My goodness my Guinness!

“Guinness needs your help!” reads the subject line on an email I received from the company today. I went to one of their “Guinness Believer” promotional events a few years ago — totally worth it for the free beer — so I get occasional mail from them. I assumed this was another message about their campaign urging people to petition Congress for official recognition of St. Patrick’s Day. Clever, but I’ve always hated its pernicious message that for an institution to be valuable it must be legitimized by government (cf. debate over same-sex marriage).

Happily, that’s not what the email was about. Here’s what it said:

As someone who enjoys great brands such as Smirnoff, Crown Royal, Captain Morgan, Johnnie Walker, Ketel One, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray, Guinness, Beaulieu Vineyard or Sterling Vineyards wines, you are a member of the Diageo family. As a member of our family, you need to be aware that in the coming months, lawmakers will be proposing tax increases that will put jobs in your community at risk and raise the cost of your favorite drink.

There’s a real price to pay when elected officials misguidedly try to replenish state budgets with regressive taxes that will hit us at a time when we are already being hit hard enough economically. These taxes will cause people like bartenders, waiters, waitresses and other folks who work hard every day in our community restaurants and hotels to lose their jobs. In fact, the last time they raised taxes on alcohol, $1.3 billion in wages were lost, while 98,000 people found themselves out of work.

Hardly sounds fair, does it? […]

Together, we can protect our jobs, our livelihoods, and the right to responsibly enjoy a drink.

It’s ballsy, I like it. The link takes you to their handy site where you can find the latest news about tax proposals in your state and contact your representatives to oppose them.

I don’t always approve of Diageo’s lobbying and I can’t vouch for the numbers on their main page, but this is an admirable campaign. For this I’ll lift a Guinness some time soon.

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