Let Them Sell Bread and Flowers

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In an effort to rid a gentrifying neighborhood of smelly, unattractive drunks, Seattle officials have proposed a ban on cheap beer and wine. Convenience store owners—striving immigrants from South Korea and East Africa who may not fit the city's vision of the neighborhood anyway—object that the ban will cause them financial hardship, maybe even put them out of business. The city's response: We asked them to stop selling this stuff voluntarily, and they wouldn't; now we have to force them.

[Thanks to Jeff for the link.]

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  1. Yo, Jacob Sullum, how do you max and relax?

  2. I hope they (the nannytarians) remembered to use the one about, “They’re taking all the money out of the neighborhood” as if those dastardly Korean shop owners were somehow snatching people off the street and robbing them at gunpoint.

    If there could only be a union for convenience store owners…

  3. “If these grocery stores sold groceries, I would shop there. As it is I am all stocked up on cheap booze, cigarettes and lottery tickets,” said Kevin Boze, a Central Area resident for the past five years.

    What an arrogant piece of shit posing as a man. Maybe I should lobby to force the local comic-book shop to switch business plans, since I never buy comic books and see no reason to shop there.

    Another beauty of zoning laws: letting the city decide whether businesses on street X should cater to the rich or the poor.

  4. One of the best sellers is Steel Reserve, a malt liquor sold in distinctive black and red cans. One 24-ounce can costs $1.39 at Mekuria’s store, and at 8.1 percent alcohol packs the punch of four shots of whiskey.

    That’s quite funny. I do my grocery shopping in one of Florida’s richest cities, and Steel Reserve is sold there. I can get a 4-pack of 16 ouncers for about $2. I should also mention that the only black folks in the market are the cashiers and deli workers.

  5. My god, do I sometimes just hate people. Jennifer is spot on. My only consolation is that one day that piece of crap will be dead.

  6. I lived, for a while, in a poor neighborhood in Washington DC. Not a BAD neighborhood, but a poor one. I know the kind of little stores they are talking about. They don’t have the kind of customers they need to sell boutique food, and can’t store or sell the kind of volume they need to compete with even the trashiest supermarket. Take cheap beer and wine away from them and they will close like so many three cent mousetraps. Then they will stand empty, until either rats or crack dealers move in.

    And when that happens the buttinskis who caused the fall in the first place will wring their hands and propose spending millions on urban development …. which will work out about as well as the beer ban did.

  7. I lived, for a while, in a poor neighborhood in Washington DC. Not a BAD neighborhood, but a poor one. I know the kind of little stores they are talking about. They don’t have the kind of customers they need to sell boutique food, and can’t store or sell the kind of volume they need to compete with even the trashiest supermarket. Take cheap beer and wine away from them and they will close like so many three cent mousetraps. Then they will stand empty, until either rats or crack dealers move in.

    And when that happens the buttinskis who caused the fall in the first place will wring their hands and propose spending millions on urban development …. which will work out about as well as the beer ban did.

  8. Only the finest microbrews will do for the Seattle-ites, eh? Didn’t the “gentry” see the drunks when they moved into the neighborhood? Weren’t those drunks part of the bohemian atmospherics that the “gentry” sought out? Those drunks allowed you to buy a home in Seattle by keeping property values down.

  9. Supporters of the ban say convenience stores can survive ? and maybe even attract new customers ? by selling other products.

    As is usually the case with the “we know what’s best for you crowd” they gladly exercise their entreprenuerial theories with someone else’s business and money…

  10. If you live in Washington state vote yes on I 933 to help stop this sort of bullshit.

    http://www.propertyfairness.com/

    If you don’t live in washington state donate here:

    http://www.propertyfairness.com/contribute.htm

    hell, if you live here you can donate also.

  11. Vache Folle thinks he knows something about Seattle from his pasture in NY. Vache Folle translates to insane cow, which seems appropriate given the bovine bloviating. The neighbors, drunks or not, do not seem to have had a depressing effect on housing prices, or the much vaunted bohemian atmosphere that really exists only in Mr. Cow’s imagination.

    There is a significant presence of Sri Lankan convenicence store proprieters in Seattle, but they tend to have more upscale offerings.

    For a better example of Seattle stupidity, read this

  12. Big grocery stores like QFC and Safeway have accepted the rules with a shrug

    Of course they did. What’s better for them than government agencies creating neighborhood specific laws that eliminate competition.

  13. I-933? Oh right, let’s all vote for a pooerly drafted initiative that even the groups most likely to benefit from it can’t bring themselves to support. Genius.

  14. Yeah, but if they outlaw cheap beer, how will the hipsters drink ironically?

    Won’t somebody please think of the hipsters?

