As I blogged about earlier many states in the US, facing budget shortcomings of their own making are looking at beer and wine tax increases as a way to make some cash. One of my assertions, beside the fundamental stupidity of penalizing production and wealth creation, is that such tax increases will hurt employees and pubs hardest. To back that up we can take the UK as an example—they are experiencing the roosting chickens of Chancellor Darling’s 2008 beer tax in the form of 20,000 lost jobs and 2000 pubs closing. That’s just in 2008.
American lawmakers should think very carefully before following the same principal as the Brits who, let’s face it, have a much stronger relationship with their pubs. As a result of taxing this industry, England is loosing its small pubs, many family-owned and many that have been part of communities for decades.
And these British barflys are not happy…well, they are even more surly than before.
Compared with the history of brewing in the UK, America is barely in its infancy and already we are beginning to make a name—our small craft brewers and brew-pub concoctions compared alongside the masters of Belgium. Regulators need to understand that bloodletting businesses is not only wrong, it won’t help them keep businesses in their state, it won’t increase their tax revenue, it won’t help them stay in office.