New Drinking Laws for the New Year Will Hurt the Economy

beerToday, as we welcome the new year, many states will also be hosting a slew of new laws. Yup, because the way to fix this down economy is to regulate and restrict what businesses and may sell and what customers may buy. OK, not really.

Oregon has outlawed the possession of shark fins, which are used to make a soup that’s considered a delicacy in some Asian cultures. The ban might be good for the sharks, who are rather fond of not having their fins lopped off (they are then thrown back into the water), but bad for restaurants that rely on the sales of shark fin soup to keep their businesses open. Sorry sharks, but I care more about the actual people working in that Chinese restaurant than I care about your fins.


Of course California had to come up with some new laws, because apparently the Golden State isn’t regulated enough already. This time around, caffeinated beer has gotten the boot. I guess the frat houses are going to have to rely on Red Bull and vodka instead of Four Loko from now on.

Speaking of getting your drink on, Utah bar patrons are going to be paying more for that post-work cocktail, because the state has banned happy hour. That’s right – Utah bars hosting drink specials will be breaking the law come 2012. This is be horribly bad for business, since one of the best tricks a barkeep has is to lure in customers with the hook of cheap booze, and keep them there to serve them other (more expensive) items.

Seriously, what is going on with our lawmakers? Unemployment rates across the nation still suck, more people than ever before are on food stamps, housing prices are still in the dumps … and people want to impose regulations that will do nothing but hurt businesses that have somehow managed to stay afloat since 2008? 

Let’s concentrate on what really matters right now: Getting people back to work. Not banning happy hour.


Image via Phil_Parker/Flickr

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