Yes on Initiatives I-1100 and I-1105: Alcohol Privatization

If you have spent any time in a state where you can freely buy liquor from most retail locations - you understand why a yes to I-1100 and I-1105 presents a big plus for the citizens of Washington. The prices are lower, the access is easier, and private retailers have more choices and less restriction on what they can sell to the public they depend on to survive - they can also compete against others and offer better values for adults who enjoy a stiff one.

There is of course negatives to this - like alcoholism, underage drinking, and a loss of income to the state of Washington by repealing the current monopoly on our freedom of alcoholic choice. If you really think about it though - these negatives are already a problem with the current system, well, except for the state run monopoly because they currently have control over our choices of what we can buy, where we can buy it, and how much we will spend (which is much more than at states that do not have such a monopoly).

I am all about freedom of choice and capitalism - the two combined help stimulate every facet of our American lives. They separate the good from the bad by process of selection. We can choose, by price, or otherwise which businesses survive. That choice is taken away when a state run monopoly is in place. We are at the mercy of our own government for our personal choices and our freedom is diminished. That doesn't sound very American to me. As it is, the state's Liquor Control Board marks up the price of alcohol by 51.9 percent. If we can make a change - private sector competition will drive prices down.

Quick Review:

I-1100: Retailers could begin selling hard alcohol on June 1, 2011. State liquor stores would be shut down by Dec. 31, 2011. The existing state taxes on liquor will remain. But revenue generated from the mark-up of spirits will go to the retailer, not the state.

I-1105: The state Liquor Control Board will oversee licensing of liquor retailers and distributors. The board will cease operating all liquor stores and sell inventory and assets of those stores, including the state's liquor distribution center, by April 1, 2012. Licensed retailers may start selling Nov. 1, 2011. Like I-1100, this initiative will increase the number of retailers selling spirits. Licenses will only be issued to stores already selling beer and wine.

So what do you say Seatte? Is it time for a change? If so, vote YES on Initiatives I-1100 and I-1105.