CEI Daily - Alcohol Regulation, Google, and a McDonald's Lawsuit


Alcohol Regulation



Washington State voters are voting on two alcohol regulation ballot initiatives on Election Day.


Director of Risk and Environmental Safety Angela Logomasini explains the difference between the two ballot initiatives.


"The first will open the market to competition at all levels — allowing competition necessary to reduce prices, make shopping more convenient, and increase consumer choice. The second goes halfway, forgoing many benefits offered by the first. Both initiatives would essentially privatize spirit sales, but 1100 would also eliminate government pricing schemes for all alcohol that currently bar retailers from offering discounts. In addition, it breaks the state-imposed three-tier system by eliminating regulations that keep retailers from buying wine directly from wineries around the world rather than buying it all through wholesalers. Initiative #1105 would privatize spirits (which is good!) but  keeps three-tier mandates intact and also includes harsh taxes and regulations that will keep prices high."




Google is again being accused of monopolistic behavior.


Research Associate Alex Schibuola argues that Google's competitors are driving the campaign against Google. 


"The monopoly case for Google is weak and superficially generated. Considering their resounding success the alternative rationale for monopoly accusations against Google is far more plausible: their competitors are seeking to use the government to curtail it because they can’t keep up. In this world there are two ways to supplant a superior competitor: (1) produce a more superior product or (2) get the government to knock them down a notch — by forcing them to compete 'fairly.' In the former the consumers benefit from innovation, in the latter consumers lose because innovation is stifled. Lesson of the story is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!"


McDonald's Lawsuit


A Brazilian court has ordered McDonald's to pay $17,500 to a franchise manager for the weight he gained during his McDonald's employment.


Senior Counsel Hans Bader points out that this case is part of a larger movement against unhealthy food.


"There is now a big movement afoot to tax fast food in the pursuit of mythical public-health benefits. The government is also moving to restrict the salt content of food, which could lead to increased obesity rates and more heart attacks and make it harder to market low-fat foods."