Legislating Morality

A good editorial from George Will:

E-cigarettes raise public health issues but also illustrate the unhealthy process by which public policy often is made. They illustrate a familiar phenomenon, the cooperation between “bootleggers and Baptists,” meaning merchants and moralists — those motivated by profits and those motivated by social improvement…

Regulations often come from a counterintuitive convergence of pressures from two groups, the earnestness of one providing cover for the other’s avarice. In his example, Baptists wanted laws closing liquor stores on Sundays to promote piety, and bootleggers wanted such laws to create an unserved market.

via When bootleggers and Baptists converge – The Washington Post.

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