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I-1183: Don’t be fooled by supporters

Letter by Brian W. Hogan, Kent on Oct. 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm with 85 Comments »
October 10, 2011 2:50 pm

So you’ll know where I’m coming from, I buy my annual box of Guinness from Costco, make a few purchases of peach schnapps at the local liquor store, and occasionally buy a scratch ticket or play the Lotto. I pass on anything I have to inhale, thank you.

The News Tribune’s analysis (10-9) of the liquor initiative makes it clear it’s not necessarily going to be cheaper to buy from the private stores, as the state is going to assess the same rate of taxes. So then the only way the state comes out ahead from the deal is to lay off more than 1,000 middle-income employees and the increased sales of liquor. Since we’re trying to increase, not decrease, the number of taxpaying people in this state, that seems silly.

Since I’ve never been in liquor store where the wait line has been larger than two, we have no shortage of opportunity to purchase liquor. What we do not have is “in-your-face” advertising to increase the sale of liquor, as would happen with privatization.

Why would we choose to line the pockets of the big stores that are salivating to get their hands on potentially big profits for themselves? The vote yes ads are deceptively portraying the supposed benefits in passing Initiative 1183 while encouraging the purchase of an item that can lead to destructive behavior.

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  1. stetsonwalker says:

    Sales increasing or decreasing has no bearing on this. This is America and if an adult chooses to have a beverage they should be able to do so. This is not meth or heroin, it is simply a beverage adults sometimes like to indulge in. They should not have to pay a person $50,000 per year to hand it to them across the counter and take their money.

  2. Your annual purchase of a box of Guiness…….what size box are we talking about?

  3. everyone says:

    Washington state is in the dark ages. Most other states did this years ago. Government has no business involved in retail.

  4. tree_guy says:

    Maybe the current workers will be losing their jobs, but the new suppliers will be hiring extra staff so I don’t see much of an employment issue.

  5. ItalianSpring says:

    Sorry Brian. I won’t be tricked. The state has NO business selling liquor nor healthcare and I will always vote for liberty and against the state plantation.

  6. bobcat1a says:

    What makes you believe anyone will lose a job? There will be more, not fewer, places opened to sell liquor, therefore more employees.

  7. “tree_guy says:
    October 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm
    Maybe the current workers will be losing their jobs, but the new suppliers will be hiring extra staff so I don’t see much of an employment issue.”

    Naivety at it’s best. Costco and others could take on a new line of product without hiring one person.

  8. “They should not have to pay a person $50,000 per year to hand it to them across the counter and take their money.”

    Ridiculous…..but considering the source, I’m being redundantly redundant. WSLS employees are mostly part time and work for about $2,500 a month…many less than a Costco employee is paid.

  9. tree_guy says:

    “Costco and others could take on a new line of product without hiring one person.”

    Maybe, Kardy, but this product line is going to drive in so much new business they will be needing extra warehouse and front line people. And the product is so valuable that they will need extra security people, extra surveillence, etc. Don’t be so naive.

  10. theglovesRoff says:

    Praise SONDRAK!!!!!!!!

  11. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    I am voting yes for only one reason. Passage will result in 100 million $$$ saved in pay and benifits of a 1000 state workers that we don’t need. The democrats said they would close the print shop and privatize. The unions said no and that idea died. As long as democrat control this state their will not be layoffs of state workers that pay forced dues that are donated to them.

    I don’t drink but see I-1183 as a way to achive a smaller government. It’s the ONLY way we will shrink this government and begin to starve democrats of union donations. YES on 1183.

    1183 will pass so state liquor clerks start brushing off your resumes.

  12. tree_guy says:

    Kardy, that link to the liquor store salaries is way out of date. It shows the salaries as of January 2007. That’s almost five years ago.

  13. steilacoomtaxpayer says:

    @t_g– there is also the debt avoidance issue from not having the state employees collect pensions, L+I,call in sick requiring call back for overtime. Doesn’t happen at Safeway or Costco.

  14. Everyone is forgetting the millions of dollars that the state is losing @ it’s distribution warehouse because they have no knowledge of the shipping business.
    Then there those who worried about if stores like 7-11 or am-pm selling hard liquor because it will be easier for kids to purchase hard liquor, believe me if your kid(s) want it they will get it they don’t need am-pm or 7-11 to sell it. Beside if they do sell Alcohol to minors then the store should lose their liquor license permanently.
    Finally the majority of my family lives in New Orleans were alcohol is sold like coffee is sold here in Washington. None of them are alcoholics nor when I visit them did the younger cousin say let’s go buy some hard liquor nor did we ever drink any underage.

  15. Flanagan says:

    I’m counting the days when I will be able to “one stop shop”. No more having to go out of my way to buy my my bourbon, I will never again shop in a state liquor store and hope that others do the same, hopefully resulting in the end of the tax payers having to pay a bunch of people with nothing more than the ability to stack bottles and make change, their wages, health care, and pensions.

