Nick Offerman (aka Ron Swanson) Illustrates Stifling Effects of Regulation—With Whiskey

Image via YouTube

Nick Offerman is kind of an icon among libertarians. Even though his personal politics tend to be rather liberal, his portrayal of Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation of an actual libertarian was hilarious and launched a thousand libertarian memes.


In a video that ultimately serves as a commercial for Talisker Whiskey, Offerman illustrates the many perils of trying to start a business in an overly regulated society.

Offerman is confronted with one problem after another before finally giving up and opening a whiskey stand. He’s then told that his stand is illegal and gives up and simply asks for a job.

While designed as a comedy, it highlights the real problem of trying to open a business, especially in something as highly regulated as a distillery.

The United States imposes similar roadblocks for people wanting to open such businesses. In fact, there are roadblocks for pretty much any kind of business, though the type and amount vary according to the industry.

Even the inclusion of the whiskey stand serves as a commentary on regulation. After all, how many kids have had their lemonade stands shut down by overzealous regulators taking issue with small children not having required permits and inspections? While Offerman isn’t nearly as sympathetic as a small child whose entrepreneurial dreams have been crushed by the state, we do see it at work again, this time for comedic value.


To be sure, this is created as comedy and it’s unlikely that Offerman has internalized any of his time as Ron Swanson, but for those of you who get it, this is a couple of extra minutes with Offerman giving us just a taste of more Swanson.

Now, if we can just get rid of those annoying regulations…




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