Wyoming Liberty Group
Boyd Wiggam and Gary Freeman discuss opportunities for state and local governments to expand economic opportunity and limit taxation including “Special Districts” reform legislation, the Transportation Network Companies bill, and a local government’s Fight the Blight Task Force.
Boyd Wiggam and Glenn Woods discuss economic liberty and the Transportation Network Companies bill before the Wyoming legislature that would allow internet-based, ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in Wyoming.
We have discussed how Wyoming’s alcohol regulatory system limits new small business opportunities without effectively deterring destructive behavior attributable to alcohol. The state rankings of alcohol abuse measured by DUI arrests per capita and binge drinking rate highlight some similar rural states that have combined market-friendly liquor licensing with lower levels of alcohol abuse.
West Virginia and Utah are the only two among the ten most responsible drinking states in both binge-drinking and DUI measures. Wyoming isn’t top ten in either. Unfortunately, Wyoming tops the chart in one category – drunk driving arrests per share of population. Therefore, market-oriented liquor license regulations in West Virginia or Utah do not necessarily lead to more irresponsible or dangerous behavior than exist under Wyoming’s current licensing regime.
Wyoming’s disturbing rate of alcohol-related calamity is no secret. Two ways to measure alcohol abuse among adults are to look at DUI arrests per capita and binge drinking rate. These measures show Wyoming leads the nation in DUI arrests per capita and is in the CDC’s second tier of states (out of three tiers) for binge drinking prevalence. Based on these data points, Wyoming’s system for regulating the alcohol market appears to be ineffective in deterring destructive behavior attributable to alcohol.
The Cheyenne City Council’s decision about allowing a retail liquor license owner to sell his license to Cheyenne’s Sam’s Club is about more than liquor policy. It is really a referendum on whether Cheyenne is open to business. Perhaps not. The Council Finance Committee recommends that the Council block the sale. This is a signal to investors that the City is willing to flex its muscle to protect favored locals at the expense of outside investors.
Cheyenne has a housing supply and affordability problem. Housing is scarce and expensive relative to household incomes in the area, but current regulations force developers to add unnecessary costs in the name of “aesthetics” to satisfy the architectural taste preferences of regulators. Boyd Wiggam and Doug Randall of KGAB discuss the City Council's rejection of a deregulation proposal that would have saved money for families on a 5-5 vote—even though the regulatory costs are ultimately passed along to the lower-income families that are struggling to find housing that fits within their budgets.