The Electric Commentary

Friday, April 08, 2005

Madison Guilty of Tavern Subsidies.

In an effort to fight binge drinking in Madison, WI, the government has officially taken the bold step of subsidizing taverns.

You see, on Thursday the anit-trust suit filed by three UW students was dismissed by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Angela Bartell. The suit was based on a voluntary drink special ban instituted by the Madison bars. Basically, the bars (under pressure from the government) got together and decided to raise all of their prices. This is clearly an anti-competitive practice.

Her rationale for dismissing the case (which seemed like a very strong case to me) was that the drink special ban was not voluntary:

bar owners were forced into the voluntary drink-special situation only after they received pressure and demands from the City of Madison in Sept. 2002.

Therefore, the bars were not fixing prices; the city was. Great. If things like this make you angry, take a look at this quote from Alderman Mike Verveer:

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said if the students’ case had been successful, seven-day-a-week drink-special bans would have been reinstated, and many student-favorite bars would have gone out of business.

In other words, had they not raised their prices on weekends, we would have forced them to raise prices all of the time, and put some of them out of business. I'm glad to hear that the government has nothing better to do than think about ways to funnel money from cheap taverns into the pockets of expensive taverns. Very progressive.

I like Madison. It's one of my favorite places on earth. But the local politicians really are a bunch of jackasses.

Update: Dan wrote about this when it was first filed here.


  • It's like the whole city is run by a student council. All of the unrealistic nerds are running things.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 9:04 AM  

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