March 16, 2009

Beer Bill Bash At Capitol Takes Aim At Protectionism In The Market

Free competition or beer protectionism--HB 1192 killed in committee:
A House committee killed House Bill 1192 — which would have allowed grocery stores and supermarkets to sell full-strength beer — on Wednesday. After the legislation’s defeat, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, brought up the idea of taking the issue to the voters on the November 2010 ballot.
. . .
“Competition is competition,” said John G., who wouldn’t disclose his last name. “If liquor stores can’t compete with the big bucks stores, then that’s just the nature of capitalism.”

Ari Armstrong, publisher of, is a vocal advocate of getting a version of HB 1192 on the Nov. 2010 ballot. The Web site publisher staged an event at the Capitol on Friday where he smashed bottles in protest of the grocery limits, arguing that not allowing grocery stores to sell full strength beer is “using the force of the government to harm competitors and favor certain businesses.”

“Protectionism is wrong,” he said. “What we want instead of protectionism is a free market, where merchants and customers can come together voluntarily of their own choice and associate in the way that they deem best. What we need, in a word, is liberty.”
Armstrong has much more at his own site on the difference between liberty (competition) and the use of government force (protectionism) in beer sales in Colorado.

Bonus beer-smashing video from the protest at the capitol:

Now, smashing things (in this case bottles of beer) at the capitol isn't the point of the protest, but illustrates a good way of drawing attention to a cause through a unique photo/video opportunity. With MSM withering through loss of competition and budget cuts, the usual dog-bites-man protest will garner little, if any, media attention. Simply distributing press releases for a stated cause is also unlikely to stir any sense of urgency in the local media. Smashing bottles won't be appropriate in almost all cases, but for this situation, it just seemed to fit.

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