As most of you know, I usually fall into the “other” category when it comes to politics. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am more of an independent or a Libertarian. I think you should be able to screw whom you wish to screw and shoot what you wish to shoot. I am a hardcore fiscal conservative and a staunch supporter of individual liberties. I don’t think government has any business in your business or in the business of your business unless it directly and negatively impacts people not directly related to your business. An example of this would be pumping carcinogens into water supplies or something like that. By the same token, I don’t think the government should over-regulate. For the most part, this is the platform that the Republican party runs on but in this particular instance, the influence of big business is clearly evident in the workings of the GOP. Read on…
Tucked into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) much-discussed budget was a little-noticed provision to overhaul the state’s regulation of the beer industry. In a state long associated with beer, the provision will make it much more difficult for the Wisconsin’s burgeoning craft breweries to operate and expand their business by barring them from selling directly to restaurants and liquor stores, and preventing them from selling their own product onsite.
The new provision treats craft brewers — the 60 of whom make up just 5 percent of the beer market in Wisconsin — like corporate mega-brewers, forcing them to use a wholesale distributor to market their product. Under the provision, it would be illegal, for instance, for a small brewer located near a restaurant to walk next door to deliver a case of beer. They’ll have to hire a middle man to do it instead.
But more noteworthy than the provision itself is how it was enacted. The provision was quietly slipped in the massive budget legislation without any consultation from independent craft brewers, who are justifiably outraged by it. One group that clearly did have input, however, is one of the world’s largest beer makers — MillerCoors:
This is bullshit. Smaller craft breweries have always had a hard time competing with the big boys simply due to price, volume, and distribution issues. The “three tier system” established immediately after prohibition ended that governs distribution in most states is crap. It serves no purpose other than to jack up prices 18-25%, limit the ability of smaller breweries to get their product out there, and keep the big breweries soundly in charge. If you can pump out a billion bottles of beer a year you really don’t give a shit if you have to throw a few bucks to the distributors because you have volume on your side. If you’re only turning out a couple hundred barrels a month, however, you’re really taking in the kiester “prison shower” style. And now Scott Walker wants to get rid of the loophole that allows the little guys to compete against the big boys without even so much as a request for input or a reach around? What the f*** is that?!? What ever happened to being “business friendly” governor? What ever happened to looking out for the little guy? Would it have anything to do with the fact that that MillerCoors, which is joint venture with foreign-owned SABMiller, donated $22,675 to his campaign? I am guessing it would. I am pretty sick of politicians on both sides of the political fence, but today my ire goes out to the Republicans… especially the Republicans in Scott Walker’s office.
Fuck you Scott Walker. Put your money where your mouth is and keep government regulation out of legitimate business.