Sunday, March 8, 2009

North Dakota Blue Laws Cost State Money

Donna and I had to run out to Wal-Mart today. Yeah, yeah; Wal-Mart boo. I know. Normally we're Target people, but I buy shrimp at Wal-Mart because it's good and cheap, so deal with it. Anyway, stores in Fargo generally don't open until noon because of old-timey blue laws still on the books. Certain types of stores are exempt, such as grocery stores and gas stations. Also, apparently coffee shops, as Fargo Coffee House on South University was open at 10:30 .

Kohl's? Target? Barnes & Noble? Not open till noon. To be safe, we went to the Wal-Mart in Moorhead as Minnesota doesn't care what time you open your store. I'm fairly sure the Fargo store was open too, but I didn't want to be wrong. I wonder how much business gets lost when early risers like myself (I was up by, like, 9!) want to go spend money but can't on the North Dakota side of the Red River.

I've heard stories that indicate it used to be worse; that there was a time when you could only buy "necessities" on Sundays in North Dakota. For example, you could go to a grocery store and pick up the ingredients to make bread, but if you tried to buy a bread pan the store would refuse to sell it.

This is apparently all tied to religious sensibilites about working on the Sabbath and such. I'm sure Jesus would be proud. In 2009 it just seems silly, not to mention economically inane.

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