Free markets are often times the best policy. But so far (and yes, it’s early days) with liquor privatization, prices have gone up. Now if you think that markets are inherently good philosophically in all cases (or in this case) then the prices being up may be fine. And in the long run, maybe they start high but eventually go down or in the long run they won’t go up as much as if the state controlled distribution.
But I think if you’d told people a bottle of Jameson will go up couple bucks, and that’s generally true the initiative would have a lot less support. I mean whenever I was in Costco during the signature gathering and the campaign there were signs saying how much cheaper alcohol was in California. And attributing all of that to market forces over the big bad state government.
But market forces haven’t worked that way, at least not yet. And so while Costco will probably make a profit, the people who supported it at the ballot box may rightly be upset that they didn’t get the result they wanted. It may feel like more freedom to ideologues and people who make a greater profit. But for people who pay more, it’s just paying more.
We were told capitalism would bring down prices, and so far capitalism failed at that. I hope the next time we have a discussion of how to have markets in Washington, the proponents of more market solutions (and I may be one of them) will have the decency to use better logic than trust the market.