Posts Tagged ‘Justin Owen’

Beacon Declares Victory at Ballot Box

Beacon Declares Victory at Ballot Box

Statement from Justin Owen on Amendments 2 and 3:

The Beacon Center applauds Tennessee voters for approving both amendments we endorsed, and because of that, the future of Tennessee looks brighter than ever.

Amendment 2 led to an important and spirited discussion, with valid points made by both sides as we worked to resolve the constitutional quagmire over how to select state judges. The vote on Amendment 2 shows that Tennesseans support our Founding Fathers’ view of the judiciary: able to independently uphold the rule of law, while still accountable to the people via their elected representatives.

The vote on Amendment 3 puts the final nail in the coffin of a state income tax, ensuring that Tennesseans, their children, and their grandchildren can keep more of their hard-earned money. We would like to give a special thanks to Senator Brian Kelsey for leading the charge to ensure that Tennessee forever remains income tax-free.

November 5th, 2014 | Commentary, Feature

Give distillers a “shot” at competition

Give distillers a “shot” at competition

Jack Daniel’s is an iconic Tennessee brand that sells more whiskey around the world than any other American distiller. But being the king of whiskey is not enough for the company. Last year, it successfully persuaded the Tennessee legislature to define the term “Tennessee whiskey” in a way that gives it a leg up over its competitors, and in hearings this week, its representatives pressed lawmakers to stay the course. Now that our state lawmakers have weighed in—ever the experts in determining what is good hooch—one cannot claim the term “Tennessee whiskey” unless his product is “made from 51 percent corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, filtered through maple charcoal and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof.”

This restriction is akin to another government directive that we at Beacon have long chided: occupational licensing. The state requires a license for 111 different occupations, and further regulates more industries with “titling acts” that require government permission. For instance, one cannot call herself a “registered interior designer” without first getting the government’s blessing.

Rules that limit competition by giving the government monopoly over certain terms, whether it’s “registered interior designer” or “Tennessee whiskey” fly in the face of freedom and free enterprise. Consumers, not politicians, should determine who can rightly use these terms. I’m pretty confident whiskey drinkers have given ol’ Jack the green light on calling itself “Tennessee whiskey,” so the company shouldn’t need legislation to keep it that way.

On the bright side, one of Jack’s biggest competitors, nearby George Dickel, is advocating for repealing the law enacted last year. While Dickel itself meets the definition laid out by lawmakers, its lobbyist correctly said in last week’s hearings:

“I don’t think it’s up to the state to decide that, ‘Hey, only one way of making Tennessee whiskey is going to be allowed, and we’re going to give it the state seal of approval, when for over 150 years the state did not weigh in,” he said.

For the sake of freedom—and the budding entrepreneurs hoping to compete on a level playing field with the likes of Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel—lawmakers should return the state to its neutral position on the issue, letting consumers decide what is and is not true “Tennessee whiskey.”

-Justin Owen

November 3rd, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News

UAW Shows the Ugly Face Behind Its Friendly Mask

UAW Shows the Ugly Face Behind Its Friendly Mask

News broke yesterday that the United Auto Workers has begun aggressively bullying workers at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The union released a list of “scab” workers and called on union members to confront those workers to get them to fall into line.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the statement that accompanied the list of names read as follows:

“The following individuals are NON-dues paying workers. They have chosen to STOP paying Union Dues and still reap the rewards of your negotiated benefits,” the sign says. “If you work near one of these people listed please explain the importance of Solidarity and the power of collective bargaining.”

While this is unsurprising given the UAW’s history, these tactics prove that the only way the union can bilk money from workers is to use force and intimidation. And it’s using its own members as its henchmen. This disgusting display should be brought to an immediate end by the GM plant’s leadership.

This further shows that workers at the Volkswagen Chattanooga plant better watch out. We’ve been sounding the alarm that the UAW will stop at nothing to fund its radical political agenda. While it may try to mask its true intentions at the Chattanooga plant by creating a voluntary, dues-free union, what is happening in Spring Hill let’s us see the ugly truth behind that mask.

-Justin Owen

October 8th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Recent News

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