Can we justify the Easter trading laws?

Back in April, Benje Patterson decided to have a think about whether the Easter trading laws really made sense (Infometrics link).  His view was that:

Having so far failed in my search for a reasonable justification for restricting Easter trading in New Zealand, my mind then turned to a more consumer-orientated motivation that transcends religion and worker welfare.  Perhaps I am the odd one out and the majority of society want the shops to be closed at Easter simply because it allows them to enjoy a quiet day, free of temptations to hit the shops and consume.

Is this the only fair justification – and is it a reasonable justification in of itself?

  • Paul Walker

    But why do you need shops to be closed to “enjoy a quiet day, free of temptations to hit the shops and consume”? If you don’t want to shop, then don’t, Stay at home and read a book -“The Wealth of Nations” would be good! It looks like a non-argument to me. There has to be ways for people who think like this to achieve non-consumption without creating negative exteralities for normal people.

  • VMC

    Maybe (to Paul Walker) you are the person who would have to work in the shop????

    • Paul Walker

      And I told the job voluntarily.

      • VMC

        Ans when you “told” the job, what did it tell you back?

        • Paul Walker

          It did. It said “check what you write before posting”. Obviously told should have been took.

          And if I can object to working at Easter, why can I not object to working, say, every Thursday?

  • ben

    “Is this the only fair justification – and is it a reasonable justification in of itself?”

    You actually have to ask the question?

    For anyone considering answering yes I have all kinds of personal preferences I would like everyone else to obey (how about free skiing for over 35s, or free petrol for red 1998 Subarus), with the only difference being I may not be able to get 61 votes in parliament to support, which you didn’t ask about and doesn’t go to the merits in any case.

    No, the justification is not reasonable.