Utah town debates banning alcohol & Sunday sales
The town of Ceder Hills is in an uproar over a push to ban alcohol sales and Sunday shopping:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A lot of us moved to Cedar Hills because it had a very family-friendly atmosphere, and it was a good place to raise children in a safe and comfortable environment,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Councilman James Parker. Ã¢â‚¬Å“These two proposals were meant to preserve this unique feeling in the community. Our neighbors to the north, Alpine and Highland, both have this ordinance, and I hope we perpetuate it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
However, this ordinance digs deeper than just values. A ban to halt alcohol sales and Sunday shopping would give residents no choice, including those who belong to other churches in the area.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The majority here donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t drink, but the question is whether or not to force those of other faiths not to shop on Sunday or drink,Ã¢â‚¬Â Perry said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a subtle but important decision to prohibit others with other beliefs.Ã¢â‚¬Â
After reading this, I was at first I was thinking it was stupid to allow the majority to run over the minority on an issues like this, because people should be free to choose for themselves whether to shop on Sunday or to drink.
But on second thought, what about the fact that allowing alcohol sales increases the number of intoxicated drivers on the roads of Cedar Hills?
With Sunday shopping this negative externalities argument is harder to make, but still applies: When corporations like Smith's are open on Sundays to accommodate Sunday shoppers, it puts additional pressure on Smith's employees (and potential employees) to accept Sunday shifts--an undesirable effect felt by non-Sunday shoppers.
So what does this mean? It means that, in cases like these, it isn't entirely wrong for the majority to bar the minority from these sorts of activities because their consequences are not exclusively borne by the minority.