What's even more concerning is just how staggeringly (yes that's a word) incompetent some of these people are. And here's another example:
CREAM is an alcohol-infused whipped cream. You can use it like normal whipped cream. Except it has alcohol in it. It really doesn't get much simpler than that.
The Michigan Liquor Control Commission - which, presumably, is comprised of individuals who know something about alcohol and...I don't know...controlling it - approved CREAM for sale this summer. And then they revoked that approval in September. Why? Because they didn't know what the product was. I'm serious:
On Sept. 1, the state “delisted” the product, meaning the state no longer would supply it to retailers.
Uh...“What happened was the commission approved it by mistake back in late June,” said Andrea Miller, an MLCC spokeswoman. “I don’t think they knew what the product was.”
First of all, there has to be no worse job in the world than "spokesperson." I'm not sure if you're actually forbidden from having your own thoughts, but it really doesn't matter, because you're not allowed to express them. Your job is quite literally to sit there and defend some of the dumbest decisions imaginable - decisions you might not agree with and probably find absolutely absurd - using the most boring language possible. And then you end up like poor Andrea Miller, who has to inform the public that the Michigan Liquor Control Commission was confused by a product that contained liquor.
But don't worry, Ms. Miller gives us reasons!
She said upon further review, the agency decided to suspend sales. “The reasoning behind the delisting was the commission was worried about the possible youth marketplace for that and youth being involved possibly in the sales of that. The commission thought that for the safety, health and welfare of the citizens of Michigan, they should delist this product.”Thoughts: 1) Did the MLCC go under the hood and look at video of CREAM? Did somebody throw a challenge flag? Why is this "upon further review"? 2) Ms. Miller's first sentence makes no sense whatsoever. Read it again: "The reasoning behind the delisting was the commission was worried about the possible youth marketplace for that and youth being involved possibly in the sales of that." That sentence physically hurts. This is probably deliberate. 3) Every commission in the history of commissions has thought that for the "health, safety and welfare of the citizens," something should be banned.
Also, giant thumbs-up for creating jobs in Michigan!
Molly Pearson, vice president of Temperance Distillery, which helped develop and now bottles the product, said first-month sales were about 1,200 12-bottle cases with projected of sales of 20,000 cases in the next year.
Protecting the health safety and welfare of citizens by putting them out of work...and driving them to drink.She said the product was introduced in May and is sold in 13 states. It just began being marketed in Michigan.“Most of it was in Monroe, Bedford, Temperance, but by no means had we even scratched the surface in Michigan,” she said. “We had projected to switch from eight hours to 12-hour shifts, which would have added 20 to 30 jobs, five days a week. Because of not selling in Michigan, we have moved back to an eight-hour shift.”
And omigod read this:
Mrs. Pearson said the state indicated the product “slipped through” the approval process. “They said they didn’t realize it was whipped cream. I don’t know how they didn’t realize it was whipped cream when it says alcohol-infused whipped cream right on the label,” she said.These are the people protecting you. Paid with your money. It really does say it right on the label, by the way.
But you are a terrible person if you don't support this decision. After all, it's for the children:
“Their thinking was if it’s in a refrigerator, how does a kid know not to grab it when it’s next to whipped cream?” she said.The Michigan Liquor Control Commission is officially concerned about the placement of items in your refrigerator.
But then there's Mr. Zeller, a liquor store owner, who gives the most coherent quote in the whole piece (why do liquor store owners seem like the only sane people involved in these issues?):
Mr. Zeiler said he doesn’t understand, given that the sale of liquor is tightly controlled in Michigan. “That’s the crazy thing. We’re liquor stores. We’re not allowed to sell alcohol to young people regardless of what kind of container or form it comes in.”Hey did you guys know that? That liquor stores can't sell liquor to kids? Every time the MLCC bans something "for the children," they tacitly admit that there is absolutely nothing they can do about making sure liquor doesn't get in the hands of children. And that admission would be correct. There's absolutely no way to prevent alcohol from getting into the hands of kids. You can make it slightly more difficult. That doesn't mean we need to condone or encourage it. But it also doesn't mean we need to ban everything in a colorful bottle.
In any event, it has to be a pretty terrible feeling to know that you have a job in which you 1) are never paid with funds that haven't been forcibly stolen from other people, 2) inconvenience and fleece thousands of people who help pay your salary, and 3) have zero impact on the world whatsoever besides banning things that people enjoy and making millions of people jump through meaningless hoops.
But there's a bigger issue here: This is how government works. You work at your job, you get a paycheck, and a chunk of that heads up to Lansing or DC. And a chunk of that money goes to people like this who are entirely detached from reality and serve on "important" and acronym-laden commissions that spend their time bothering people who just want to buy or sell some whipped cream, because the only way they can justify having a job is if they do a lot of stuff. Romanticized versions of noble, reasonable, and benign government bureaucracies may exist in your head. They do not exist in reality. You cannot and will not ever see a competent and reasonable MLCC that bans truly dangerous items - say, poison. You will only get liquor commissions that claim they were confused by liquor. You cannot give so much power to so many people and expect it to be used reasonably. So stop doing it.