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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Utah, tear down this wall ...

Above: Who knew Ronald Reagan was talking about Ogden?

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What free market?: Utah picks winners and losers — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

When it comes to using the free market as the measure of all things, the hypocrisy of Utah’s state government is astonishing.

While members of the Legislature and officials all the way up to Gov. Gary Herbert try to outdo one another in their worship of the free enterprise system — sometimes even using it as an excuse for short-changing the state’s public schools — they steadfastly refuse to let the market decide how many bars and alcohol-serving restaurants Utah shall have.

The latest example of this ridiculous policy was played out Tuesday at a meeting of the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. Seventeen applicants entered, seeking a club license. One business — the MacCool’s Public House in Ogden — left with the golden ticket.

The rest walked away, empty-handed, perhaps to return in December, when one more such license is expected to be available.

This is absurd. ...

... Thus the reputation of Utah as a pro-business state must be taken with a large grain of salt. And no tequila.

Related:

Club license in hand, MacCool’s owners tear down wall hiding bar — Mitch Shaw | Ogden Standard-Examiner

OGDEN — Throughout history, the tearing down of walls has usually been cause for celebration.

It was no different Wednesday afternoon at MacCool’s Public House Restaurant and Bar in Ogden, as owners took down a plywood wall that shielded the bar portion of their establishment from the rest of the restaurant.

MacCool’s was awarded the state’s only available club license earlier this week by the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. ...

... Before the UDABC’s decision, MacCool’s had a restaurant license, which meant that they had to shield their beer taps and open liquor bottles from the restaurant.

"Hence, the black plywood wall our customers had to stare at," Brian said.

A crowd of about 30 patrons were on hand Wednesday as restaurant co-owners Scott Schlisman and Mic Warner took sledgehammers to the plywood wall.

Just before the wall came down, one of the patrons shouted a Ronald Reaganesque, "Tear down that wall." ...

[Hat tip to DC_Centrist]



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