Thursday, August 28, 2003

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Philadelphia freedom

I'll be trying to follow my own conference tips (as well as the excellent set of suggestions posted in the comments) for the next few days at the American Political Science Association annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA. Only been here a day, and already I've become outraged by Pennslyvania's insane liquor laws.

Blogging will be intermittent, although I will exert every effort to post a poli sci version of Brad Delong's "seen and heard" post from last December (definitely worth another read).

Looking for something to read? Niall Ferguson is always worth perusing, and this article discusses the crucial distinctions (glossed over way too much in the academy) between empire and hegemony.

Oh, and take a gander at Ari Melber's op-ed on the myth of the "Arab Street" from the Baltimore Sun a few days ago. Enjoy!!!

posted by Dan on 08.28.03 at 11:09 AM


What is so outragous about Pennsylvania liquor laws? I have been to Phily but usually go to bars and don't buy anything at the stores.

posted by: Bart on 08.28.03 at 11:09 AM [permalink]

Penn's liquor laws are ridiculous. I went to school in Pittsburgh, where -- as with the rest of Pennsylvania --

1) You had to buy beer at a beer distributor, which is ordinarily a sketchy garage in a sketchy neighborhood; moreover, you can only buy cases from beer distributors, and

2) If you want to buy a six-pack, you have to go to a bar.

3) You buy wine and hard alcohol at a liquor store, all of which are run by a crooked state bureaucracy.

It's completely backward. Go to someplace sane like California or France, and you can buy alcohol in the grocery stores.

posted by: Steve Laniel on 08.28.03 at 11:09 AM [permalink]

Pennsylvania's liquor laws are pretty odd, but so are those of other states. Virginia, for example, sells beer and wine at grocery stores, but not hard liquor. Maryland apparently lets couties each set their own liquor laws, resulting in a lot of confusion at the grocery store. New Jersey has grocery stores sales, but they're in a separate section, and must be rung up separately.

Most states have not yet gotten entirely free of Prohibition. PA is just more noticeable than most.

posted by: Josh on 08.28.03 at 11:09 AM [permalink]

Welcome to Philadelphia! It's true that our liquor laws are insane. In addition to the problems already cited, the markup on wine sold to restaurants is insane, so going out to dinner contains a hidden tax. The legislators from the "Alabama" portion of the state are to blame for blocking any move to change the law - anything that makes it easier to buy alcohol is sinful and Hurts the Family, you know.

posted by: Mithras on 08.28.03 at 11:09 AM [permalink]

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