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No Beer with that Pizza for Two Months! (Give Sanjay a Beer or Take his Pizza Away)

Nov 29th, 2010 | By | Category: Features, Front Page, Uncategorized

Suppose you wish to transfer a liquor license from Harrisburg to
Hummelstown. First there has to be a Borough Council meeting on your
proposal. The public could come forward to oppose it. But let’s say
you get through that. Then you have to apply for the transfer from the
Liquor Control Board (LCB). You will probably get the approval, but
you have to wait 45-60 days. You have to wait for TWO MONTHS to hear
from the LCB that you can sell a glass of beer with your dinner!

Why does the government make it so difficult for small businesses?
People rail against big government and massive regulations. Most of it
is misguided. Quite often the very people who benefit from Social
Security and Medicare, two government programs intended to make life
easier for the elderly, are the ones who claim they want the
government out of their lives.

But what they should be really exercised about is the little
regulations that make life miserable for small business owners. The
licenses that they have to apply for. The fees for such applications.
The long waits to hear from this council and that board.

In the meantime, customers of JoJo’s Pizza cannot buy a beer to
accompany their pizza.
http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/11/liquor_license_transfer_endors.html

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  1. I have no contention with the veracity of Dr. Paul’s assertions. However, I would like to offer a few comments intended to inspect his thirst in a slightly different light. First, although government may be one of the (or the exemplar of) red tape and bureaucratic hassledom, most other organizations are plagued by the same structures and restrictions.

    Although I am unfamiliar with procedures at your institution, Elizabethtown College, I can probably offer a fairly accurate description of some of the procedures and hoops that need to be jumped on the other side of the Dell. Let’s hypothetically assume that you wanted to add a course to the department’s offering and let’s say it concerns a contemporaneous and rather timely topic. In order to get that course offered, I would venture to guess that you would be required to convene a departmental meeting (without an offering of snacks and therefore increasing the possibility of not achieving a quorum), get a departmental proposal together, submit the proposal to the college, await a college decision, get the course scheduled, and so on and so on.

    These type of requirements are not without some intent and purpose; even though they may be exasperating and seem pointless to almost all of us. It is definitely not in my constitution to defend any annoying bureaucratic procedures, but I can seek an understanding of how they came into being. This is particularly important with government, since it cannot change rules easily and needs to seek (not necessarily gain) the cooperation and approval of the public. This is why quick decisions cannot be made by a clerk in the basement of the Department of Labor and Industry. If the clerk was making the decisions, the situation would surely arise where some of us or most of us would proclaim, “How can they just arbitrarily do that?” So it is with some of the procedures with liquor licenses.

    It is also true that many of the specific concerns about liquor licenses have historical roots in our puritanical leanings and the aftermath of prohibition. Many of those rules and regulations are based on these historical concerns: Can’t have too many establishments; Can’t have too many in one place unless it is a resort area, Cannot be in the hands of the wrong buyer,,,,,…It’s pretty bad here, but it gets worse in some counties in the deep south.

    All of this affects JoJo’s. The additional light intended by this discourse if that government does need to have a role in commerce and part of that role is to have a public voice in market exchanges that incur public costs. Relax for a while and have a soda with that Pizza.

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