Bikini baristas busted: Reason's Nanny of the Month

With practically every level of American government in a deep fiscal hole and profound issues of liberty and justice requiring attention, what are lawmakers doing to govern us? As Reason’s Nanny of the Month feature routinely reminds us, mostly climbing on hobby horses and doing their best to ignore the real issues.  In their March roundup, the great news is that the enormously serious issue of properly-clothed baristas is finally under control:

Lawmakers are no longer loco for just one brand of energy drink. Illinois State Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) has penned a bill that would make it illegal “to sell, offer for sale or deliver” just about any kind of energy drink to anyone under age 18 (Arroyo’s championing another top-tier issue–outlawing lion steaks).

Meanwhile, dog lovers in Oklahoma are sounding off against a plan cooked up by State Sen. Patrick Anderson (R-Enid) to allow cities to ban specific breeds of dogs (stay tuned for the surprise twist!).

But this time the Nanny of the Month comes to us from Shelton, WA where city commissioners and townspeople alike have united against a threat of bikini baristas!


The truly sad part of this month’s winner is that this fight has been going on for five years, at least in the state of Washington. No, seriously. Five years ago next month, this made network news, oh-so-coincidentally during sweeps month:

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While I sympathize with the viewpoints of local residents, government intervention is hardly the answer. If the dress code doesn’t violate any other laws (which might be the case with the pasties), then the proper response is to raise awareness and organize a free-market response that fails to reward that kind of marketing strategy. Emphasizing the demeaning aspect of being put on display in this manner to the young women in the local area might also make the hiring costs steep enough to curtail the profit potential of bikini baristas. If residents can’t win those arguments, then a resort to government force would be illegitimate anyway, at least in an ethical sense.

Which of these deserve to be the winner? Take the poll:

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Jazz Shaw 1:01 PM on April 01, 2023