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Friday, May 14, 2004

Wine for the Children

There are two towns that are completely subsumed by Arlington - Dalworthington Gardens and Pantego. The former has about 1,100 residents and Pantego has close to 3,000. In contrast, the rest of Arlington has almost 350,000. These three towns have no wine and liquor sales (at least that is the claim - there are supposedly three liquor stores that remit their taxes to Arlington). The worry now is that Arlington, especially, is foregoing desperately needed tax money (the city is running deficits around $12m per year) and if only wine/liqour sales were allowed things would be so much better.

There is a movement in Arlington to get the issue on a ballot, but when you're talking about inviting Satan to move into town, the issue moves very slowly. Upshot: no ballot initiative for Arlington this year.

Enter the quaint town of Pantego (which is literally 1/4 mile from my house) which obtained the required 377 signitures (rather than 25,000 required in Arlington) to allow a vote on Saturday whether to invite Satan to live in Pantego by allowing wine/liquor sales there. This Star-Telegram article outlines the upsides for Pantego. Specifically, "[Pantego] is so close in proximity to so many who do not have [wine] at this point."

Here's the reality: Pantego (and the relatively large chunck of Arlington that surrounds it) is about four - maybe up to six - miles away from Big Daddy's Liquor Store, Majestic Liquors, and two other stores the names of which I cannot remember at the moment. These liquor stores are all bunched up on the Arlington-Ft. Worth border (go figure) but are not inconvenient to the wine/liquor set. Pantego might have a first mover advantage relative to Arlington, but I can't see the tax revenue for Pantego being significant. Regardless, I hope Pantego passes its referendum.

I suppose the tax argument helps the ballot process, but the more sound argument for allowing wine/liquor sales is based on freedom. We live in a country in which wine, beer and liquor are regulated but not prohibited substances. Those who want to drink wine should be allowed to do so, and a freedom-loving country, county, or city, would grant individuals the right to purchase what they can legally consume.

I know, I know. Freedom? Who would dare decide such an issue on principle? We need tax money for the schools, dammit...

(thanks to my brother Christian at Le Chai for the heads up)

Tasty blog! Please check out my california tour wine blog.
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