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The Beer Cartel and the Best Little Whorehouse in Florida

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Message Farid Khavari

Florida's pay-for-play legislature is the premier legal brothel in the Sunshine State. The customers are so classy that to avoid paparazzi--and social diseases--they hire other prostitutes (known as "lobbyists") to stand in for them.  These proxy Johns (and Janes) revel and cavort, in intimate one-on-one, energetic multiplayer and even epic orgy scenes--for scarcely more than you'd pay for a week in Orlando with the kids.

What value!  No mere escort service or strip club can get your private-interest legislation through committee and passed, or kill some onerous bill for you, the way these low-dollar doxies can. At these low prices, they have to turn a lot of tricks, but there is always a waiting line.   

That's why they have little time for non-paying customers, such as Florida voters who naively wish for things like clean water, living manatees, and maybe even a few less abused seniors or dead children. 

Not when guys like the Beer Cartel come to town.

Who even knew a Beer Cartel existed?  Now for $65,000 the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association bought the Senate Rules committee to pass SB1714. This bill allows Big Beer to strong-arm craft brewers and micro-breweries.  Get this:  if you brew more than 2,000 kegs a year (enough beer for an average frat-house, say), you have to sell your beer to the cartel, and then buy it back from them at a higher price, so you can then sell it to your customers at your nice bar or tasting room.  

Read that again. Seriously?

Micro-breweries say they have to brew 14,000 kegs a year to break even, and having the cartel for partners will put them out of business.  Anheuser-Busch sells 100,000,000 kegs a year. 

Florida Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) sponsored this bill for $6,000. Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) got on board for $8,000. See what I mean about good value? The Beer Cartel would make millions per year from this cheap little law, and to hell with a few hundred jobs or freedom of choice.

Politics has been corrupt in Florida for so long that voters are convinced this is the only way it can be.  These happy hookers get re-elected every time--usually by less than 25% of eligible voters.

Here's how to beat our legislators at their own game and make them do what we need done.  Say you want something like, oh, restored Everglades and clean water, and you want the state to simply allot 0.5% of the budget for a few years to pay for it, and just get it done.

For $100,000 you can buy five sponsors for your bill in the House and five in the Senate.  Now, here's the key--and trust me on this, I'm an economist, and this is essential.  You include in your bill that every legislator is awarded $50,000 in consulting fees.  That bill would pass faster than a speeding bullet train.  

120 representatives and 40 senators at $50,000 each is only $8,000,000. Compared with $2,000,000,000 or more, it's a rounding error. Compared with the cost of doing nothing, it is less than nothing.

End fracking? Same deal, but make the consulting fees $20,000 for every year per legislative seat as long as there is no fracking going on. 

Why shouldn't the voters get the kind of service that the Big-Money Special Interests get? They expect returns like this on their investments in legislative concubines.  How much do you suppose the insurance industry pays? Nothing compared to the billions in profits they suck out of Florida every year.

This is one innovative way to embrace the corruption and get the job done. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

I hope you noticed that I did not include a "consulting fee" for the governor. That's because I am running for governor and I want you to know I'm not doing it for money.  

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Farid A. Khavari, Ph.D., is a noted economist and independent candidate for Florida governor in 2014. He is the author of 10 books including Environomics: the Economics of Environmentally Safe Prosperity (1993) and Toward a Zero Cost Economy (more...)

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