Letter: Liquor costs unreasonably high
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Liquor costs unreasonably high
In a normal capitalist system, the abolition of a monopoly results in lower prices for consumers. My thanks to Peter Callaghan for his June 10 column, "Liquor initiative wasn't crafted to lower booze prices," for explaining why this has not been the case with the privatization of liquor sales in Washington state.
It is clear that what we were suckered into buying is practically a textbook example of crony capitalism. The private market earns a profit, the state gets to keep its "profit," and consumers lose. So the revolution is unfinished. We need two further measures, the first to reduce outrageous taxes on spirits to the same sales tax imposed on other goods, and a second to promote competition by getting rid of the silly 10,000-square-foot requirement for liquor retailers.
Certainly laws against underage consumption of alcohol and drunken driving need to be enforced, but punishing legal, responsible consumers with higher prices is not an acceptable solution to those concerns.