Saturday, April 09, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Lawmaker to Introduce Bill, Saying State-run Liquor Stores 'Anti-capitalist and Anti-free Market'

Reader query: Is it reasonable to expect that the Utah liquor market could achieve free market efficiency, while a state monopoly is preserved at the supply chain apex?

Tantalizing front page story (for civil libertarians at least) in this morning's Standard-Examiner, announcing that one Mormon Weber County legislator, House District 7 Representative Ryan Wilcox, is proposing... get this... the privatization of "the retail sale of liquor in Utah":
Gotta say we were gobsmacked by the headline, wondering how this relatively inexperienced "Mo-Mo" Wilcox kid would have summoned up the audacity to present a bill like this before a decidedly "Mormon" Legislature"... until we got down to the "fine print" contained in the last paragraph of today's Loretta Park story:
Wilcox said his proposal would include maintaining the same standards and control the state currently has over the sale of liquor, but with private businesses operating the liquor stores.
It thus becomes even more explicit when you read this language from today's SLTrib story on this topic, which basically, although more thoroughly than the Standard-Examiner, covers the same ground:
Wilcox said Utah’s model for privately run stores could come from so-called package agencies, run by private individuals. The agencies, which date back to the 1930s, are in small towns and rural areas where it’s not economically feasible to open a large, state-controlled store. [Emphasis added.]
Too funny people. Looks to us like this Wilcox kid is playing fast and loose with the facts, when he characterizes his new bill as a move toward "free market capitalism." It looks more like Soviet-style communism to us, with his bill preserving the state liquor monopoly right down through wholesaling/buying/warehousing/ distributing... to the "state package store" level, where private contractors would handle the retail marketing. Here's what this Wilcox fella is proposing people... The way it is set up by Wilcox, private business will pay all the retail costs and overhead and the state will still have all the control and reap all the spoils.

A "move toward free market capitalism?" That's so funny that your blogmeister forgot to laugh.

Seems to us that if representatives Wilcox and Richardson were really serious about adhering to the principles of free market economics (rather than engaging in mere sloganeering), they'd be sponsoring a bill to get the state government out of the liquor business altogether.

So what about it O Gentle Ones? Is it reasonable to expect that the Utah liquor market could achieve free market efficiency, while a state monopoly is preserved at the supply chain apex?


ozboy said...

Wilcox is pissin in the wind with this liquor bill unless and until he takes it up with the living prophets over at Church headquarters. If they like the concept they will channel it to the big guy upstairs for a final decision.

Dave R. said...

As time moves forward, will the LDS churches "word of wisdom" be updated to reflect current health science understanding, or will it continue to use 19th century rural medical knowledge for its "extortions"?

Such as, it is against the word of wisdom to live next to a toxic dump? Or, it is against the word of wisdom to feed your kids corn syrup for half of their caloric intake?
Or, it is OK to drink a glass of wine with dinner?

What will it cost us said...

Seems money talks in Utah so they should study other states and see what gives the state the most revenue.

Washington State controls liquor sales allows heavy beer and wine to be sold in grocery stores.

Oregon has privately run liquor stores and allows over 3.2 beer and wine sold in grocery stores, Costco and still collects revenue. Oregon has no sales tax on any products sold, higher income and property tax. Great wine selection at Fred Meyer AKA Kroger stores.

Need beer now! said...

Can anyone say that it's about time for an Antitrust Lawsuit against the "State of Utah"?

Need Beer Now!!!!!!!! said...

Besides, how much sense does it make to close 10 liquor stores at the cost of $10,000,000 in profits, according to the Standard Examiner, just to save $2,200,000?

Hmmmmmmmmmm, cut $2,200,000 from the budget to give up $10,000,000 in profits. Ya, that makes sense.

Curmudgeon said...

Reminds me of that T-Mobil ad now running, in which the ATT Nerd says of paying more to be slower: "It makes sense if you don't think about it."

Dave said...

"need beer now"

I think the underlying idea with the legislators is that drinking people are going to drink regardless of how far they have to drive to get it, therefore there will be no lost sales or revenue to the state. All the added costs will be on the shoulders of the drinkers who will have to drive further, burn more gas, spend more time and pollute the air more in order to feed their evil addictions. Considering the low esteem our legislature holds drinkers in, this apparently is a small sacrifice in their thinking and it is being born by the unworthy anyway, so what's the big deal.

Kudos to Wilcox said...

I say there's nothing wrong with a step in the right direction. Kudos to Wilcox.

googlegirl said...

List of alcohol laws of the United States by state

RudiZink said...

I say it's hypocritical for Rep. Wilcox to argue that "the way the state runs the liquor business is 'anti-capitalist and anti-free market,'" and then to propose legislation preserving the state's continuing monopoly of the wholesale end of the business.

If the principle Rep. Wilcox cites is valid and universal, limiting revisions to the Utah liquor laws to the "retail side" only makes absolutely no sense, and seems to indicate that the good house rep may have other motivations than the principles he's cited.

Who is Wilcox? said...

Given the obvious fact that Rep. Wilcox believes "free markets" and "capitalism" can somehow be served by a state wholesaling monopoly on alcohol, I'll assume Mr. Wilcox has neither a working knowledge of fundamental economic principles, nor any understanding of the Republican Party talking points which he "parrots."

Does anyone here know what Wilcox does for a living? Does he hold any business, finance or economics degrees?

ozboy said...

Wilcox is a Republican Mormon stooge. That's all you have to know about a politician here in Zion.

Next time you vote, just look for the "R", do the right thing, check the box accordingly and then just shut up and go home with the assurance that you have chosen well and won't have to pay any more attention, or do any more thinking. It is the Utah way.

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