Reason‘s Nanny of the Month for August 2011 features something different this month: a ban Reason supports. In Michigan, private tavern owners are banning public legislators over an anti-smoking law they say is killing their businesses. Patronage has plummeted, and the barkeeps have decided to strike back by excluding those who have hurt their taverns’ profits.
Michigan Bar Owners Ban Lawmakers for Banning Smoking! (Nanny of the Month, Aug 2011)
They’re banning pet pigs in St, Charles, Missouri (even small, hypoallergenic ones like Pepper!) and Nice Cream in Illinois (even though it’s packed with natural ingredients and the owner says its bacterial levels are well below state-approved levels!), but neither of those could claim the top slot because – well, this time Nanny of the Month is doing something different…
For the first time ever Nanny of the Month is cheering a ban.
That’s right, starting September 1, more than 500 Michigan restaurant and bar owners are banning state lawmakers from their establishments. State Senator So-and-so wants a brew? Too bad. Politicians won’t be served until they revisit the state’s 2010 smoking ban, which, owners say, has devastated business, and left bars like Sporty O’Tooles on the verge of collapse.
What do you think? Do you support a merchant action like this? Merchants may lawfully prohibit certain potential customers, so long as they do not run afoul of anti-discrimination statutes (this ban on anti-smoking legislators would be legal).
Although efforts like this can backfire, I’d support a tavern-owners’ ban on anti-smoking politicians (even though I don’t smoke). It’s a good idea, now and gain, to remind legislators’ that their actions have consequences for common people, and that as politicians they aren’t immune from diverse consequences of their legislation, either.
Comments will be moderated against profanity and trolls; otherwise have at it. This post will be open until Sunday morning.