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Thursday, March 06, 2008


A Loophole? Really?

What luck! Talking today about political entrepreneurs and low and behold an article specifically about them.

The article talks about how a recent smoking ban in Minnesota has a loophole that "contains an exception for performers in theatrical productions." So, bars are allowing "theatre performers" to smoke all night. The loophole, which we will speculate in a moment, was found by a political entrepreneur (actually a lawyer, but then who better?).

As we have discussed in class, a law passed by a citizen vote (democracy), like the one we have in the state of Colorado, is different from the law passed by the legislature in Minnesota. We should then look for who wanted the law passed in Minnesota. My guess would be those restaurants that have gone to no smoking were feeling the revenue pinch still found at smoking bars. Rent seeking?

""It's too bad they didn't put as much effort into protecting their employees from smoking," grumbled Jeanne Weigum, executive director of the Association for Nonsmokers." Hmm, are the employees FORCED to work there? Is this the only job they can get? My guess would be that the tips they get from the smokers are far better than those at Waffle House.

"The Health Department this week vowed to begin cracking down on theater nights with fines of as much as $10,000." I suppose that the health department knows that "out of one hundred smokers, fewer than six will get lung cancer. . ."(Why People Hate Economists (and Why We Don't Care))It would seem the health department knows what is best for me better than I do and feels I cannot make my own choices, maybe like the impending environmentalism movement?

Will they ever make a law without loopholes? Due to spontaneous behavior, I seriously doubt it.

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