Free beer: Liberating libations from ‘bootleggers and Baptists’

Free beer: Liberating libations from ‘bootleggers and Baptists’

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

For centuries, the manufacture and sale of beer, wine, and spirits has been a highly profitable and highly regulated enterprise. And where profit and regulation meet, cronyism and rent-seeking frequently follow.

From moonshiners buying off politicians during the Prohibition era to liquor stores trying to ban supermarkets from selling beer today, regulation has been used to keep start-up brewers, winemakers, and distillers from manufacturing alcohol; to preserve inefficient distribution systems; and to restrict choices available to consumers. Frequently, this regulation has been used for “noble social goals” — hence the famous public choice example of "Bootleggers and Baptists."

Can markets and consumers win? Join us online for a discussion of the history and future of federal and state alcohol regulation and competition.

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