liquor stores have huge warehouse spaces. But the small liquor stores don’t have any warehouse space so they can’t buy the quantities. So they buy it for the same price the mega liquor store is selling it. Then what about NY city? The most vocal anti-wigs' liquor store owners live in NJ or CT in million dollar homes. so they aren’t even paying NY taxes. Mmm the small guy is screwed again. But! Many of the small guys want to see wine in grocery stores because with those changes they will actually be able to gain more customers. They would then be able to sell gift baskets with coffee, glasses, corkscrew, etc and be able to charge for it and also charge a delivery fee. All of which they can’t do now. Who calls Wall Mart competition? That’s bullshit. If big was all about squashing the little guy how come there are so many little wineries who compete against the big wineries for the shelf space and consumer attention and survive. They actually have to work and think and plan their business. Wow I remember when they allowed Sunday sales. Boy did some liquor stores put up a stink. “I don’t want Sunday sales; I will have to work too hard.” Well working all the time is one of the joys of owning a small business. So buck it up and quit whining! You have to work to make a living.
    'Enterprising liquor store owners welcome fair' competition instead of this state sponsored corporate welfare system in the guise of free enterprise.

  • ||

    Actually, one of the big issues is it would force small wineries to devalue their products for the sake of selling to large outlets. Also it would force wholesalers to cut their staff significantly, adding to the unemployment of the city and force hundreds of wineshops to shutdown adding even more individuals to unemployment. PLus the pending wine shops that are awaiting licenses won't even get off the ground with that level of competition against them. It also impacts the personal service people have with their sommeliers as marketing will trump the intimate experience of finding the perfect wine.

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