  16. tree_guy says:
    October 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm
    Kardy, that link to the liquor store salaries is way out of date. It shows the salaries as of January 2007. That’s almost five years ago.”

    And you think the salaries of State employees have increased since 2007??????

    Now who is naive??????? Or better yet…just not paying attention. State employees haven’t had a COL for 10 years, much less the last five

    Costco, the home of the long check out lines……now who is naive?????

  17. hopefully resulting in the end of the tax payers having to pay a bunch of people with nothing more than the ability to stack bottles and make change, their wages, health care, and pensions.

    7-11??? Oh…that’s right…they use the state for health care insurance and get no pension

  18. steilacoomtaxpayer says:
    October 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm
    @t_g– there is also the debt avoidance issue from not having the state employees collect pensions, L+I,call in sick requiring call back for overtime. Doesn’t happen at Safeway or Costco.

    Yeah…we don’t want people calling in sick…..make them come to work and share their diseases. Pensions??? How dare they? Costco and Safeway don’t have retirement…oh wait…they do. They don’t have sick leave…oh…they do. Nevermind

    There is no debt. WSLS pay their way….and more.

    When will one of these clowns look up information before bleeting?

    From the WLCB website –

    Each year, revenue earned through the sale and taxation of liquor is returned to the state and local communities. In Fiscal Year 2011, the WSLCB sent more than $425 million to state and local governments to fund essential state and local services.

    The revenue flowing to the state General Fund is used for education, healthcare and other related programs. Revenue returned to local governments is used for prevention programs, law enforcement, emergency medical services and many other local needs.

  19. Why would we choose to line the pockets of the big stores that are salivating to get their hands on potentially big profits for themselves?

    Because government involvement/control of business is the definition of corporatism is the definition of fascism?

  20. This is not an initiative about state employment, lower prices, or more convenience. Last summer, the legislature approved Senate Bill 5942 which establishes a private sector monopoly and grants exclusive rights to the distribution of spirits in Washington State. Only two bidders have responded. One appears to be a shadow company of a New York lobbying firm operating out of an apartment in Tacoma. The other is not even on file with the Secretary of State, wich is a requirement in Washington State. In fact, one of these “companies” even helped write the legislation. This is the epitome of the kind of crony capitalism so many people have become frustrated with here and around the country.

    The state plans to implement SB 5942 in November, pending the results of Initiative 1183. Initiative 1183 is the only legislation available to residents that repeals, by name, SB 5942.

    1183 makes it possible for small wineries and distilleries to reach their customers directly. It doesn’t eliminate anything in the old system, the distillers are still going to be around, they just won’t have a sanctioned monopoly any more and they might have to compete a little. There is no evidence that eliminating the 3-tier model will reduce consumer choices. The 3-tier model is still used by the soft drink industry. I haven’t had issues with soft drink selection evaporating once Costco started selling Coke. The 3-tier model is used in food service. I don’t see any shortage of options in the restaurant business. I used to work for a grocery distributor and our customers bypassed us all the time (which is what 1183 allows), but that company is still in business and has tripled in size over 20 years.

    The NO crowd is telling your that 1183 will force you to buy only from supermarkets and big box stores and scaring people into believing they’ll have to have a costco card to buy liquor. Simply not true. There’s no evidence to support it and plenty of evidence in other industries to illustrate its fallacies.

    If 1183 goes down, it won’t be status quo. Washington will start looking a lot like Maine (http://bit.ly/poorMaine).

  21. Anthon…..

    You state – “1183 makes it possible for small wineries and distilleries to reach their customers directly.” Maybe you’d like to clarify who “their customers” are.

    If you are talking about the consumer….they already sell on site direct to consumsers, but I doubt that they are going to try to do door to door sales. If you are talking about elimination of the distributor and the wineries selling direct to resellers (retailer), then you have BS’d your way past the service provided by the distributor that the producer would have to bear the entire cost…

    In short, Anthon……you are attempting a smoke and mirrors campaign to avoid the truth that state stores provide a revenue for programs and a security in terms of sales to minors.

    Neither fact can be avoided.

  22. commoncents says:

    http://lbloom.net/lcb09.html

    there you go…liquor store clerks are not even remotely making 50k a year.

    Oh, but wait…here comes the old “are you including benefits in that?” What a crock. Their fringe rate is probably about 50% So they go up to 50k with benefits.

    this is simply shifting $$ from govt to private business. There will be fewer employed people – but that won’t amount to much when looked at statewide. however, there will be a HUGE amount of revenue lost from the state coffers. Sorry, these folks making 35k a year simply don’t cost that much to the state. Especially in comparison to the revenue that they bring.

  23. commoncents says:

    hopefully resulting in the end of the tax payers having to pay a bunch of people with nothing more than the ability to stack bottles and make change, their wages, health care, and pensions.
    —–

    This reeks of class envy. Actually it doesn’t. In reality it’s an overvaluing one’s own worth to society. Sorry bub, there are people in this world that think that YOU are overpaid and don’t deserve what you make in wages, health care, and pensions (or a match if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a pension).

