A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Nanny State Update

So, the Madison smoking ban went into effect July 1. Gotta protect us from ouselves don'tchaknow. The result? Well, it is still early, less than three weeks in, but even the very liberal and PC Wisconsin State Journal headed Sunday's article on the ban "PROFITS OF SOME GO UP IN SMOKE," and notes that at many bars, sales are off by as much as 60%. But, of course, it's not just the owners that suffer:
"It's terrible. I'm 60 percent down," said Terry Olson, co-owner of Ole 'N Rick's North Side Inn, 1026 N. Sherman Ave.

He said he's cutting back shifts for three or four bartenders, starting Monday, and "if we can't make it with that, we'll have to lay somebody off."

His concerns are echoed with varying degrees of worry and bitterness by tavern owners who report sales declines of 20 percent to 60 percent and blame the smoking ban for threatening their livelihood.

"It's terrible, absolutely terrible," said Cal Beecher, owner of the Tip Top Tavern, 601 North St. "I've been here 32 years. It's going to close me down."
but at least those bartenders won't have to worry about second hand smoke while they are standing in line at the unemployment office.

Interestingly, the ban in Madison is less comprehensive than the one being proposed for Milwaukee. At least in Madison, you can still smoke outside. The recently proposed smoking ban for Milwaukee makes it illegal to smoke outside if you are anywhere close to the entrance of a building.

But I'm sure that if enacted, the ban in Milwaukee won't have any adverse effects on city businesses.
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