The Politics of Sunday Sales

I’ve written before that I live in an area of the state (and I’m sure multiple areas like mine exist) where the buying and consumption of alcohol is looked upon as buying a hooker. Ok, maybe not that bad, but generally looked down upon by those of the Baptist denomination. My county commissioner hasn’t indicated if she will place the issue to the voters, but there are a few areas in Northwest Georgia that will be offering up Sunday Sales as an option to voters.

A few of these municipalities and counties will be holding the referendum vote this year…an off-year election. I expect it’ll pass in a lot of places, but I expect it will not pass in some of the more “hard core” social conservative areas. My question is, will voters be willing to punch the button for Sunday Sales in order to capture tax revenue that is flowing to other states?

Come Election Day in November, we’ll see which side will win out.

19 comments

  1. Calypso says:

    “I expect it’ll pass in a lot of places, but I expect it will not pass in some of the more “hard core” social conservative areas. My question is, will voters be willing to punch the button for Sunday Sales in order to capture tax revenue that is flowing to other states?”

    No. Those opposed would rather die a thousand deaths and walk on red-hot coals than allow others to vote on whether they should be able to buy alcohol on any particular day of the week. Logic and common sense do not play a large role in their decision-making process.

    • Engineer says:

      Having grown up in one of the “hard-core” social conservative areas of Georgia (Southeast GA), I can understand and agree with your statements.

      I’m more curious about how many will claim to be against it (for social reasons of course) and then vote for Sunday Sales (for personal reasons). I can assure you, with many folks in the “hard-core” crowd, logic and common sense have nothing to do with the Sunday Sales issue.

  2. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    I spend alot of time in a Midwestern state where alcohol sales on Sunday are not legal and will likely never be legal because their just isn’t enough of a political or social interest in seeing it become legal (sales of cold beer are also heavily restricted as well in a conscious effort by the state to further discourage alcohol consumption, meanwhile one neighboring state even allows alcohol to be purchased at drive-thru windows).

    So I wouldn’t be too down on Georgia, as at least voters are allowed to vote by county in the state, now.

    • John Vestal says:

      I’m guessing you mean Indiana, where it’s also illegal to buy/sell a CAR on Sunday.

      I guess that keeps the drunks who bought their booze on Saturday night from getting their DUI in a car with that ‘new car’ smell.

  3. Progressive Dem says:

    I’m pretty sure you don’t “buy a hooker” but you might rent one. Some people believe that you just rent beer, too.

  4. rense says:

    “My question is, will voters be willing to punch the button for Sunday sales in order to capture tax revenue that is flowing to other states?”

    Huh? This isn’t an issue like the lottery, which is totally banned in some states and people must go to neighboring states to buy tickets. This is alcohol, which is sold on every day of the week BUT Sunday, the day when people are least likely to buy alcohol (or anything else) to begin with. If you know of people who spend hours of their Sundays driving back and forth from Macon to Alabama, Athens to South Carolina, Albany to Florida etc. to buy alcohol, then those people have bigger issues to worry about (i.e. alcoholism!!!) than whatever threat to civil liberties and personal freedoms are posed by the voters of a certain area choosing to restrict their privileges and choices in this area.

    Now if you are talking about losing revenues in “state line” situations, i.e. folks going from Columbus to Phenix City or Augusta to North Augusta (which is in SC) to buy their liquor on Sunday, fine. The problem is that liquor isn’t the ONLY thing that people who live near state lines go across those lines to buy, and Sunday isn’t the ONLY day that they go. So the idea that Georgia is losing all this tax revenue over this issue is absurd. Georgia probably loses more revenue from tourism/conventions in a week because of our determined refusal to develop transportation/infrastructure/attractions (does aging, increasingly anachronistic Six Flags Over Georgia count as an attraction anymore?) than we do from not selling alcohol on Sundays in 10 years.

    I honestly don’t get the fascination over this issue where it is one of the most frequently – and passionately – revisited topics on this site. Normally, I am not one of the “we have bigger, more important issues to discuss” types, which I usually see as a dodge. But in this instance, it’s actually true. Based on the attention that this narrow issue gets on Peach Pundit, it is as if its advocates believe that if we can just get everyone in the whole entire state to sell liquor on Sunday – whether the local population actually wants to or not – then all the problems pressing this state will be solved or something.

    • John Vestal says:

      “….Sunday, the day when people are least likely to buy alcohol (or anything else) to begin with.”

      Actually, national studies have shown Tuesday to be the ‘lightest’ grocery/staple shopping day of the week.

      • rense says:

        And liquor counts as a grocery/staple? For those whom have Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort as a grocery/staple, then reference what I wrote above about such people having more things to worry about than infringement on individual liberty (or lost tax revenue).

        I do concede that grocery/staples does fall under the purview of “and anything else”, however, and on that I was incorrect. Thank you for pointing out my error.

        • John Vestal says:

          In the sense that (1) beer/wine are sold in most grocery stores, and (2) folks in very rural areas often only make one or two real shopping trips a MONTH, yes…..it all counts.

          Why will there seemingly always be a faction that believes if one drinks alcohol in any amount, one must be a “drunk”? smh

        • Liquor isn’t the only form of alcohol out there… wine and beer count too. (Though my local liquor store is in the same shopping center as the Kroger I frequent.) And yes, there have been times where I think to myself, you know… a nice steak would be great for dinner tonight (on a Sunday). So I can go buy that Filet or New York Strip… I just can’t buy a bottle of red wine to go with it. However, when the referendum passes in Hiram, I’ll more than likely start doing all my Sunday grocery shopping (the day I do most of my grocery shopping) in Hiram instead of Powder Springs (since Powder Springs apparently isn’t putting it on the ballot in November). Perhaps making a second trip throughout the week isn’t an inconvenience to you… but it is to me.

          • Engineer says:

            Well, then there are recipes that require certain wines, bourbons (bourbon chicken anyone?), or other alcoholic beverage to be used for cooking/seasoning purposes.

        • drjay says:

          lots of people grocery shop on sunday afternoon–lots of people like to buy a 6 pack or a bottle of wine when they grocery shop. i think this issue gets so much attn b/c it highlights a lot of divides in a pretty definable way, to me the most interesting of which is within the gop itself, pitting the old school christian coalition conservative types against the younger more libertarian and fiscally focused types…i agree its not the “most important issue” facing us as a state but a law was passed allowing these referendums and a lot of places are holding them, so in an off year esp. this issue is going to get a lot of attn.

          • Calypso says:

            I think drjay hits the nail on the head. To me, it is the principle of the issue, more so than whether alcohol is involved. It could be a ban on Sunday sales of flower pots and I’d still have an problem with it.

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