Blue Laws are Stupid, Post #2

One of the questions on the 2010 House of Representatives State Fair Poll (conducted by Minnesota House Public Information Services) was:

Do you believe liquor stores and automobile dealers should be permitted to open on Sundays?

And the results …
Yes ………… 6,742 | 68%
No ………….. 2,480 | 25%
Undecided …… 668 | 7%

So, were the 25 percent who said no all from Lakeside?

(This really ought to be a series. Link to post #1 here.)

28 Comments

Danny

about 12 years ago

Keep in mind that when the Lakeside liquor thing came up a while back the vote was very, very close.  It was off by exactly 1 vote (my wife's).

Tony D.

about 12 years ago

And didn't only those in Lakeside vote on the issue, as it was not city-wide?

The real reason for a dry lakeside (actually Lakeside/New London if you wanna get technical) may well have less to do with prohibition than discrimination. The temperance movement was driven by Protestants. That part of town was settled by English and Scottish Protestants and it was home to Duluth's "second tier" rich: your every day merchants, lawyers, physicians, etc., and also the poor Irish immigrant families whose women worked as domestics for those folks and the folks in the East End mansions. The same people who were anti-drink were also very anti-Irish, and keeping that area dry was one way to ensure "the help" didn't steal your liquor or show up drunk or hungover. Of course, no one is going to say that out loud.

So when Lakesiders say they voted to remain dry to "uphold tradition," they may well be upholding the tradition of religious and racial discrimination.

Danny

about 12 years ago

I feel like this debate has happened here before.

Anyway, my answer to that is: no.  My wife didn't vote to keep liquor (stores and bars) out of Lakeside for racial or religious reasons.  Trust me.  And of all of the people that I know who also voted to keep booze out there is no way that there is any prejudicial reasons for it.  That is just such a sad, pathetic excuse...and I was probably one of the loudest people FOR bringing the booze in.

Tony D.

about 12 years ago

Danny: I didn't mean to imply that your wife or anyone else voted for those reasons, but that the anti-Irish sentiment that existed in the 1880s and beyond may have been in part the reason for the "dry" community way, way back in the day. I was trying to shine a little historic perspective on the issue, as nothing is ever as as simple as it is made out to be.

Besides, it seems to me Paul really wanted to address the state-wide blue laws, not the Lakeside liquor issue. Personally, I can think of no better way to spend a Sunday than to buy me a car and a case of beer of at least 3.3% alcohol (and no lower!), and do me some intoxicated motoring!

Danny

about 12 years ago

You are absolutely right.  Sorry about that.  I get a little touchy when it comes to my neighborhood.

And as far as Blue Laws go: Yes...they are indeed very, very stupid.

Sam

about 12 years ago

Our family often does grocery shopping for the week on Sundays, and not being able to buy beer or wine is really inconvenient.  It means I need to make a special trip during the (already busy) week.  I dislike the blue laws very much!

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

I would say that supporting blue laws -- whether Sunday sales or Lakeside sales -- is an act of prejudice. It's not necessarily prejudice in the sense of irrational hatred of a race, but it's certainly a conviction arrived at from a preconceived notion (since liquor has never been sold in Lakeside) and results in detrimental circumstances for others (making them travel out of the neighborhood or state for alcohol).

Tomasz

about 12 years ago

I've gone back and forth on this issue and I still don't know where I am regarding blue laws.

As a business owner, I would approach this one of two ways:  Another day to do business and make money - or - one guaranteed day off a week, to catch up on paperwork and dramatically lower overhead costs.

There's several questions that need to be addressed, such as:
- Would the additional day of sales outweigh having to pay someone to man a register or whatnot?
- Would that additional day siphon off sales from the rest of the week, (especially Saturday)?
- Is it worth more to me to have that one day off rather than have to worry about staffing, etc?

Overall, I'd say that this survey should be asked of car dealers and liquor store owners, not legislators.  My feeling is that the results would be surprising.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

Remember, they wouldn't be required to be open on Sunday -- they would simply be permitted to be open on Sunday. You know, like they would in a free country.

Barrett Chase

about 12 years ago

The laws aren't there to guarantee a day off to owners of certain types of businesses. If that were the case, all businesses would be closed on Sundays.

All businesses should be allowed to sell their wares 24/7/365, if they choose to do so.

Danny G

about 12 years ago

PDD has been somewhat Libertairiany lately. I like it.

