Monday, July 03, 2006

Sunday shopping -- a dialogue

C: What is your position on Sunday shopping?

T: In my view, the question is not Sunday shopping but rather Sunday opening. I believe store owners have the right to open on Sundays and that right should not be restricted.

C: But do people really need to shop seven days a week?

T: No, but nor do they need to shop six days a week. Or even five. If it came to need, we could probably get by with one day a week. But it isn't a question of need; it's a question of freedom.

C: I think it's good for families.

T: On what evidence?

C: Well, I don't know what evidence there could be.

T: Well, one indicator of healthy family life might be the divorce rate. If NS was the only province without Sunday shopping and had a much lower divorce rate than other provinces, that might be one bit of evidence. But it doesn't. In fact, NS, is right in the middle of the pack.

C: But still, it's good for families to be together one day of the week.

T: Maybe. Or maybe it's bad if the family is relying on income they could earn on Sundays. In any case, what about the families of people who work at drug stores or convenience stores?

C: Well, there are only a couple of exceptions.

T: Really? What about police officers, casino workers, tourist industry workers, people who work in restaurants and at movie theatres? People who work in radio and television? Taxi drivers? These people all seem to get along.

C: OK, but for those who do work in retail...

T: Yes, but many of those people work on Sundays anyway!

C: What?

T: Yes, because the law does not forbid people working, only the stores actually opening for business, so many stores actually have employees come in to clean and stock shelves even though the store is closed.

C: So what's the point of the law, then?

T: Exactly.