  15. I-933? Oh right, let’s all vote for a pooerly drafted initiative that even the groups most likely to benefit from it can’t bring themselves to support. Genius.

    here are the poeple who have endorsed it:

    Americans for Limited Government

    Bainbridge Citizens United

    Benton-Franklin Mainstream Republicans

    Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce

    Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights

    Clark County Citizens United

    Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association

    Island County Property Rights Alliance

    Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners

    National Association of Rural Landowners

    National Federation of Independent Business — Washington

    Spokane Pro-America

    Washington Cattlemen’s Association

    Washington Christmas Tree Growers

    Washington College Republican Federation

    Washington Contract Loggers Association

    * Washington Farm Bureau
    o Adams County Farm Bureau
    o Benton County Farm Bureau
    o Chelan/Douglas County Farm Bureau
    o Clark/Cowlitz County Farm Bureau
    o Columbia/Blue Mountain Counties Farm Bureau
    o Franklin County Farm Bureau
    o Grant County Farm Bureau
    o Grays Harbor/Pacific County Farm Bureau
    o Island County Farm Bureau
    o King/Pierce County Farm Bureau
    o Kittitas County Farm Bureau
    o Lewis County Farm Bureau
    o Lincoln County Farm Bureau
    o Mason/Kitsap County Farm Bureau
    o North Olympic Counties Farm Bureau
    o Okanogan County Farm Bureau
    o Skagit County Farm Bureau
    o Snohomish County Farm Bureau
    o Spokane County Farm Bureau
    o Stevens County Farm Bureau
    o Thurston County Farm Bureau
    o Walla Walla County Farm Bureau
    o Whatcom County Farm Bureau
    o Whitman County Farm Bureau
    o Yakima County Farm Bureau

    Washington Fish Growers Association

    Washington Friends of Farms and Forests

    Washington State Sheep Producers

  16. “They have no beer to sell? Let them sell cake!
    (Laissez se vendre le gateau.)

  17. The list is interesting more for who is missing. The Farm Bureau is the biggest “known” funder as one might expect given their past history, but what about the out of state funders such as ALG?

    I, personally, am quite excited about my neighbors new abilities if I-933 passes. I’ve always been fascintated by gravel mines.

  18. Big grocery stores like QFC and Safeway have accepted the rules with a shrug

    scape: Of course they did. What’s better for them than government agencies creating neighborhood specific laws that eliminate competition.

    Yep. Apparently the reporter is confusing a wink and a nod with a shrug.

  19. jesizcreep! I just found a slum likker store that sells $3.30 pints of vodka! A DOLLAR cheaper than everywhere else……seein as how I aint paintin houses for 8/hr I hope the Invisible Hand (in parens, always: Of The State) ignores this tacky store….

  20. but what about the out of state funders such as ALG?

    ummm Arf I hate to brake it to you but this is Reason hit and run…and Americans for Limited Government is not exacly an automaticly untrustworthy orginization here.

    I mean you may as well be shitting on the EFF or Cato

  21. And what does that have to do with you ignoring their invisible hand?

  22. Oh, and my brakes work fine.

  23. And what does that have to do with you ignoring their invisible hand?

    Ignoring…hell Arf I am thinking about donating to them now that you pointed them out to me.

    I mean look at thier blog…it reads like a slightly less polished version of hit and run:

    http://www.getliberty.org/blog.php

  24. It seems that you have not done your homework. Now that you have, I still think you are peeing on my rug. I will always find that offensive, no matter what dreck you find to ameliorate your prehensile urges.

  25. Beauty is in the eye of the gentrifier.
    But the gentrifier may have doubts, once he or she has called upon political “friends” to enforce and standardize beauty.

  26. And after this passes, the neighborhood can make it illegal to sell ground beef, in favor of steaks.

    They’ll use “public health” as an excuse, since ground beef can get contaminated more easily than solid cuts of meat, and saying this sounds a lot better than “because poor people can’t afford steak.”

  27. And after this passes, the neighborhood can make it illegal to sell ground beef, in favor of steaks.

    Jennifer I think you mean, if it doesn’t pass.

    I 933 is a property rights initiative intended to curtain government control over an individuals property.

  28. Joshua, I meant “this” to refer to the ban.

  29. Seattle in particular, and WA state in general is the perfect example of how nannystate liberals run amok.

    The state of WA (and the city of seattle) is totally dominated by liberals and “progressives”. Let’s recap the state and city laws that these great liberal bastions of freedoms have passed.

    Online poker – illegal. a class C felony. but lottery tickets and casino gambling are legal. because they get tax revenue, of course

    Placing recyclables in your trash will get you a fine. and they will SEARCH your garbage for recyclables if they want to. (seattle)

    lap dances – illegal (seattle)

    fortified liquor illegal – seattle

    smoking – illegal in any private business AND 25 ft from the entrance.

    CAO – critical areas ordinance – probably a far worse property rights blow than even kelo. but on the state level

    Seattle prohibits their COPS from asking ANYBODY their citizenship status. even if they are under arrest for a felony

    welcome to the nannystate. drive through

  30. Gentrification is a form of gambling. And it’s great when it pays off. When it doesn’t, you can always blame the entire community of low-lifes in the neighborhood who were there before you moved in rather than your own miscalculation of future supply and demand.

  31. Whit,

    Yep. Build a homeless shelter and then make sure the business community near the homeless shelter cannot cater to the homeless.

  32. Poor people must be forced into supporting the boutiques stores desired by the well off. They will be assimilated.

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