  24. commoncents says:

    steilacoom…please tell me what the annual pension contribution rate is for an employee making 35k in wages to the state pension fund? When you talk about pension contributions and break it down to a specific class of people like this I want people to be aware of what that rate actually is. Since you brought it up…please enlighten us.

  25. Common….look at the data base I linked.

    I would say that the average wage is more like $25,000…..They love to exaggerate.

    There is something to say about having a well paid adult selling 80 proof alcohol, versus a minimum wage worker. Let’s face it…it ain’t Slurpees

  26. commoncents says:

    Kardnos – people complained about the 2007 date with yours. My link had 2009 data. That’s the only reason that I bothered posting…to remove that factor.

    Who sells it doesn’t bother me as much as the amount of revenue taken from state coffers and where that revenue will have to be made up from. Right now it simply doesn’t cost that much to generate a huge sum of revenue for the state and people are trying to overexaggerate the true cost of obtaining this revenue.

  27. itwasntmethistime says:

    Leave it where it is, with the state. It’s been there forever and it’s working just fine. Don’t mess with it.

    Hard alcohol is highly enjoyable, but extremely dangerous. I think it’s a good idea that it can only be purchased during the day, from workers who have something to lose if they sell it to someone they shouldn’t. I like that it’s a little bit inconvenient to obtain. It should be.

    If you are drinking enough that the savings from going private is going to make or break your budget, it’s time to quit drinking.

  28. itwasnt…….AMEN

    Common……yeah…thanks for the 2009. Knowing that state workers haven’t had a COLA in 10 years, I wasn’t worried about the “five years old” crap….

  29. fbergford says:

    Perfect, the numbers you two provided will save the state 35 million a year just in salary for all the part time workers in the stores and warehouses. It’s a start to downsize government and get our 2 billion dollar deficit under control! YES on 1183!

  30. “fbergford says:
    October 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm
    Perfect, the numbers you two provided will save the state 35 million a year just in salary for all the part time workers in the stores and warehouses.”

    Save $35 million to lose $425 million in revenue. Brilliant. Maybe we can cut off our noses to make our faces smaller.

  31. Oh…and by eliminating $35 million in salaries, you eliminate about $26 million in effective spending income, which translates to about $2 million more in lost revenue (use taxes).

    Look at how much we are saving!!!!

  32. commoncents says:

    fbergford – a net $390 million hole in the state’s budget does nothing to solve our deficit crisis. It only serves to make matters worse. I can understand wanting to get out of retail – that’s a valid argument. However, doing it now when we are in desperate need of revenue makes zero sense whatsoever. This is not a win-win situation.

  33. fbergford says:

    Washington State’s Liquor Control Board [LCB] will no longer sell liquor.

    LCB will end their current contracts with contract liquor stores.

    Current operators in good standing of contract stores will receive licenses to continue in business as a private retailer, if they wish to continue operating.

    LCB will no longer distribute spirits. The state distribution warehouse will be sold to generate money for the state.

    A new distributor can be licensed and may buy from any licensed distillery and sell to licensed vendors just like beer and wine sellers.

    Any store or distributor currently licensed to sell beer or wine, and in good standing, will be able to obtain a license to sell spirits, for an additional license fee.

    Local jurisdictions throughout the State can determine how many outlets they will allow in their city via zoning regulations.

    The state’s ‘mark-up’ on spirits is eliminated.

    The existing tax on liquor will remain and it will be up to the Legislature to adjust the amount of tax.

    The initiative mentions a 10% tax on purchases of spirits by restaurants. This is not a new tax or a tax increase. This is a technical update to current law, and merely requires private sellers to collect the existing tax which is now collected only by state stores.

    Repeals the “Three-Tier System”, a set of Prohibition-era “blue laws” which grant monopoly privileges to middlemen, at the detriment of consumers.

    Frees the LCB from the burden of enforcing outdated and unhelpful “blue laws”. The LCB will instead focus its mission on enforcement of licensing laws and education against under age drinking and general abuse of alcohol.

    All license fees from the new licenses to sell spirits may only be used for enforcing liquor laws and educating the public against underage drinking and other abusive alcohol consumption.

    If you cannot see the pros to this inniative you clearly are blind to change! I understand, most of these commenters (kardnos) are in their 60’s and have known nothing but how democrats run the state of Washington! I’m gonna snag a line from Obama’s campaign in 2008 “Hope and Change”!

  34. fbergford says:

    BTW it makes government actually smaller and will now have a clear focus on what exactly the LCB is all about! Not selling liquor but enforcing the laws!

  35. commoncents says:

    cut and paste notwithstanding – I very clearly stated that if you want the state out of the liquor business regardless of the consequences then I have no argument for that. This initiative certainly does that and there are clear advantages to that. But don’t bring in anything about saving the state money. This will clearly cost the state money and in a time were the state is looking for revenue from any source. They will need to find this revenue from somewhere.

