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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Yet Another Example of Oppressive Government Regulations Destroying Free Enterprise

Posted by on Thu, May 23, 2013 at 3:56 PM

A New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control investigation has found that 29 bars and restaurants, including 13 TGI Fridays, allegedly substituted cheap booze (or worse!) while charging for premium drinks:

At one bar, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch. In another, premium liquor bottles were refilled with water — and apparently not even clean water at that.

In January and February, investigators went to 63 establishments they suspected were scamming liquor customers. They ordered drinks neat — that is, without ice or mixers — and then covertly took samples for testing.

Of 150 samples collected, 30 were not the brand as which they were being sold.

Why can't government regulators leave the market to sort this out for itself? Nanny-statism at its worst!


Comments (25) RSS

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venomlash 1
If a business sells isopropyl alcohol and calls it scotch, they'll eventually go out of business as consumers either take their business elsewhere or die from the acetone buildup in their tissues. The free market works!
Posted by venomlash on May 23, 2013 at 4:07 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 2
And the customers at TGI Fridays couldn't tell?

/I'm shocked!
//not really.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on May 23, 2013 at 4:08 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
@1 you obviously have never gone on a bar crawl.
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 23, 2013 at 4:18 PM · Report this
@1 Especially since a lot of commercial Isopropyl rubbing alcohols contain additives to specifically make them bitter and induce vomiting to keep people from drinking them
Posted by lone locust on May 23, 2013 at 4:18 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 5

That was my thought...did any actual customers complain?

If not, what does it have to say about high priced hootch.

They might as well serve Pruno since no one can tell the difference.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on May 23, 2013 at 4:19 PM · Report this
it probably comes from having parents who were alcoholics, but it seems to me like there may not have been malicious/profiteering intent on the part of the managers, but that someone on staff might have been trying to sneak booze and not get caught. Stuff like this can easily become a tragedy of the commons kind of situation....
Posted by TheLurker on May 23, 2013 at 4:19 PM · Report this

When 20% of the samples come back as bogus, you're looking at something much more pervasive than a few alcoholic employees trying to cover their on-shift consumption.
Posted by COMTE on May 23, 2013 at 4:26 PM · Report this
how exactly is this story about the importance of gov. regulations. kind of a stupid spin on the story. some regulations are good, some are bad, this story doesn't add to that discussion in anyway.
Posted by fuckwit on May 23, 2013 at 4:26 PM · Report this
psbirch 9
Did any of you read the article? "The investigation started after the state began receiving more complaints than usual about possibly mislabeled drinks, said the director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Michael Halfacre."

Posted by psbirch on May 23, 2013 at 4:28 PM · Report this
sperifera 10
Alcohol is a controlled substance, fuckwit. It has regulations aplenty around it's manufacture, distribution, sales and service. As you might recall if you have ever ready any history of Prohibition, there were plenty of people that died from bad juice when it was outlawed. Upon legalization, Liquor Control Boards put regulations in place to prevent that, and part of their job is to monitor the compliance of those regulations.

So that's how this post is about the importance of gubmint regulations, fuckwit. To me, it validates the need for such regulations in a world where Tea Party crazies are doing everything they can to reduce any and all gubmint regulations.
Posted by sperifera on May 23, 2013 at 4:35 PM · Report this
fletc3her 11
Now there's going to be more drunk drivers because people will get real drinks instead of watered down. Dead kids. Etc.
Posted by fletc3her on May 23, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Fred Casely 12
@3: Pretty sure that would be at least in part because he's not old enough -- in the US, anyway.
Posted by Fred Casely on May 23, 2013 at 4:47 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 13

I am all for letting people in New Jersey drink as much rubbing alcohol as they please.

Also it looks like the nanny state also fails at addressing the core problem.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on May 23, 2013 at 5:21 PM · Report this
There was a caller recently on Adam Carolla (actually, they called him, for an on-air bit) who sells empty liquor bottles. He said bars would buy lots of empty bottles of top shelf liquor from him, presumably with the intent to fill it with cheaper (or watered down) stuff to swindle customers.
Posted by Chali2Na on May 23, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
If the rubbing alcohol is methanol it will cause swelling of the optic nerve (actually both since each eye has one). The result is permanent blindness.

I'd rather not let the marketplace work it out, especially since the sub-minimum-wage perpetrators perceive no downside and would let the franchise take the hit.
Posted by Anastasia Beaverhausen on May 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 16
@8: "how exactly is this story about the importance of gov. regulations"

I like how your username matches your posts.
Posted by undead ayn rand on May 23, 2013 at 6:08 PM · Report this
fletc3her 17
@16 I thought @10 was being pretty harsh before I realized it was just the other guy's "name".
Posted by fletc3her on May 23, 2013 at 6:14 PM · Report this
@13 and what exactly would that core problem be?
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on May 23, 2013 at 6:25 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 19
@ 18, don't bother. Our piggy friend will never back up bravado statements with anything.
Posted by Matt from Denver on May 23, 2013 at 7:06 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 20
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on May 23, 2013 at 7:11 PM · Report this
wingedkat 21
@1 venomlash: gotta love the free market.

Seriously though, if anyone could get away with poisoning customers it would have to be bars.
Posted by wingedkat on May 23, 2013 at 7:39 PM · Report this
@20 ah ok so what would you suggest government do about that?
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on May 23, 2013 at 9:55 PM · Report this
@10 i think the deaths were mostly caused by the gov. poisoning alcohol during prohibition, how about that for the importance of the gubmint. anyway, what this fuckwit is saying is that alcohol regulations (of which there are plenty of stupid ones as well as good ones) is really tangential to the issue. i am pretty sure fraud would still be illegal, businesses commit all sorts of scamming bullshit that doesn't have a direct link to regs. i just don't think the debate over what the proper role of gov. regulations is has much to do with this story. i can't think off-hand of a hypothetical reg. that could prevent a bar from pulling this kind of shit, maybe requiring non-refillable bottles and having some other complex bottle accounting system.

i think it is pretty fucking low level of political discourse that has one side yelling more gov. regulations and the other side yelling less. who gives a shit what they actually are or how they work.
Posted by fuckwit on May 23, 2013 at 10:28 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 24
@23 wow, almost none of what you said makes any sense. Please tell us you do not ever vote for any election more important than County Dogcatcher.

"You think" there was a vast conspiracy during Prohibition to poison US citizens? You think?

Then you go on to blue-sky a bunch of bullshit about the question of gov't regulations.

Please stick to listening to the midnight radio UFO conspiracy show, and don't ever comment on stuff the adults are discussing ever again, thanks.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on May 24, 2013 at 5:46 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 25
How long before we find out that the corporation that owns most of those TGIFriday's has connections to organized crime? This looks like classic mobster operating procedure.
Posted by Sir Vic on May 24, 2013 at 11:01 AM · Report this

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