State Republicans are trying to use our current budget crisis as an opportunity to sell off our state store system, and privatize the sale of hard liquor. Why? I’m not sure even they know why. I guess they just believe that privatization is always good, kinda like the same way some Republicans believe that humans coexisted with dinosaurs.
But as Rev. Jimmie James and Rep. Zack Hudgins point out in a Seattle Times guest column yesterday, privatization just isn’t worth it. Under our state store system Washington has the highest compliance rate in the nation in terms of restricting the sale of liquor to minors, and one of the lowest rates of alcohol consumption… and its inevitable social impact. All this while adding over $300 million a year to the state budget.
Furthermore, despite all their talk about supporting small business, the Republican proponents of privatization obviously couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the mom and pop private contractors throughout the state who would lose their shirts while the sale of liquor was monopolized by out of state giants like Safeway, Albertson’s, 7-Eleven, and Kroger’s (QFC & Fred Meyer).
So, you sometimes gotta plan a little ahead if you’re running low on liquor. Suck it up. Hell, if you ask me, tobacco should only be available in the state stores too. Along with pot. Now that would generate the state some serious revenue.