    Also, if you think the markup will disappear? I’ve got some land to sell you. It will still be there….just going into private coffers. The tax resulting from the sale of it will remain the same. People are not going to be drinking more liquor because it’s more widely available.

    Lastly, it will not free up the state to do anything. There will be less money available for those activities that you state. Less money = fewer people which means less enforcement/training/education. It’s just not going to happen. If we did this in better times? Yeah, I’d say that they should just find the money…but they can’t and won’t.

  36. fbergford says:

    You are not getting rid of the LCB, you are CHANGING what the LCB will be doing! They will still be able to enforce the laws, there will still be a budget for the LCB; the state will not simply say “oh if this passes we got to cut all funding for the LCB”…no that is ridiculous! And lastly no one knows how much money the state will lose or gain cause it has never been tried before! So why don’t we try it out for a few years and if it sucks…GET RID OF IT, but if it is doing well keep it in place!

  37. fbergford says:

    ANother note…there are 1450 state employees that work at the LCB. A little over 800 of them work in the stores and warehouse most of them are part time. I don’t know if I can make this clearer but you are downsizing this department, and by downsizing you are cutting costs and saving some money. As I said above, the state will save 35 million in salary by getting rid of those part time employees and I am curious to see how much money the state will save on not having to lease the 500 or so state runned liquor stores.

  38. How do we replace the $425 million dollar DEFICIT that will be created? Liquor sales puts $425 million into the state’s revenue each year.

    Funny how the 1183 folks don’t want to talk about that. That $425 million will end up in their pockets.

    How about the security of a state employee selling liquor as opposed to a store clerk? Where is that part in the 1183 campaign? Tell me how many state stores have been busted for selling to minors

  39. “there are 1450 state employees that work at the LCB. A little over 800 of them work in the stores and warehouse most of them are part time.”

    That’s 1,450 jobs, 1.450 paychecks, 1,450 taxpayers, 1.450 people that buy houses, groceries, cars, clothing, on and on, etc, etc. All of those purchases contribute to the state revenue picture.

  40. “I am curious to see how much money the state will save on not having to lease the 500 or so state runned liquor stores.”

    Regardless…..the State produces $425 Million a year over and above their cost of doing business.

  41. “Frees the LCB from the burden of enforcing outdated and unhelpful “blue laws”

    Gawd….you have to love the ability of campaign material writers to snow the low information voter. Take an oldie but goodie, dust it off and make it real.

    “Blue Laws” were …..oh hell…let’s use a dictionary:

    A law designed to regulate commercial business on Sunday.

    One of a body of laws in colonial New England designed to enforce certain moral standards and particularly to prohibit specified forms of entertainment or recreation on Sundays.

    There are no liquor blue laws in Washington anymore…..

    1183 pulls the voter’s leg to put profits in someone’s bank account…..

  42. Commoncents….I, for one, cannot justify the argument of getting the state out of the liquor sales business. It’s not hurting anyone and it contributes a substantial sum of revenue for state services. Look at what privatizing the military has done for the government. Costs have gone through the roof.

  43. Finally, fberg……I’m sort of glad I’m in my 60s. I’m not easily taken for a ride for the lack of knowledge about the reality of blue laws and poor math skills.

    Someone has convinced you that there are non-existent laws that need to be enforced and that saving $35 million to lose $425 million is a good thing.

  44. fbergford says:

    425 million…375 million went to the “General Fund”, 71 million to cities and counties, 8.2 million to education and prevention, and 1.5 million to research. There is the breakdown of the 425 million. Now as you can see most of it goes in the General Fund which the state can pretty much do whatever they want with it. (http://liq.wa.gov/about/fy2011return)

    I know this is going to be hard to comprehend, but you simply do not count on the 425 million in the state budget. DOWNSIZING

    There are still some “blue laws” on the books in our great state…actually to be PC we are called a “controlled state” now along with 15 others! http://www.prohibitionrepeal.com/legacy/hall.asp

    And once again you are getting off topic with your mentioning of the military. STICK TO 1183 ;)

    The 60’s are over brah! Your time has passed now let the youngsters start running this state ;)

  45. fbergford says:

    Kardnos…hope you aren’t taking any offense, I’m just giving you a ribbing but I really do like reading others viewpoints

  46. One question no one is willing to answer: What if 1183 passes, and we decide that it’s worse than what we had, how much would it cost to go back to what we’re doing now.

    Oh yeah, and a second question nobody seems to have an answer for: If the backers of 1183 are so convinced that private enterprise is so much better than the state stores, why are they so afraid to compete with them? They do claim that competetion helps make things better, don’t they?

