The State Owes Jack Daniel's Big Time

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So, as you've probably already heard, Beretta is coming to Middle Tennessee to make guns (not to be confused with Barrett, which was already in Middle Tennessee making guns. Okay, there's going to be some confusion among the non-gun-nuts. Let's just brace for it). Why are they bringing hundreds of jobs here? In the press release, Governor Haslam says, "Tennessee’s global reputation for manufacturing in an artisan tradition means we are able to attract companies like Beretta, with a proven commitment to excellence."

This is strange. What kind of artisan tradition of manufacturing could we possibly have on a global scale? Without Haslam coming out and saying it, we all know what he's talking about here, right? It's Jack Daniel's. The corporate myth they've sold the world is a myth that benefits us — that we're all tucked away in picturesque hollers with our thick drawls and full beards hand-crafting whiskey. What else could it be? Just try to imagine what someone in Italy, when they hear "Tennessee" thinks of. It's "country music" and "Jack Daniel's." That's it. And we don't manufacture our country stars through some artisanal process.

Don't get me wrong. It's obviously a mutually beneficial relationship between the state and Jack Daniel's. A whiskey made in Iowa doesn't quite have the same cache as saying that your whiskey is from Tennessee, and not just that but that you make whiskey in a place so old-time-y that you still can't legally buy that whiskey in the county where it's produced. God bless the Germans, you're not going to find any places in the Midwest where a person can't buy alcohol.

But I think it's important to acknowledge that this mutually beneficial relationship between a liquor distillery and the state is benefiting us both, world-wide. So, thanks, Jack Daniel's. We appreciate those Beretta jobs.

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