Alcohol Laws and Keeping Santa’s Sleigh in the Air
Why in the past 100 years have we never witnessed a breakdown or a safety-related tragedy related to Santa’s sleigh? There’s a reason. And I’m here to admit I’ve continually downplayed the real circumstances that have kept that sleigh in the air and children smiling:
America’s Three Tier System of alcohol distribution
Today I was finally and embarrassingly brought to my senses and shown the error of my ways. My long, myopic and misplaced disdain for the Three Tier System of alcohol distribution can no longer be sustained in the face of a powerfully rendered press release from the National Beer Wholesalers Association (that in no way capitalizes on the tragic death from tainted alcohol of Americans vacationing in the Dominican Republic.)
As the beer wholesalers’ poignant press release notes, “The Dominican Republic situation is a reminder to appreciate the American system of alcohol regulation that works to keep the production, distribution and sale of alcohol regulated and safe.”
The truth is that over the years I’ve gone to extraordinary lengths on this blog to dismiss, cloak and ignore and, yes, hide from my readers, the really extraordinary value of this country’s Three Tier System of alcohol distribution. Consider:
SLEIGH SAFETY: Never once have we witnessed in this country the grounding or, God forbid, a safety mishap associated with Santa’s sleigh. There is no question that America’s Three Tier System of alcohol distribution has been the key to preventing the kind of Santa groundings and other embarrassing alcohol-related reindeer injuries that we’ve seen a number of times in places like Central America, Australia and Micronesia, where no Three Tier System of alcohol distribution is enforced.
PLAYGROUND BULLYING: I’ve long denied the role of the Three Tier System of alcohol distribution in reducing the reported instances of playground bullying in the U.S. that, as we know, are far too common in countries like France, Uganda and Iceland where alcohol distribution is far less regulated.
COASTAL PIRACY: I’ve continually failed to give sufficient credit to this country’s Three Tier System of alcohol distribution for the absence of coastal piracy that we have long enjoyed. Yet look at Togo, Ghana and Nigeria where there is no Three Tier System of alcohol distribution and where, not coincidentally, coastal piracy flourishes.
NO U.S. BREXIT: Perhaps my greatest failure as an observer and commentator on the American wine scene has been my continued failure to recognize that 160 years of federal stability and a complete lack of any effort of any U.S. states to secede from the Union is directly related to the existence of the Three Tier System of alcohol distribution. Unlike in the U.K., where Brexit has taken hold, and in the many other European nations where nationalist movements threaten the stability of the European Union, America maintains a strong alcohol regulatory system. Europe does not.
In their press release, the National Beer Wholesalers Association —which in no way takes advantage of the tragic deaths in the Dominican Republic—remind us of this important basic fact:
“There are numerous federal and state alcohol regulations including three-tier requirements,…that all work together to limit those that would seek to introduce untaxed or unsafe alcohol into the stream of commerce. …Various economic interests seek to strike or change these laws through legislation or litigation to benefit their individual business models”.
What will keep me up at night is knowing that I have long been one of the “Various economic interests seek[ing] to strike or change these laws through legislation or litigation to benefit their individual business models” noted in the National Beer Wholesalers Association’s press release (that in no way capitalizes of the tragic deaths in the Dominican Republic).
Sleigh safety, playground bullying, coastal piracy, and U.S. Brexit are clearly only a few of the important issues that our Three Tier System of alcohol distribution impacts. I will do better.