Amare Taye staked his claim to the American Dream when he opened a small convenience store in Seattle's Central Area.A fine example of a success story. Sadly the government, and an elite, have a regulatory future for him.
After fleeing Ethiopia in 1984, he washed dishes for $3 an hour, drove cabs and forklifts and changed bedpans as a nurse's assistant. All those years of hard work were worth it when, in 1998, he bought King's Deli at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and East Cherry Street.
Prodded by complaints from increasingly upscale Seattle neighborhoods, the Washington State Liquor Control Board is mulling new rules that would yank half the beers and wines from Taye's coolers. Steel Reserve, Olde English "800," Thunderbird 34 cheap beers and fortified wines in all would be banned.The facts are simple. If he has a market, he stocks what the market buys. If the neighborhood goes upscale, then he will stock what they buy. It's how a business makes a prophet. Instead of letting the market decide what he stocks, they will strangle him with regulations and run him out of business.
"They're going to push me to the curb. I really have no idea what I am going to do," Taye says, waving his hands and speaking in a rapid, angry staccato. "I think about it when I sleep. I think about it when I walk around. I think about it when I am with my family."
The modern American dream is slowly being strangled by red tape.