  47. fbergford says:

    jimlj great questions…I will give you my two cents and you can do whatever you’d like with it. If 1183 passes and we are worse off then, the simple answer is we repeal it and go back to how it is now. But we don’t know if it will be worse, it could be 100 times better! No one has a crystal ball and predict the future so you have to make up your mind and decide what is best for you. The cost would probably be around the same as it is now writing inniatives.

    To answer your second question in my opinion Government is not meant to be in business for anything. Just take a look at Venezuela, China, Cuba…you think we have class warfare now, there is no different classes in those countries. The rich keep on getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. In no way can someone just start a business in those countries.

  48. fberg….if you really want to be so involved in the control of the budget, why don’t you run for Legislature and take your vast knowledge to Olympia? Now you’re trying to intimate that there is something wrong with putting money in the general fund?

    My mention of the military is an ANALOGY….a reference, if you will as to what happens when privatization takes place on spending that was traditionally government. Take a look at the costs of feeding the troops. An analogy isn’t “off topic” it’s a point of reference from which to draw factual points, as opposed to theoretical reference, which is what the 1183 backers like to do.

    There is no “blue laws’ that require any serious amount of enforcement. That was a stawman created by the backers to lure low information voters. It worked.

    As to the youngsters running the state…..again…run for office. Prove that you are right.

  49. oh and this…

    “I know this is going to be hard to comprehend, but you simply do not count on the 425 million in the state budget. DOWNSIZING”

    Made absolutely no sense.

  50. Ffrom fberg’s website link:

    Washington: Beer, wine and distilled spirits may be sold at professional sporting events in approved restaurants, lounges, private suites, club rooms, or other approved service areas. During these same events, only beer and wine may be consumed throughout seating areas, only beer may be served (“hawking”) throughout these seating areas; and only wine may be served and consumed in club seats. (Wash. Admin. Code §§ 314-16-265 & 314-16-270.)

    Most of the problems at sporting events are because of alcohol consumption. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I can enjoy a football game without alcohol and just the point that people can’t seem to go without alcohol for a few hours says mountains about our society at large Eliminate alcohol at public events altogether, for all I care.

  51. Notgullible says:

    Kardnos, if you look at the LCB website, of the $140 million distributed last quarter, only $28 million was from excess funds. The rest was from taxes, fees and fines which will not change. So saying losing $425 million (for the year) is a complete exaggeration. Simple math will say it is only $85 million. I wonder how much of the excess funds will be offset by cost savings not running a retail outlet of 22,000 sq ft distribution center (which the 2010 LCB annual report says needs expanded) and 164 retail outlets (avg size of 5,000 sq ft). Just a thought.

    Also, there is negligible difference in legal sale compliance rate between state run and contract stores so why would you think sales to minors would increase?

  52. fbergford says:

    Kardnos kardnos kardnos….I am involved and we can’t get anything pushed through because there are people like you who are super liberal that are in the legislature that don’t want to work across the aisle. It is the same attitude that you have, my way or the highway! You can’t work with someone who won’t listen to your side to find a common ground, and you my friend refuse to listen. You talk about the military, I can tell you first hand why we have to contract services out. It’s because we simply do not have the man power to do everything in house! Since WW2 the military has gotten smaller and smaller. Now if you want the military to do everything “in house” without contracting services out, you have to expand it. Regardless ‘we’ the taxpayers will still be footing the bill whether we contract those services out or keep them in house and have GI’s do the job. ITS IN THE DEFENSE BUDGET! And if you want the GI’s to do the job, we need more people volunteering to serve in the military. To my next point…downsizing! When you downsize you cut costs to save money and this is part of 1183. Cutting the LCB in half, saving money that you don’t have to spend on wages and liquor stores. Now as I said before the 425 million that the state recieved in revenue, you simply do not add that into the budget. Liquor is still going to be taxed a few times over from the state, county, and city taxes and instead of having the majority of the money go into a huge slush fund aka “general fund” you actually pin point it for causes that you are suppose to use it for like education. It is a way to hold the government liable. The general fund right now is being spent on anything and everything mainly pet projects and “studies” that get absolutely no where. And I can’t run for office, people have way too much dirt on me because my politics stand as socially liberal fiscally conservative. I like to party and there are way too many pictures of me out there having way too much fun!

  53. lakecity says:

    why pat lining of the pockets of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Inc… that makes no sense to me, pass it on to the local business, and you wonder why costco is contributing so much to the yes campaign…. its a local business, not some out of state operation. keep the money here, lets stop sending it out of state to the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Inc. it woks in 42 other states, lets join the majority. stop running scared with a prohibition hang over.
    vote yes

  54. alindasue says:

    KARDNOS said, “Regardless…..the State produces $425 Million a year over and above their cost of doing business.”

    How much of that is actual profit and how much of that is tax and fee money that would be collected anyhow if I-1183 were to pass?

    jimlj said, “Oh yeah, and a second question nobody seems to have an answer for: If the backers of 1183 are so convinced that private enterprise is so much better than the state stores, why are they so afraid to compete with them? They do claim that competetion helps make things better, don’t they?”

