Day #14 — and Counting

Does the following seem just a little absurd to anyone else?

Minnesota state officials told MillerCoors that it must remove all 39 brands of its beer from shelves statewide because its $1,170 brand-label registration fee wasn’t processed before the shutdown.

–“Shutdown Hits Happy Hour”; The Wall Street Journal (7/14/2011)

So, let me see if I have this right:

MillerCoors can’t renew its “brand-label registration fee” — whatever the hell that is — because the state is shut down.

Yet, somebody at the state is apparently very much on the job . . . policing MillerCoors’ non-compliance.

Remind me again why people have such low regard for government(?!?).

Shades of ’94-’95 Baseball Strike

Aside from isolated absurdities like the above, the surprise — so far — is exactly how little fallout there’s been from the state shutdown.

Yes, the state parks are closed.

And yes, the processing of various fees and permits has come to a screeching halt (I know one, very unfortunate Realtor who was a day late renewing his annual license, and is now idled until someone at the Commerce Department shows up to cash his check).

However, from outward appearances, at least, the state appears to be “open for business” and functioning normally.

Coping Skills

In that respect, my best guess is that Minnesotans will respond to the state shutdown much the way baseball fans reacted to the ’94 – ’95 baseball strike — i.e., they’ll improvise workarounds and other, creative solutions to fill any genuine vacuum.

In other words, they’ll figure out how to move on, as best they can.

Once the shutdown is inevitably resolved, earning back Minnesotans’ allegiance to — and dependence upon — government services (hopefully) will take some doing.

Not a bad silver lining.

P.S.:  None of the foregoing is intended to minimize the stress and economic pain now being inflicted on some 20,000 state workers, who are really just pawns in the entire, disagreeable process.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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