Hanlon’s Razor is a heuristic, not a law

Earlier I had attributed New Brunswick’s introduction of state beer to the collision of a simpleminded desire to keep people from drinking too much with the harsh realities of free trade (in this case, across the NB-QC border).  Stupidity, in other words, rather than malice.

Turns out I was wrong.

Commenter Cooper Krebs sets me straight: this is straightforward regulatory capture by Moosehead.

Past history has clearly indicated that although the day to day beer business is run by NB Liquor, the overall strategy of the beer business is controlled by Moosehead breweries. It has been an unstated goal of NB Liquor to protect Moosehead from Bud, Labatt, Molson and anything elsse that might erode their market share.


But essentially this is a very anti-competitive move by NB Liquor. The everyday low price of 18.67 per 12 pack can does not compete with Quebec prices at all so this will have no impact on “beer bleed” as NB Liquor CEO Dana Clendenning christined the purchase of beer in Quebec by New Brunswickers. What it does do is allow Moosehead to have a beer prominently displayed at the lowest price allowed in every corner of this province at no cost to them. In fact we, the taxpayers, pay them to make the beer so it can be sold back to us.


The 2 million dollar opportunity cost of Selection beer will have an impact. It will result in price increases for wine and spirits.

If you are beginning to think that the consumer is really getting screwed here, you are on the right track. Don’t forget to think about Pumphouse and Piccaroons. Their tax dollars are being used by a Crown Corporation to directly compete with them. Incredible but true.

Those stood out to me as the highlights, but you really ought to read the whole thing.

7 Responses to “Hanlon’s Razor is a heuristic, not a law”

  1. July 18, 2009 at 01:16

    Nah, Hanlon’s Razor remains intact. it contains the qualifier “adequately”, that’s an important distinction to remember. Stupidity alone is inadequate to explain this level of meddlesomeness.

  2. 2 Ish
    August 16, 2009 at 08:02

    No updates for over a month? Wha…?

  3. 5 Ish
    August 19, 2009 at 10:36

    Seriously, the difficulty of having to live through the “ObamaCare” crisis without my favorite economic-minded misanthrope? That’d be too much to bear even if he didn’t have the added bonus of being a primary source on how non-government Canadians veiwed their healthcare system.

    Heck, I’d just like to know a little bit more about beer and race cars…

  4. August 19, 2009 at 19:31

    Today’s your lucky day, folks: I’m once again more pissed off than I am worn out.

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anarchocapitalist agitprop

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