    The issue is that currently there is no competition. The state liquor stores have a monopoly on all alcohol sales except beer and wine. Maybe it is the state liquor stores that fear competition. I have no problem with the state continuing to run liquor stores along side other vendors if it is really so profitable for them to sell it.

    KARDNOS said, “There is something to say about having a well paid adult selling 80 proof alcohol, versus a minimum wage worker. Let’s face it…it ain’t Slurpees”

    Since the person’s job – and the very survival of the store – can depend on proper enforcement of “carding” the customers, both employees are just as likely to responsibly sell that 80 proof as the other. The biggest difference, I think, is that the store selling Slurpees is more likely to be checked regularly by the LCB for enforcement.

    I’ve yet to witness a store yet that has let the sale of liquor or tobacco to an under-age customer or a customer trying to buy alcohol at 2:01am slide. The cashiers are quite strict about that. I’ve even witnessed customers at the grocery store who were standing in line at 1:55 am be unable to buy the alcohol because their transactions were not run up and completed by the 2:00 deadline.

    As for liquor stores…
    When I was 17, I worked doing chore services for a very elderly Italian lady who frequently used whiskey in her cooking. I would help her around the house and would often take her shopping or to run errands. I would take her to the nearby state liquor store in Fife and the employees would greet her by name as she entered and would assist her in finding her usual whiskey. A few times, she just sent me to the store for her. I’d walk in and they would sell me her usual whiskey.

    Now, I didn’t – and still don’t – drink alcohol, so it wasn’t really a problem BUT it could have been. Although it is rare (in both cases), a “well paid” adult is just as likely to slack on enforcement as a “minimum wage worker”.

  55. alindasue….your anecdote withstanding…..Convenience stores are higher risk than other retail outlets for selling to minors….I suggest you ask the folks at the liquor board.

  56. fberg……9% unemployment and we don’t have the “manpower”????

    Hell, there is a letter writer after this forum that will tell you her daughter joined the military to pay for her college bills.

    Your naivety is incredible. Halliburton makes a TON of money on providing services to the military and makes sure that they have plenty of clout in Washington DC (Dick Cheney for at least 8 years) to assure that things don’t change.

  57. Notgullible……you are going to tell us that none of the “taxes, fees, etc” won’t change at the LCB level AND the price will decrease in the stores?

    Better change your name.

  58. Notgullible says:

    Kardnos I said taxes, fees and fines. I did not say anything about the monopoly mark up not changing.

    And I would like for you to point out where I said prices would go down. I said your exaggeration of losing $425 million was wrong.

  59. Here’s a random picking from the internet:

    Caught in the sting were clerks at the Texaco Short Stop, the Freeland BP station, the Bayview Exxon, Casey’s Red Apple Market, the Bailey Corner Store, Red Apple Market at Ken’s Korner, Food Mart, and the Washington State Liquor Agency at Ken’s Korner.

    If my calculations are correct, the “Liquor Agency” on South Whidbey is a contract store…..members of the Chamber of Commerce, which would pretty well indicate it’s not state owned.

  60. Notgullible….sorry if I falsely accused you….

    Are you claiming the price will increase on the shelf?

  61. Notgullible says:

    I am not saying the price will increase. I am guessing in a true capitalism market Costco, Fred Meyer, Safeway…. will be able to negotiate better prices not having to go through the 3 tier system with state mandated mark ups.

  62. Notgullible…..you might want to take a longer look at the issue….

    What is the “Conservative goal”? Make government smaller (see fberg).

    So…..we take the state out of the liquor business and leave the Liquor Board taxation the same? Fees the same? etc, etc, etc….

    Where as the loss of $425 million is not completely accurate….how much can the state afford to lose when we are already a billion in the red?

    As I pointed out in another forum…I can remember when a plumbers license was essential for the trade. Another reader quoted the law…..and….

    I’ve worked in the industry and have personally witnessed unlicensed workers doing plumbing…….

    WHY? Lack of resources for enforcement.

    Can we afford this mistake with liquor sales? I suggest no.

    Being a non-drinker, the price of booze has no effect on my life. As a former drinker, I can tell you that people who drink will pay what ever price they must, in order to get their drink of choice. Why lose a perfectly good revenue source that is working? It’s working so good that the private sector wants in….

  63. Why does the spirits industry have to negotiate? They have the goods.

    If I’m selling booze and I know the demand is there, I’d tell Costco, Fred and Safeway to pound sand. What will they do? Stop selling my product????

    Prohibition proved that people are willing to pay the price to feel nice.

    The whole “competition” is the ruse in the issue. Change the system and if the prices don’t go down, who is going to change it back?

  64. I have to chuckle at the concept of making the liquor industry take less of a profit by forcing them to sell cheaper…..all in the name of capitalism….LOL

  65. 1183 is now campaigning (just saw the commercial) that by privatizing the liquor industry, the state revenue will go to special services.

    Like that isn’t already happening…..

