10
   

recession, booze, christians, Blue Laws

 
 
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 11:03 am
A handful of state legislatures have declared it's closing time for Sunday alcohol sales restrictions, saying an extra day of sales could give their foundering budgets a much-needed shot of revenue. Those states - Georgia, Connecticut, Texas, Alabama and Minnesota - enjoy overwhelming voter support for an extra day of sales, but face opposition from members of the Christian right, who say that selling on Sunday undermines safety and tears apart families. "During times of economic stress, our families are under enough pressure," says Jim Beck, the president of the Georgia Christian Coalition. "I don't think we need to add even more pressure to those families by passing this law."

But proponents of Sunday sales argue that state budgets are under plenty of pressure too and that by allowing people to buy beer, wine or liquor on Sunday at grocery or package stores, states could reap millions of dollars in tax revenue.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 2,512 • Replies: 22
No top replies

 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 11:33 am
Who know whether it is the religious right or other interests who keep the few remaining blue laws in place? These take many different forms and can be as innocuous as hoping businesses will give their employees at least one day of rest in the interest of physical and mental health or could be religiously motivated as believing that it is sinful to conduct business on the Sabbath--a rule truly Orthodox Jews observe to this day. I suppose it makes sense to have one day of the week that you don't have to deal with drunks so no liquor sales on Sunday might be motivated by that rather than any religious consideration. But realistically, the drunks will make sure they stock up on Saturday.

The laws can be really silly though. In Kansas they imposed state sales taxes on all foodstuffs that were considered non-essential but essential foodstuffs were tax exempt. So the supermarkets went through a logistical nightmare programming their registers to impose tax on unnecessary items and not on 'necessary items' and figuring out which was which. So when I went to the store and bought a package of cookies, I would pay tax on those cookies. But if I bought flour, eggs, sugar, etc.--all the ingredients to make my own cookies--that was considered essential and I paid no tax.

Kansas's 'no open saloon' laws for awhile applied even to Amtrak and airliners flying over the state--you had to shut down the bar while in Kansas or even flying over.

But Texas was the absolute worst when it came to general unexplainable stupidity. Once when visiting hubby's family in Arlington, on Saturday afternoon we stopped by a 7/11 so I could buy some panty hose to wear to church the next morning. I was advised that Sunday was their day to sell panty hose and they couldn't sell them to me on Saturday. Seems they had to pick one of the two days of the weekend to sell any given item.

I just look at blue laws as those unexplainable quirks of human nuttiness. And I figure we humans must like some of them because if we didn't we would get rid of them.



dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 11:41 am
@Foxfyre,
colorado's blue laws prohibit the buying/selling of boats on sunday, also prohibit the sales of "package alcohol" on sunday but bars can purchase (from the state) a license to sell any booze on sunday (you can drink at the bar but can't take it home)
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 11:48 am
@dyslexia,
I'm all in favor of lifting the restrictions. It's a recession. People need a drink. Let them have it.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 11:50 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

I'm all in favor of lifting the restrictions. It's a recession. People need a drink. Let them have it.
as President Roosevelt learned in the 1930s when he successfully repealed Prohibition, drinks have a way of keeping hopes high when things look bleak. In Johnathan Alter's The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, the President recognized that legally-procured cocktails were the way to keep spirits high when Americans were trying to get used to putting their trust into the nation's crumbling banking system again. And, it could be argued, the sales also helped stimulate the economy in the middle of the Great Depression.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 01:01 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

colorado's blue laws prohibit the buying/selling of boats on sunday, also prohibit the sales of "package alcohol" on sunday but bars can purchase (from the state) a license to sell any booze on sunday (you can drink at the bar but can't take it home)

That's how it is in Georgia right now. You can have a drink, you just can't have it at home unless you had the foresight to buy it on Saturday (and the restraint not to drink it before Sunday). It's really an absurd law and I always thought it was the liquor stores who didn't want to repeal it because it meant they'd have to open on Sundays to compete with the grocery stores. But what do I know.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 01:05 pm
@FreeDuck,
being an atheist I think that such inane blue laws (drink at the bar but not at home) are the epitome of "christian logic." I have no idea where the ban on sales of boats/cars on sundays comes from.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 01:05 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:
... legally-procured cocktails were the way to keep spirits high ...

