Monday, April 20, 2015

The Commerce Clause and a Refreshing Glass of Delicious Beer

Courtesy Radley Balko, cops once again "just doing our job, ma'am."

So you can't sell this beer over state lines because "Sorry about the limited distribution, non-Wisconsinites, there are only so many hours in the day to make beer and we can only keep up with the local demand."

Uh huh. I see. Someone in a neighboring state took the time to drive out and buy your beer and transport it on their own time with their own nickel, and it what, it immiserates your other customers or something?

Look people, we have the Commerce Clause in the Constitution precisely to avoid interstate trade disputes like this. It's destructive enough to erect international trade barriers, but to prohibit commerce across state lines is not only economically inefficient, but contra the spirit of '76. The whole of the US is a free trade zone. That some local interests have managed to subvert the guarantee of commerce free of geographical constraints is embarrassing to anyone who cherishes the values of free association and free commerce.

This is Munger's ice truck story again, except I reckon nobody's cheering this time. And the media coverage wisely refrains from reporting what almost certainly happened to the beer in question: it either ended up dumped into a gutter somewhere or as gratis libation for a department kegger.

The thing itself is the [alcohol] abuse.

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?