And if you were a business owner couldn't you just choose to not be open on Sunday (or Monday, or Tuesday, or whatever)?

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

Well, OK, blogs should be required to close on Sundays, out of respect to God, but everything else should be open.

The Big E

about 12 years ago

I strongly feel that the blue laws are all that stands between us and abject Popery.  That's why I've been so reassured to learn how many of my less-than-eighty-year-old friends [1] voted against extending Demon Rum's dominion to Lakeside.

[1] Several!!!?

Julian

about 12 years ago

The Sunday sales restriction is ridiculous enough for liquor, but it's simply absurd for auto dealerships. The latter should be done away with ASAP.

One good point against these restrictions is that not everyone works a Mon-Fri job. 'Sunday' is not Sunday to many people. There are religious sects that hold the Sabbath to be on Saturday, plus atheists, and religions without the concept of a Sabbath, so any religious motivation for this is discriminatory. 

For people who DO work Mon-Fri, isn't it inconvenient to not be allowed to engage in commerce in these two arbitrarily chosen areas on one of your two free days a week?

The '10 at night' liquor restriction discriminates against people who work non-traditional schedules, also. 

But then, there's always Wisconsin.

Claire

about 12 years ago

I know any liquor store owners on PDD are going to have a conniption about this, but I am all in favor of wine & beer being sold in grocery stores. People are still going to go to the liquor stores, but man, why does even getting a bottle of wine or a six-pack necessitate a special trip?

Tomasz

about 12 years ago

Paul, Barrett - Yes, of course it would be optional, but try on your entrepreneur hats - if one liquor store or car lot will be open on Sundays, then they will all have to do the same in order to compete.

brian

about 12 years ago

I will say, Minnesota's liquor laws got me to organize my life and schedule and prioritize a little bit. After moving here from the liquor free-for-all that is Nebraska, early closing hours and no liquor in grocery or convenience stores make you plan your day more carefully.

Claire

about 12 years ago

In Wyoming, there are drive-up windows at the liquor stores. I don't know if this was legal or not, but my cousin was drinking a beer while I was driving and insisted it was legal to do so in Wyoming. That is one wild place.

Barrett

about 12 years ago

Tomasz, this isn't necessarily true. For example, the Kom-On-Inn bar chooses to close on Sundays, even though every other bar in the neighborhood is open on Sundays. On 27th Avenue West, the Spur station closes every night at midnight, while its competitor across the street stays open 24 hours.

Why should the state government be in the business of giving certain business owners the day off, or in lowering the overhead in two select industries? 

I'm sure certain people benefit from the blue laws. But that doesn't mean they should exist.

Shane

about 12 years ago

There is more to the liquor store being against selling beer and wine in grocery stores.  A liquor store  owner once told me that they make the majority of their profits from beer and wine. So if the grocery stores sell beer and wine, the existing liquor stores would not do so well.

Piglet

about 12 years ago

My hubby manages a car dealership and Sunday is our only day off each week together. Personally, I think it should stay as is. The lot is open 276 hours a week now. If you can't buy a car in those alotted hours or by looking online ahead of time and then coming in, I'm not sure adding Sunday will help.

Claire

about 12 years ago

I grew up in a state where beer and wine were sold in grocery stores, and liquor stores sold a lot besides liquor -- like snack foods, soda pop, even newspapers. They were more like the Little Stores are here. Seemed to work fine. There were a lot of liquor stores in my hometown, besides the grocery stores.

Shane

about 12 years ago

Why not let the grocery stores sell liquor as well?  It seems to work in other states?

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

My father sold cars for about 30 years. When I was a kid, he always worked on Saturdays and Sunday was his only day off. 

I always thought that if the dealership was open on Sundays it would probably result in him getting an extra day off, because obviously he (and the other sales people) wouldn't work seven days a week, so there would be a need to reorganize the shifts.

And why should the car salesperson be protected from working on Sunday but not the TV salesperson at Sears? It's a weird, random, silly law.

Piglet

about 12 years ago

@ Paul...Lundgren Motors by chance? 

Regardless, then your dad knows about the folks who roll in 5 minutes before closing to kick tires. Never make time specific plans on a work day as it never fails to happen.

adam

about 12 years ago

Needing a day off is a piss-poor argument for liquor store or car dealership hours of operation.

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

It was a logical guess, but my family is not related to the Lundgren Motors family.

Barrett Chase

about 12 years ago

They should legalize booze in supermarkets just so we can get one of these.

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