In the discussion thread: Missouri Lawmaker Wants Stores Closed for Thanksgiving [View all]
Response to pstokely (Original post)
Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:57 PM
onenote (26,417 posts)
21. blue laws are inevitably arbitrary and unfair
As others have said, the reason more and more stores open on Thanksgiving is that there is enough demand from shoppers to justify it. Moreover, a law that bars some businesses from operating on Thanksgiving, but not others is inherently arbitrary. Should grocery stores be required to close? Many do, but others stay open for some portion of the day, often making it possible for people to "rescue" their Thanksgiving meal. What about drug stores? Obviously they should be allowed to stay open since the unexpected need for medical supplies does not disappear on Thanksgiving. But most drug stores sell other things -- a lot of the same things one finds in other stores -- so should they be allowed to be open but other stores selling the same types of items must close? What about movie theaters-- because of Superstorm Sandy, my family ended up having Thanksgiving dinner with friends on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, my wife and I cooked ourselves an early dinner and then went to the movies. Gas stations are an obvious exception, but they often sell food stuffs and other things one might purchase at another type of store.
If its okay to buy batteries at a grocery store, a drug store, or a gas station on Thanksgiving, why should Radio Shack have to close?
If its about the workers and their families, why do the workers at Wal Mart or Macy's or some other clothing or department store be more "protected" than workers at other types of business establishments?
I grew up in a state that had Sunday closing blue laws and I hated them. I had an uncle who was an observant Jew and he had a shoe store. To honor his religious beliefs, he would stay closed on Saturday. But by law, he also had to close on Sunday, giving his competitors one more day to do business than he had. These laws laughably were upheld in the 60s by the courts based on the fiction that they were not religious in nature but were intended to ensure that workers had a day off. But a law that says you can only be open six days a week without specifying which day you must close would accomplish that goal. It was also argued that it was important for society that there be a common "uniform" day of rest -- but as noted, these laws were and continue to be riddled with exceptions making them anything but "uniform." There is no rational basis for mandating that car dealership be closed on Sundays or that alcohol not be sold on Sundays --two of the more common remaining "blue laws" found in many jurisdictions.
The world has changed since the era of blue laws. We are more spread out, more mobile, more flexible in when, how, and where we work. You can shut down stores, but with the internet, you can't shut down commerce. Forcing brick and mortar businesses to close simply makes no sense. In a diverse society, not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving in some traditional Norman Rockwell way, and trying to turn back the clock with silly laws will not change that.
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Replies to this discussion thread
|Jeff In Milwaukee||Dec 2012||#3|
|liberal N proud||Dec 2012||#4|
|Sweet Freedom||Dec 2012||#37|
|rhett o rick||Dec 2012||#35|
|rhett o rick||Dec 2012||#36|
blue laws are inevitably arbitrary and unfair
|rhett o rick||Dec 2012||#34|
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