Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Liquor privatization initiatives
Posted by Letters editor
Take a cue from California
Editor, The Times:
Kudos to The Times for endorsing I-1100 [“Yes on initiative 1100,” Opinion, Sept. 19].
I have lived all over the United States and when I moved to Washington six years ago, I was astonished to find a vestige of prohibition still alive and well in what I thought was a progressive state: a state monopoly on the distribution and sale of liquor.
I came here from California, which is an expensive place to live, but liquor is reasonably priced there. Why? Because there is competition, not a monopoly.
State government certainly has a role to play in the lives of its residents, but being in the retail liquor business is not one of them.
— Robert L. Compton, Mill Creek
But what about the monopoly markup?
I was quite surprised with The Times’ view on Initiative 1100. The Times’ views are really lacking in substance.
Rules for discounts; rules for drunken drivers; regulated markets; taxes lost on monopoly — these are not good reasons for doing away with the present system.
Example: The small producer will be priced out of the market within one year if I-1100 is approved. Go look at what types of wines are sold at Costco. Not much room for the little guy!
I think the most glaringly weak part of your endorsement of I-1100 is that the state will lose its monopoly markup but its taxes on alcohol will continue. To make up for the loss of its markup, it can raise taxes!
Why would you do away with a revenue source and then have to turn around and raise taxes to raise revenue you just lost?
Get real: There’s nothing wrong with the present system.
I purchased my first Washington Liquor Card in 1952! Cost: 50 cents!
— Ed Johnson, Lacey
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