Sunday, November 6, 2011

Liquor & 1183

I'm not against the privatization of the liquor industry under state regulation and oversight. I've lived in many states where it's privatized, some good and some less good. What I am against is Initiative 1183 which hands it to Costco and the big box stores, leaving the vast majority of smaller and the Mom&Pop stores out of luck.

It also cuts out most if not all of the wholesalers who won't have jobs anymore and smaller liquor producers to can't compete with the direct purchase power of Costco from the big liquor producers. It also puts all the state employees out of jobs with little or no prospect of future employment.

As much as the law says, it doesn't stop small stores and markets from selling hard liquor because of the distance to the nearest store of suffiicent size to sell liquor. Without any larger store, a smaller store will have rights to sell liquor, many where the state liquor store currently exists or new stores where they don't exist.

And as much as the law states, the income won't go directly to law enforcement and state regulators overseeing the stores. The money will go into the general revenue funds for uses determined by the state legislature and the governor's office, not to added enforcement as the ads suggest.

If we privatize the liquor industry, let's do it responsibly where every business involved has fair and equal access to compete and there are jobs for people. Everyone knows Costco and the big box stores won't add employeers to sell liquor, they'll just add the work to the existing staff. And restaurants and other outlets won't add jobs either. It's all pure profit for them, nothing added for jobs, people and families.

I voted against both initiatives when they were on the ballot last time and I'll vote against I-1183 this time. This initiative doesn't help and only hurts us in the long run. There are better ways. If we want to privatize the liquor market in this state, let's do it repsonsibly, not favoring any one industry but favoring all and the state to ensure it doesn't add to the drunk driving and other criminal offenses from alchohol.

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