College towns across the mid-West have entered into a ferocious contest to established alpha Social Justice Warrior status.
City councils are passing ordinances that prohibit businesses from doing business with, or entering into contracts with the city based on various litmus tests of "beliefs".
A sampling of those "beliefs" might include "rights" to same-sex marriages, unrestricted access to abortion, tobacco free, alcohol free...the list is potentially endless.
In several towns the businesses that sell alcohol and tobacco formed an alliance and hired a lawyer.
The lawyer concluded that paying taxes is a business activity prohibited by the water-tight language of the ordinances. This argument is further buttressed by the fact that the Securities and Exchanges Commission and Generally Accepted Accounting Practices invariably list paying taxes as a business activity.
These businesses are paying their taxes into escrow pending legal action initiated by the cities. The alliance directed the manager of the escrow account to invest in Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken Holding, SABMiller Plc, Kirin Holdings, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Reynolds American and Altria. A spokesman for the group said that the cities cannot take the money because it is tainted.
Richard Lisper, the spokesperson for the cities engaged in the lawsuit says that the claim that the money is tainted is spurious. It is a widely recognized point of law that money is fungible and bears no responsibility for the activities that caused it to accumulate in a given account.
The alliance of businesses counter-argued that the cities misunderstood their statement. "They can't have the money because its "tainted". Around here, it means 'taint theirs to take."
Meanwhile, bars, convenience stores and big box stores are busy securing leases outside the city limits of the most aggressive municipalities.
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