Wall Street Journal | Szafir, Gleason: These Prices Are a Steal—and in Some States, That’s Illegal
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, WILL Executive Vice President CJ Szafir and Americans for Tax Reform call for the repeal of Wisconsin’s minimum markup law.
It should be easy for lawmakers to repeal regressive regulations like this, but special interests in petroleum, agriculture and alcohol are invested in the anticompetitive status quo. Even in Wisconsin, a state controlled by conservative Republicans for the past seven years, bills to repeal minimum markups have gone nowhere.
So is this archaic regulation destined to stay? Perhaps not. Krist Oil, with the help of attorneys at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, has filed a lawsuit currently pending in state court that argues minimum markups arbitrarily and irrationally violate the economic liberty guaranteed by the Wisconsin Constitution. A victory here could be a blueprint for change in other states.
With wages flat in many parts of the country, Americans could use the savings to be had from allowing businesses to compete more effectively. If lawmakers in the 26 states with minimum markups are looking for an issue to run on in 2018, one that can appeal to free-market conservatives, urban Democrats, Trump populists and soccer moms, this would be a great place to start.