Thingamagiggers, Liquor Wholesalers & the Pornographers
"I want to be
treated like a pornographer – sell on the Internet, sell across state
lines, no franchise rules. Anyone over 21 who chooses to buy my product
has it available."
-Chris Pearmund, Pearmund Cellars
Can you imagine? Begging to be treated only as good as a pornographer.
That’s what it has come to in Virginia where rather than doing the noble thing and allowing that state’s wineries to operate in a free market, they force them to work within a structure that can best be termed a "thingamagigger".
Last year Virginia’s wholesalers convinced state legislatures that the dangers inherent in allowing Virginia’s wineries to do what they’ve been doing for years as they grew their industry were so great that the only solution was to force them to take a substantial cut in pay and give that cut to the wholesalers.
The problem? Virginia wineries were selling their wines directly to retailers and restaurants. I know. Pick yourself up. You thought that this sort of evil had gone the way of slavery, that it no longer sullied our civilization.
Well, the legislators came to their senses and decided that their move last year was improper and they needed to give that simple privilege back to their state’s wineries. How would they do this? Behold, the "Thingamagigger":
"Under the new system, which will go into effect as soon as the governor
signs the bills, and the state can set up the corporation, a restaurant
owner places an order with the state-run wholesaler. The wholesaler
forwards the order to the winery. A winery employee (who has been
"leased" to the corporation) moves the case of wine to a separate
section of the winery (which has been "leased" to the corporation),
then loads it in a truck (which has been "leased" to the corporation)
and delivers it to the restaurant. The restaurant owner sends a check
to the corporation."
I swear, that is not made up.
The whole reason this thingamagigger is in place is because the state’s wholesalers have convince legislators that they are of such feeble means and abilities that they must be protected from the competition that would arise if out-of-state wineries had the same right to sell directly to Virginia retailers and restaurants as Virginia wineries do…a fact of life in the law that resulted from rulings in the 2005 Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision and another court decision that came down in Washington State last year.
So in order to protect these poor, feeble wholesalers who claim they need protection from competition, the Virginia legislature must create a new thing: a Thinkgamagigger.
Wouldn’t it have been easier to just treat the wineries like pornographers?