Nice play of words there.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 01:10 pm
@FreeDuck,
I think you're right. There is no push from the local package stores to open on Sundays--they like having the day off--and if liquor sales are allowed on Sunday, then they have to open to keep up with the competition. When the state took away their drive up windows though, they lobbied like crazy to stop that initiative as it took away one of their greatest competitive features. Super markets don't have drive up windows. I always thought that was really silly too as folks who were going to drink and drive would do so whether they bought the stuff inside the store or at the window. I always figured they would buy less at the window than they would if they had to get out of the car and go into the store where they would see all kinds of stuff they could buy.

The rationale was that if they go into the store, the store clerks could better assess whether somebody was already intoxicated. Perhaps, but it seemed like we had as many or more drunks on the road as ever after they closed the windows.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:08 pm
@Foxfyre,
Yeah, I tend to think that if it were the Christian right pushing for it they would be asking for a complete ban on sales, not just for carry out sales. And there are some more conservative counties that do this. But to effectively encourage drinking and driving by outlawing carry out sales while allowing bar and restaurant sales (in the south, where there is a dearth of public transport and taxis) is just absurd.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:11 pm
@FreeDuck,
It wasn't the "Christians" at all pushing to close those drive up windows but rather it was MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers). They turned out to be a formidable lobby. (And this is in a state where having at least one DUI is practically a requisite for running for public office.)
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:15 pm
@Foxfyre,
That's why I joined DAMM -- drunks against mad mothers. Kidding. MADD, btw, should also oppose blue laws like the ones in GA on the principle I mentioned above -- that it encourages drunk driving.

Did you think I was blaming the Christian right for the drive up window thing?
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:18 pm
@FreeDuck,
No. I was actually just agreeing with you. And I agree that restricting booze to liquor by the drink definitely encourages drunk driving.
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:21 pm
@Foxfyre,
Ok, sorry. I have a habit of reading argument into your posts because we so often disagree. This looks like one area where that isn't the case. It's a pleasure.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:30 pm
Allowing liquor sales on Sunday would help some aspects of the economy, and hurt others.

Liquor cannot be sold on Sunday, but beer and wine can. Some liquor stores maintain separate locations so that part of the store can remain open on Sunday.

I imagine there are some landlords that are strongly in favor of keeping the current arrangement....
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:47 pm
@DrewDad,
Is that how it is in Texas? Interesting.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 02:52 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

being an atheist I think that such inane blue laws (drink at the bar but not at home) are the epitome of "christian logic." I have no idea where the ban on sales of boats/cars on sundays comes from.

Well, if it's anything like it was in Illinois, the ban on the sale of cars on Sundays was due to pressure from car dealers. The dealers favored closing all the other dealers one day a week, even if it required them to be closed too. What they couldn't accomplish through the workings of the marketplace they accomplished through the largesse of the legislature. Such is always the way of our free market capitalists.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 03:06 pm
The motel I used to work at in New Mexico had a lounge attached. At the time package sales were not allowed on Sundays, it was a horror. Truely, some drinkers are so far gone, they simply cannot plan ahead, meaning they had to go out to drink on Sunday.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 05:42 pm
@FreeDuck,
It gets even more interesting in dry counties.

Lubbock is a dry county, but municipalities can override that. There's a small incorporation right outside of the Lubbock city limit that allows liquor sales. (It's called "the Strip".)

The landowners there lobby aggressively to keep the City of Lubbock dry. (You can buy liquor per drink at bars, though.) It's interesting that the folks who profit off of Lubbock being "dry" join forces with those who are ideologically motivated. Very odd bedfellows.

I will note, however, that Lubbock doesn't have the roadside panhandlers that plague Austin.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 05:52 pm
@DrewDad,
Hale County, just south of Lubbock County, was dry when El Stud and I married, so we had to drive about 40 miles to a little wide spot in the road--actually all I remember was a ranshackle one room building and a mobile home but it has been awhile--to buy beer. He talked about being older highschool kids and going out at night. Sometimes it would take them to 10 or 10:30 or so to find a bootlegger, buy a quart of beer, down it fast and warm, throw up and be home by midnight curfew. Ah, sweet youth. . . .

Oh that wide spot in the road was ironically called "Nazareth" Smile (The kids called it the holy land.)
 

 
  1. Forums
  2. » recession, booze, christians, Blue Laws
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/21/2024 at 10:37:28