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Today’s TABC

Interesting story about the Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission and its struggles to find an identity. To me, the key bit of the whole thing is right here:

Moreover, the agency, formed in 1935, still has many rules and regulations on the books — wholesalers selling beer to retailers by law can’t accept credit as payment — more appropriate to the 1930s rather than 2010. As a result, the beverage commission can find itself in the peculiar position of a 21st century regulatory body enforcing moonshiner-era laws.

A wake-up call was sounded in 2005, when the Sunset Advisory Commission issued a sharply worded report on the beverage commission’s failure to keep up with the times. “TABC and the (Alcoholic Beverage) Code are in clear need of modernization,” it concluded.

We see that to some extent with the recent successful attempts by various municipalities to allow or expand alcohol sales, in effect finally ending Prohibition for themselves. A much bigger issue is all the state laws that still exist from that era, especially those that restrict the way alcohol can be wholesaled and transported. The virtual monopoly that the beer distributors have in this state as a result of that is a disgrace, which mostly benefits the behemoths at the expense of microbreweries. You’d think in a state that’s filled to the brim with self-styled defenders of the free market system that this travesty would have been fixed ages ago, but campaign contributions speak louder than words. It won’t surprise me if we hit the 100th anniversary of Prohibition’s repeal without any change to that status quo.

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