    Oh yes….we don’t want all those employees to have a wage…then might spend that money in the communities and create additional revenue from sales tax.

  66. commoncents says:

    Once you head down the path of privatizing it would be prohibitively expensive. Additionally the damage would already be done. The lost revenue can’t be recouped.

    As far as not counting that in the budget…if we were in a position where every dollar in the general fund is already needed just to get to a balanced budget then it would be as you say…”just don’t count it”. However, it’s already been counted and allocated. We are already looking for billions in budget cuts and it’s already going to hurt this state deeply. Adding to it simply to just get the state out of retail business doesn’t make sense. Why not wait a few years – write it into legislation that it needs to sunset and actually PLAN for a change.

    This state needs to actually start planning and budgeting and quit reacting to things. This initiative simply forces more reaction.

  67. commoncents……I couldn’t have said it better.

    There is nothing that needs fixing with liquor sales in the State of Washington, other than that some big businesses want more profits.

  68. jeniceglassman says:

    Good Morning , I’m still laughing at the concept that Costco is a “local’ enitiy. OK, I have been a clerk for WSLCB since 1996. I am more then willing to share my W-2’s with any one who believes we make 50K a year. I also invite anyone who thinks we pull bottles & make change to do my job for an hour. The boxes of booze do not dance off the truck into the store every friday. My ability to lift, a requirement of the job, 50#. My most important task? Not to sell to underage or impaired people. I really believe you don’t understand how many times a day this situation comes up. Stealing? We got that in spades. Assualt on clerks, ditto. I wish I was making this up. I don’t think anyone who has weighed in can dispute the fact..my employer generates money for the state. They also are more effective then the private sector at restricting access. I’m at Sore 112 on Pac Hiway 40 hours a week. I’m more then happy to speak with you on break or lunch. Just stop dissing how difficult my and all the other clerks job is. Thank You

  69. jenice….thanks for a first hand comment.

    I don’t think the 1183 supporters have really looked at the situation in terms of security. Look at the layout of a state liquor store and then a convenience store. See which one has the most visability to control theft.

    You’re right on the “Costco/local” bit. Costco’s headquarters are in Kirkland….true. But they are far more than a local company.

  70. itwasntmethistime says:

    I think the 1183 supporters are so motivated by the almighty dollar that they can no longer see alcohol for what it is — a highly dangerous, toxic substance that, more often than not, is involved in most of society’s woes.

    Alcohol plays an integral role in child abuse, spousal abuse, health issues, depression, homelessness, drunk driving, etc., etc., etc. It’s already easy enough for people to get their hands on cheap alcohol, why do we want to make it any easier?

    If I had my way alcohol would be MORE expensive and LESS convenient to obtain. I could still get my hand on some to use in moderation, but it might curb blatant abuse.

  71. commoncents says:

    And I can’t run for office, people have way too much dirt on me because my politics stand as socially liberal fiscally conservative. I like to party and there are way too many pictures of me out there having way too much fun!

    —–

    Missed this one the first time around – have to admit that I laughed out loud. Well done! Unfortunate that someone would see that as being irresponsible rather than being alive. I’d rather see this than a robot any day.

  72. commoncents…the real funny part is that fberg described me to a “t” with that sentence…..

    Except I “party” without chemicals now

  73. commoncents says:

    I think most of us have similar skeletons. Not sure why we are so suprised when our lawmakers have ummm transgressions when they really are simply reflective of society at large.

  74. itwasntmethistime says:

    I wonder how many of our presidents would have made the cut if they were on Facebook as young adults. Ouch!

  75. alindasue says:

    KARDNOS said, “alindasue….your anecdote withstanding…..Convenience stores are higher risk than other retail outlets for selling to minors….I suggest you ask the folks at the liquor board.”

    Convenience stores aren’t really the issue here, since – as I understand it – they would still be excluded as authorized sellers. Besides, most are too small to stock a decent supply of liquor anyhow…

    To be honest, I rarely shop at convenience stores. I do shop at grocery stores, supermarkets, and, yes, Costco. While I don’t buy alcohol, I’ve seen many who do. In every case, the cashier was very strict about making sure that the person making the purchase could legally make the purchase. Heck, they even ID me when I buy some cold medicines! Between attentive cashiers and the ubiquitous store security, illegal purchase (or theft) of alcohol just doesn’t seem much of a problem in the grocery stores.

    I’m sure it does happen occasionally, but I wonder if the liquor board checked its own stores as often as they did convenience stores and other retailers, would their record be any better than, say, Safeway’s?

    Maybe it’s because I don’t drink and have just seen other people get drunk, but it seems to me that the guy having a beer or three at a game acts just as drunk as the guy who’s had a couple gin & tonics at a party. What are the DUI statistics for beer/wine drinkers vs. liquor drinkers, I wonder…

    I’m not necessarily advocating making alcohol more available. I just can’t see the point in not allowing stores that have already proved they can handle beer and wine to sell other forms of alcohol too.

