Tag Archives: wine

What’s at Stake for Entrepreneurs?

Everything. Funny how easy it is to lose sight of that. This video by Caleb Brown shows you in less than three minutes just how much one couple put on the line — so that you can enjoy fine coffee and wine. Too few people appreciate that aspect of capitalism.

By the way, this video is part of a contest. The winner is decided by traffic. So if you like what you see, spread it around far and wide.

Regulation of the Day 111: Buying Wine in New York

It is illegal for grocery stores to sell wine in the state of New York. Only liquor stores are allowed to sell the stuff.

This regulation, a relic of Prohibition, lives on because of one of the central concepts in public choice theory: diffused costs and concentrated benefits.

The benefits are concentrated in one constituency: liquor stores. Regulations give them get millions of dollars in free business. That means they have millions of reasons to lobby to keep the status quo.

Consumers, on the other hand, are hurt by the ban by the exact amount that liquor stores benefit. But that hurt is spread far and wide. No one consumer feels enough pain to hire a high-priced lobbyist to open up the market.

That means New York’s misguided restrictions on competition are likely to continue for some time. It’s hard to imagine an aggrieved shopper suing New York’s wine cartel because she has to make an extra trip to get the wine on her grocery list. Or because she pays a bit more than if she lived in a different state.

(Hat tip: Jonathan Moore)

Regulation of the Day 95: Buying Wine in Ohio

It is illegal to buy more than 288 bottles of wine per year in Ohio.

If you drink that much wine by yourself, then you have more important problems to worry about than regulatory compliance. But if you host of lot of parties or are building up a wine collection, you run a real risk of hitting the limit.

“The level was set to establish what would seem to be a reasonable amount for personal use,” according to the Ohio Wine Producers Association’s executive director, Donniella Winchell.

Since the law is somewhat difficult to enforce, no violators have yet been found. But when there are, the Ohio Department of Public Safety Investigative Unit will come knocking. Because while buying 288 bottles of wine is perfectly fine, buying 289 poses a threat to public safety.

(Hat tip to CEI colleague Megan McLaughlin)