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Letter to the editor: Local businesses need new representation

Should our legislators protect businesses from forces of the free market? If consumers want to buy a legal product from a business owner, or if two willing participants in a transfer of goods want to do so on a Sunday, shouldn’t we let them?

As readers know, Minnesotans are currently barred from purchasing alcoholic beverages from liquor stores on Sundays. The position of  many, but not all, liquor store owners is this statute should stand, though a recent poll from Public Policy Polling showed a majority of voters want it repealed.

Store owners object to repeal of the law, believing increased revenues would not cover costs. Note that repealing the ban would not force stores to be open. They could choose to be closed on Sunday, Monday or any other day.

Rep. Dan Schoen has voted against the will of the people he represents. He told the Star Tribune, “I’ll never vote against the Sunday ban as long as my local store owners want it, and right now they all say they do.” Would he offer the same protections to other industries?

What if some grocery stores wanted the same protection? Would our opinion matter? Proponents of the liquor regulations tell consumers, “Plan ahead.” Do we want to tell families to plan ahead when grocery shopping, too? Should stores who want to be open on Sundays be forced to stay closed?

I asked Schoen’s challenger, Matthew Kowalski, what he thinks of the ban. He said, “It is very telling that Schoen will so blatantly put special interests above representing the people of the district. Giving people the freedom to have their business open to sell their product any day they so choose should be a no-brainer. I will gladly support giving people this option by working to repeal the Sunday liquor ban.”

This isn’t just about buying liquor on Sundays. It’s about needless regulations on what should be a free marketplace for all industries. Some believe businesses need protection from market forces, but this doesn’t represent the views of the people, or the principles our country was founded upon.