Knowing that I am a big wine fan my good friend and former JLF colleague Michael Sanera and his wife just sent me a $50 gift card to an online wine distributor called When I went to use the card on their site, the headline to this post is what came up. I love the sarcastic use of the word “quaint” in the message. As a North Carolina resident and consumer I would substitute the words oppressive or paternalistic. Apparently the reason why they cannot accept the gift card is that the state of North Carolina, among other ridiculous regulations on the sale and marketing of wine and beer, does not allow the issuing of discount coupons for these products and I guess that this gift card that Michael generously sent my way qualifies as a coupon. It is clearly time that North Carolina exits the dark ages when it comes to regulations on the sale of not only beer and wine but alcohol products more generally. Regulations like this one restrict our liberty, are petty, and in no way enhance social welfare.