Nanny-state should back off on liquor sales

The Minnesota Legislature is taking a look at the laws that ban liquor sales on Sunday in the state. These are laws that harken back to a time when Sunday was a day for going to church and relaxing at home with the family.

Over the years, however, even church-going families have taken to shopping as a form of Sunday relaxation and recreation.

It is not the churches so much who are against selling liquor on Sunday, it is liquor store operators. For many smaller operators, Sunday liquor sales would mean all the overhead costs of opening up for sales that they don’t anticipate to be high enough to cover the expense.

If the state lifts the ban on Sunday sales, of course, it doesn’t mean a liquor store would have to open on Sunday. But it does mean that some liquor stores would be open, and if your competitor is open, it’s hard to stay closed.

We think it may be time for the state to lift the ban on businesses doing business on Sunday. It is a nanny-state kind of law. Do we really need or want government telling us when businesses can be open and when we can shop at them?

These are the kinds of questions that should be answered by marketplace forces. If there is demand, then the suppliers will meet it. Those who frown on doing business on Sunday are free to avoid it, but government should not be imposing that restriction on everyone.