On May 30, 2015 the Illinois state senate approved The Culinary and Hospitality Modernization Act (SB398) that lifts a set of restrictions put in place in1989.
Everyone seems really happy about this but I don’t share their joy. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m all in favor of happy hour in Chicago and everywhere else. I’m in favor of an unrestricted happy hour, happy day, week, or year carried out at the bar owners discretion. Of course that can’t happen in a nanny state.
Don’t be fooled for a minute that this is a pro-business or even a pro-citizen act. It’s a simple calculation that this small acquiescence will cause more revenue to flow to the state treasury. Sometimes their little scheme of taxing you into oblivion and regulating you into submission creates a conflict. As always, follow the money, which leads to the state peeling back a bit of its regulation in hopes of collecting more tax dollars.
The lawmakers and their sycophants killed happy hours in Illinois because they know what’s best for all of us. You see if we are left to make decisions for ourselves we would be overcome by happy hour euphoria and drink ourselves into a coma or perhaps a crazed rage or worse. The citizen cannot be trusted and must be managed.
The bar owner cannot be trusted either. If left alone the wicked proprietor would simply give away drinks or provide them at ridiculously low prices that would in affect entrap the simple minded patron.
The political class is woefully ignorant of free-market principles or basic economics. If being generous I suppose that I could forgive them for this as they frequently spend millions of dollars to obtain a job that pays substantially less. Perhaps it’s this mindset that prevents them from understanding that no business can make a profit – survive – when giving away their product. You see the bar owner despite the boot of government via regulation and taxation manages to employee people, pay taxes, provide a product and service desired by their community, and if clever and fortunate they can earn a living.
On the reverse side the political class in Illinois has mismanaged funds to the tune of 85 to 131 billion dollars depending on who you ask. The state’s driving metropolis, Chicago, has a credit rating that Moody’s has rated as “junk.” The only major U.S. city with a lower credit rating than Chicago is Detroit. There is not enough space here to chronicle the spiraling murder and crime rate, the mass corruption, two previous governors of the state residing in prison, and so on. You get the picture.
When presented with these two unique groups: the Illinois bar owners and the Illinois political class it’s quite simple to determine which of the two is in greater need of oversight, restrictions, and and a swift kick to the backside.
Somewhere along the way we all got lost. The people we elect to take care of the mundane task of governing have expanded their roles to that of a ruling class. It should have been quite evident when the nation alcohol Prohibition for thirteen glorious years. Since repeal the states have been engaged in “Prohibition-Lite” that is less onerous than full prohibition and more palatable to their subjects.
So enjoy that drink of happiness and sleep well hoping that next month they might allow ice cream before dinner.