State legislators are trying to pass liquor privatization. I’ll leave it to other people to point out that liquor privatization initiatives failed last year, as well as the pros and cons of this particular measure.
There is one thing I do find interesting about last year’s results: how poorly it did in Eastern Washington. Maybe there’s some moralizing and concern for the budget that compelled the rest of the state (myself included) to oppose liquor privatization. But there’s something else unique to rural Washington.
You see, in many rural parts of the country, capitalism doesn’t work very well. There aren’t enough people in the market for various goods and services, so they don’t get there. In some cases, that’s just how they want things. I think most people who chose to live 50 miles from the nearest stop sign wouldn’t trade with me, no matter how much I’m glad to have a few bakeries within walking distance, and the ability to go out on my bike anywhere I want. Still, rural people want some things that the market can’t provide. So we as a society have set up things like rural electrification, farm subsidies and public radio.
Surely, there are places in rural Washington where there would be less hard alcohol sold if we privatize the system. For a lot of people the selection and hours may not be all they want, but they know they would get less if the state stores went away.