Maybe because I happily pay whatever dollars the government wants to tack onto wine prices, I honestly do not understand the resistance to taxing soda. Apparently NYState has just caved on that perfectly intelligent plan, and it makes no sense. Carbonated high-fructose corn syrup is already dangerously cheap. And it’s not as if it’s as essential as salt. What but benefits could be accomplished in adding a few pennies to the price of half a gallon and applying it to the general good? Are they worried the poor will suffer? That would be a first.

Just as insane was a report that the Legislature is backing off on letting grocery stores sell wine, as they do in civilized places. So New York, one of the leading winemaking states, is going to remain a backwater. To know how ridiculous this is, just take a walk up Columbus or a plane to Buffalo. Holy Foods sells wine, but only in a store with a separate entrance. Premier has one of the best wine selections for states, and the door to it is separated from the food side by maybe six steps. Neither is putting the mom-and-pops out of business. Both are just inconveniencing customers. This is the new Prohibition, because the same sorts are cleaning up with it.