Thank you so much for sending a copy of your bar employment study.
Right off I do find it irregular that your study does not mention the highly influential work of economist Dr. Michael Pakko. Dr. Pakko's economic studies have long been consulted by Midwestern journalists, business and political leaders, and the general public, on the St. Federal Reserve Bank website and his writings on smoking bans have been published in the Federal Reserve Bank publication the Regional Economist. The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank has even put out a video concerning his Illinois smoking ban study that is available on You Tube! When St. Louis City was considering a smoking ban last year, Dr. Pakko's standing as a research economist at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank gave his Columbia and Illinois casino smoking ban studies preeminence over studies conducted by public health professionals. His work had a huge roll in the exemption of bars and casinos from the smoking bans recently passed in St. Louis City and County, and in smoking ban deliberations in cities and states across America. Why does your study pretend his research does not exist?
I would like to further point out that your study can only provide reassurance to communities with low smoking rates. (The Minnesota smoking rate in 2007 was the fifth lowest in the nation, 17 percent, well below the national average.) Such communities according to the research of Dr. Chad Cotti and Dr. Scott Adams are not likely to see a large declines in bar and restaurant employment due to smoking bans. But Dr. Cotti says his research does indeed warn of catastrophic declines in bar employment in places with high smoking rates like St. Louis City. Last year Dr. Cotti predicted that a strict smoking ban in St. Louis City would cause a 19.7 percent decline in bar employment and the closure of many establishmens. Please find Dr. Cotti's statement attached.
Dr. Klein, your research is being used to assure political leaders, business owners, journalists and the general public that smoking bans don't hurt bars. Yet your research is consistent with big bar employment declines in communities with high smoking rates and with harm to individual establishments in communities with lower smoking rates. I think you should warn people that such blanket reassurance is something a study concerning overall employment numbers in two Minnesota cities cannot possibly provide.
Keep St. Louis Free is a group that fights to protect the personal freedoms and property rights of St. Louisans from dumb government intervention and harassment. We are willing to help anyone in St. Louis whose freedom and property rights are threatened. We have worked to protect property owners from eminent domain abuse and strongly support the gun rights of St. Louisans. But we have had our greatest success during the past 7 years defending the freedom and property rights of St. Louis City and County business owners from an unjustified smoking ban.
Keep St. Louis Free works to elect and support political leaders who respect the freedoms and property rights of St. Louis citizens.
If you care about St. Louis freedom and property rights, please join. We have fought against all sorts of unjust and irrational theft and restriction by government in St. Louis over years. Our campaign really began with a protest against the taking by St. Louis University head Fr. Biondi of our beloved music venue 20North back in 1999. Though many of our members have a special dislike for smoking bans and a reputation for defeating them, YOU DON"T HAVE TO OPPOSE SMOKING BANS TO JOIN!
My family has lived in St. Louis since the 1840's. I got interested in defending St. Louis freedoms and property rights from dumb government intervention after Father Biondi and the St. Louis Board of Alderman took away my friend's bar, 20 North, just after I had restored its exterior, to tear it down and plant grass. I started "Keep St. Louis Free!" to fight Kurt Odenwald's attempt to put a smoking ban on bars in St. Louis County. I don't want my kids to smoke but I also don't want them to grow up in a country, or a city, where it is illegal for a man to smoke a cigar in a bar. City officials should always err on the side of freedom and property rights.
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