  76. alindasue says:

    itwasntmethistime said, “I wonder how many of our presidents would have made the cut if they were on Facebook as young adults. Ouch!”

    It’s not just the availability of information – everyone knew Pres. Kennedy was a womanizer – it’s the fact that politicians are not allowed to be human anymore. It’s another symptom of the heavily polarized politics that’s been going on this last couple decades…

  77. KARDNOS – other than the assertion of an admitted addict (I’m assuming that is why you no longer indulge in recreational drug use other than caffeine and nicotine) – do you have any real evidence that anything less than a state monopoly over sales would lead to more underage drinking?

    Sigh…..typical of many reformed (ab)users, you seem to think that your lack of control requires that all of society be controlled.

  78. jeniceglassman says:

    alindasue..two facts ..enforcement checks state stores as regular as rain in Washington..there is no wink or nod going on in the system. Booze is well booze..beer/wine/70 proof 180 proof..DUI results from drinking too much and driving. What was consumed doesn’t make any difference. Kardnos, thanks for the warm reception. The freudian slip was sore 112. It’s Store 112 at 316th & Pac Hiway. Although these days , just like last year, I feel a little picked at….

  79. commoncents says:

    beerBoy – I think it would rise simply based upon the fact that you must be 21 to even enter a state run liquor store. Don’t have that requirement at the grocery stores. More opportunity will lead to more results. Now it may not be statistically relevent but an increase nonetheless. I would also lead you to the stats that say the state run liquor stores sell to minors less often. Not a stretch to say that the liquor sales to minor rates would match those of beer/wines and thus would also increase. Lastly – theft…majority of liquor stores you must enter and exit past the checker. No such requirements at the grocery stores. (yes, I recognize costco and sams clubs are diff). The minors seeking booze can slip a pint into a coat pocket much easier than a case of beer…It’s gonna happen. Not in large numbers but again an increase.

    And no, i’m not a reformed abuser but am a current user….I just also don’t need common sense being pointed out to me.

    Alcohol sales to minors will go up. But, I don’t believe that should be the overriding reason to keep it under state control either. Just one of them.

  80. fbergford says:

    Actually underage drinking in our state is higher than other states that sell liquor outside of state runned liquor stores.

    “Turn to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This asks youths 12 to 20 whether they were drunk in the past month. Here is what it says.

    In Washington, 21 percent of youths get drunk in a given month. One in five. The self-reported rate is the same in Oregon and nearly that (20 percent) in Idaho. All three states sell liquor through state stores, and beer and wine in regular stores.

    California, Nevada and Arizona have no state stores. There, adults can buy spirits at Safeway, the same as beer and wine. In each of those states the monthly rate of teenage drunkenness is 17 percent — four points lower than here.”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2016473161_bruce12.html

    So the arguement “it’s to protect the children” is bogus! If kids want to drink they will find a way!

  81. .I just also don’t need common sense being pointed out to me.

    Common sense is neither.

    As fberg points out, the data doesn’t support your belief.

    Policy shouldn’t be determined by faith or “common sense” but by pragmatism.

    No one has put forward any data that supports their “but what about the children” or “everyone will become an alcoholic” emotional pleas.

  82. falkoja6 says:

    The ads against I-1183 are so false and misleading it’s disgusting. The single contributor of underage drinking , 65%, by one source is from an adult. How liquor is sold , state controlled or private, makes no difference. Per capita consumption is higher in the eight state controlled states. Why? Limited locations, limited hours, people tend to binge buy. Vehicle fatalities for under 18 are horrible for Washington. 1.6 deaths per 100,000. Compare this to Massachusetts , a private sale state of 0.7 per 100,000. In 2009 Massachusetts had 88 under age alcohol deaths compared to 224 for Washington. So keeping the sale of alcohol under State control to safeguard underage drinking is blatantly misleading.

  83. To sum up, the arguments for state liquor stores are:
    1)Prohibition didn’t work so we have to impose pseudo-prohibition
    and
    2) The State makes lots of money by being a retailer
    and
    3) We reject Capitalist models
    and
    4)Drunk drivers are often times fatal
    and
    5) What about the children?!

    It seems to me that, given that tobacco is a proven killer, obesity is a dangerous epidemic, and texting/cell phoning while driving is becoming more deadly than DUI the State of Washington should take over all sales of cigarettes, junk food – including anything that contains corn syrup as a major ingredient, and cell phones.

    Just think of all the money the State could make while saving lives!

  84. jeniceglassman says:

    Well Beerboy, we agree on 2 out of 5 of your points. Yup the state makes money and returns it to the taxpayers, there is a concept to get upset about. Yes DUI’s where the driver is underaged and impaired are often fatal. Not always the impaired person of course, sometimes just, oh how about the grandfather coming back from fishing with his grandson at Alder Lake? You can buy booze 7 days a week in this state, all state stores have the same hours..where exactly is the pseudo?

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