A Blow for Competition

Just yesterday, I wrote in this post how depression-era alcoholic beverage laws meant to curb organized crime were being used by governments to protect local businesses from competition.  Today, the Supreme Court took aim at one such practice:

A Supreme Court decision Monday means that Missouri and Illinois
consumers soon will have access to a wider selection of wines and that
wineries in both states will be able to expand their consumer base.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court declared unconstitutional state laws that
prohibited out-of-state wineries from directly shipping wine to
consumers, yet allowed in-state wineries to do direct shipments. The
court said the laws unfairly discriminated against out-of-state

Congratulations to the Institute for Justice, one of the few groups out there protecting property rights and individual freedoms in the commercial arena.  Now, if only the Supreme Court would take on laws protecting car dealers from competition.

Postscript:   While major industries change from region to region, nearly every town or city of any size has influential local business owners in three areas who tend to have an unduly large influence on local politics:

  • Media owners (newspaper, radio, TV station owners)
  • Car Dealers
  • Beverage wholesalers (Coke, Pepsi, Miller, A-B, etc.)

While at the national level, government may be more focused on shoving subsidies at dairy farmers and Archer-Daniels-Midland, local and state governments love to protect incumbants in these three industries from competition (particularly in small to medium sized cities), who in turn donate tons of money (or in the case of media, in-kind exposure) to the politicos.