Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Greed Buys Legislature--Again

Seems as though the Wisconsin Legislature is out to "protect" the State from Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, & Co.

Never mind that they're dead, along with Prohibition.

Our Legislators are hell-bent to protect wholesale distributors of beer, by preventing micro-breweries from selling directly to taverns and retailers.

Some small brewers and industry observers say the entire system, created after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, is obsolete.

Beer wholesalers say the system helps ensure that alcohol is marketed responsibly.

However, the Supreme Court in May found little evidence that restrictions on direct wine sales had prevented underage drinking. Meanwhile, a proposed California law that would strengthen the franchise rights of beer wholesalers in that state was recently criticized as anti-competitive by a Federal Trade Commission report.

The "protected territory" angle is the icing on the cake for the distribution houses--not only will this bill prevent direct sales, it also prevents a large regional distributor from selling anywhere in the State (at better prices.)

The Legislature is familiar with these deals. Think "Minimum Markup" on gasoline. After all, consumers are "protected" by higher prices achieved by Legislative whoring, right?


steveegg said...

I'll tell you why the Legislature loves the idea of a mandated middleman - it means a higher price and thus more money for them from the increased sales tax.

Dad29 said...

And one reason this went through the Ass-embly is Gard's campaign money needs...