May 18, 2008
Bootleggers, Baptists, and Liquor Store Owners

From the AJC:

The Christian Right and Gov. Sonny Perdue get credit for killing a bill to allow Sunday sales of packaged alcohol again this year, but lobbyists and lawmakers say credit also goes to a surprising opponent: a Gwinnett County liquor store owner.

For two years in a row, they say, Richard Tucker, co-owner of Suwanee's Beverage SuperStore and chairman of the Gwinnett County Convention and Visitors Bureau, has worked behind the scenes to stop legislation that would have let voters decide whether beer, wine and liquor should be sold in stores on Sundays.

It seems counter-intuitive: Wouldn't a liquor store owner want more days to sell booze? But Tucker and some other liquor store owners say opening another day probably would cost them more in payroll and overhead than they would bring in at the cash register. Meanwhile, other retailers already open on Sundays would just rack up more revenue, they say.

"We're a small business," said Tucker, whose store advertises itself on the Internet as "North Georgia's Largest Volume Spirits Retailer."

"It's not a level playing field between [liquor stores] and the grocery stores and convenience stores," Tucker said. "Many are already open 24 hours a day. They have a lot of items to sell. We just have one alcohol."

Poor thing. Boo hoo. And if he thinks he has it so bad by only having alcohol to sell then he should expand his product line. There's no law against him selling groceries, beach towels, or whatever floats his boat.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 10:39 PM in Economics

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

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