Great Moments (Almost) in Property Rights
By David Henderson
And from the New Republic, no less.
The last two tweaks of the Sheppard Amendment [the Amendment to the U.S. Constitution proposed by Senator Morris Sheppard] were connected to each other. In addition to the congressional wets, a few moderate drys whose votes were still somewhat in question wanted to provide compensation to the distillers and brewers, much of whose property was about to become worthless. At the time the Sheppard Amendment was pending, thirteen million gallons of bourbon were aging in Kentucky warehouses alone. Nationwide, the liquor and beer industries represented nearly $1 billion in invested capital, by that measure making the combination the nation’s fifth largest industry. The New Republic said any dry who argued against compensation was “exactly as mindful of property interests . . . as the Russian Bolsheviki.”
This is from Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent.