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I-1183: Private sector should handle liquor

Letter by Adam A. Isackson, Tacoma on Oct. 17, 2011 at 11:08 am with 17 Comments »
October 17, 2011 11:13 am

It’s no secret that our state is mired in a dire fiscal crisis, and our governor and Legislature are finding it difficult to make necessary cuts while protecting essential services. Our governor has even called a special session to deal with our financial problems. The likely solution to budget shortfalls: more across-the-board cuts.

Instead, in these difficult times the state needs to decide what programs and services are necessary and what functions can be best served by the private sector.

One such function is Washington’s antiquated, post-Prohibition role as liquor dealer. Our state’s own Office of Financial Management claims that we will save an estimated $402 million to $480 million over the next six years if voters approve Initiative 1183 and get the state out of the liquor business. That’s money that would be much better spent on schools, law enforcement and other such services.

It’s time we got with the times and join the whole host of other states that regulate and enforce liquor laws but don’t serve as middle man.

I-1183 would result in more choices, more competition, lower prices for small businesses and consumers, and significant savings for state and local government.

Vote yes on 1183.

 

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Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. redneckbuck says:

    Question is will big union allow the measure to have a fair shake?

  2. SadujTogracse says:

    Yeah nevermind that it will bring in more money and get the state out of something that isn’t an essential service. Some just want the Government involved in as many areas as possible, and they wonder why we keep saying it is full of bureaucracy and waste.

  3. PrincessTeaParty says:

    SadujTogracse, you are really smart. Less goverment is what the tea party stands four

  4. AlabamaGeorge says:

    Mr. Saduj Togracse –

    Since you persist in this message, I took the time to look up some things on the Liquor Board website. From their annual report:

    Gross Revenue – $877.77 million

    Markup – 28% this is the gross profit after purchase/from selling

    Gross Profit – $245.78 million, money that the state will not see if not in the sales business.

    Cost of retail operations – $86.61 million.

    Net profits lost, after deducting cost of retail – $159.16 million

    On Saturday, you claimed that the OFM said there could be an increase of up to $42 million in 6 years if privatization takes place. Did they explain how they will make up the loss of nearly $160,000,000 per year before increasing revenue by $42,000,000? The math just doesn’t seem to compute. It would seem that we taxpayers stand to lose $1,470,000,000, as opposed to gaining $42,000,000. This is providing that unit sales do not increase or decrease substantially.

  5. SadujTogracse says:

    ZZZZZZ….snore…. Bama with the same old tired arguments. I’m just posting the numbers from OFM (and they were again stated by the letter writer), if you have a problem with THEIR numbers, take it up with them.

  6. Oh…..George…..ouch!!!

    That hurt Saduj to the core.

    You got HER (not Mr.) with facts and math, things she lacks seriously.

    Very good analysis, by the way. You took the time to identify a very real issue, that would probably be overlooked in media coverage.

  7. AlabamaGeorge says:

    According to your Saturday posts –

    SadujTogracse says:
    Oct. 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm Full disclosure my previous comment was taken from the Yes on 1183 website. However here is a second source from the Seattle Times…
    “Two studies confirm this. One is by the state’s Office of Financial Management. It estimates that during 2017, when the new system would be up and running and the old system all disposed of, the state would collect $35 million to $42 million more than under the current system.”

    SadujTogracse says:
    Oct. 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm Pie in the sky huh? Yeah the way our state manages money I’d take pie in the sky anyday. Something that is producing $425 million and could be producing more, while at the same time getting the state out of something it doesn’t need to do. No brainer.

    Two things I can see by your previous posts.

    1. you claim the state is inept, but want to accept their projections when it works for you and

    2. your information was an intepretation from the pro-1183 campaign, not necessarily an accurate assessment of the OFM’s statement, also filtered by a media source who may have not asked any questions.

    As to your infantile response to my research and projections based on actuals from the 2010 Liquor Board data, I can safely deduce that you are not capable of having an intelligent conversation on the subject, nor have you done any personal research beyond finding a sentence that suits you.

  8. daggercat says:

    Just checked out the space limitations for being able to sell hard alcohol. Most 7-Elevens are under 3000 square feet, so that is good, unless they can claim no one else is providing this service within a boundry that is not defined in the I1183 initiative. For a comparison to the size store that would qualify for the 10,000 square feet or less, the square footage of a football field, not including the end zone, is 48,000 square feet. Let the business people who can take over the stores work with the state! Once Pandora’s box is opened, it can not be closed…And Alabama George, I’m so glad there are people out their that are using their brains on this initiative. I really think Costco put this out again so quickly because they think people are stupid! And with Sadju’s mindless aquiesence, I fear they might be correct…

  9. daggercat says:

    Also, check out the WSLCB website that shows statistics for 2010. http://liq.wa.gov/stores/retail-fast-facts. When the state is making a profit, why would we give this money away in an initiative that allows big companies the right to sell alcohol for a nominal licensing fee? Anyone who can privatize hard alcohol in this state needs to be able to put big money on the table. And this focus on hard alcohol has drawn a lot of attention away from the potential consequence of small wineries going out of business because of competitive pricing. The people who know what a good bottle of wine tastes like can not totally support what it costs to make that good bottle of wine. Our wineries, which are a significant part of our economy, depend on stable pricing. This is not gas wars! And do you want to be one of the over 1000 people who will lose a decent paying job because some retailers want to maintain their dividend? Apparently Costco is going to get back some of what they spent trying to shove this down the people of Washington State’s throats by increasing my yearly fee. I don’t believe I’ll renew. Careful shopping at other locations will do me just fine.

  10. SadujTogracse says:

    Actually it’s not my information, it was taken directly from the Seattle Times OPED. Reading comprehension courses, please take some.

  11. SadujTogracse says:

    I might as well just past the whole Seattle Times piece in here so everybody knows I’m not making things up from thin air….

    “The latest effort to replace Washington’s state liquor monopoly, Initiative 1183, is the best yet.

    The previous measure to create a competitive market, Initiative 1100, failed last November in part because it would have left state and local governments with less money. They have been under severe strain, and many voters felt that unfair.

    The new measure, promoted by Costco Wholesale and Trader Joe’s, would put state and local governments ahead of the game.

    Two studies confirm this. One is by the state’s Office of Financial Management. It estimates that during 2017, when the new system would be up and running and the old system all disposed of, the state would collect $35 million to $42 million more than under the current system. The second study, by the nonprofit Washington Research Council and partly funded by Costco, shows the state $36 million ahead in that year.

    Local governments would collect $26 million to $34 million more, according to the government study, and $54 million more, according to the private study.

    This knocks out the strongest argument used last fall against liquor privatization, which is that it would make public agencies worse off. I-1183 would make them better off.

    There is a price for benefiting government. Liquor will not be cheap no matter who sells it. Under the state monopoly, Washington extracts more revenue from a gallon of spirits, $26.03, than any other state. California takes just $3.30.

    Then again, California has a state income tax and Washington does not. Citizens here have chosen to have liquor bear more of the burden of public spending. It is a reasonable choice.

    The people’s gain from passing I-1183 will be in the lessening of public costs like state pensions for liquor-store employees, and in making shopping simpler. Most people will be able to buy spirits where they buy their groceries.

    The state will remain in the liquor industry only as a regulator, which is all public safety requires.”

    Mindless aquiesence? I think not.

  12. Saduj said….However here is a second source from the Seattle Times…

    then said….Actually it’s not my information, it was taken directly from the Seattle Times OPED. Reading comprehension courses, please take some.

    Why don’t you tell us were in the phrase…”However here is a second source from the Seattle Times…”…George, me or anyone else is supposed to know that it was an oped….as if that makes a difference anyway. (it was really an editorial, not an oped.) Still up to your old denial tricks, huh?

    None of the Seattle Times editorial addresses the obvious fact that George brought up concerning the loss of the markup on alcohol sales…if the state is not in the selling business, which George very eloquently addressed using actuals from the Board’s financial statements.

    The Seattle Times makes “pensions” an issue, but George covers that with his isolation of selling costs, which according to the website (I looked, I’m certain you didn’t)is part of wages (costs of retail operations)

    Bottom line, George detailed many things skimmed past by the Times Editorial Department, but that is not surprising. As you proved, financial details, no matter how accurate, don’t make for exciting reading….but that doesn’t make them wrong either.

    Since the state is in such “dire straights” financially, I don’t see where we can afford to lose any money, regardless of if the Times staff might later say…”ooops we missed that one”

    Bottom line. George ate your lunch and you weren’t smart enough to stop when you were a little behind.

  13. “When the state is making a profit, why would we give this money away in an initiative that allows big companies the right to sell alcohol for a nominal licensing fee?” – daggercat

    Too simple, huh?

  14. Careful reading finds this….

    The second study, by the nonprofit Washington Research Council and partly funded by Costco, shows the state $36 million ahead in that year.

    The Council’s mission statement:

    “To provide timely, credible economic research and policy analysis supporting economic vitality and private sector job creation.”

    You’ll note they are “non-profit” as the Times reported, but that doesn’t make them non-partisan.

    I’m just guessing but I doubt that Costco would jump up and down if the Council determined that the state would lose over $1.4 trillion in a 6 year period (thanks Geo).

    Details, details…but…we are not talking chicken feed here…. How do my Conservative friends say it? “Every little bit helps”.

  15. “And Alabama George, I’m so glad there are people out their that are using their brains on this initiative. I really think Costco put this out again so quickly because they think people are stupid!”

    A big AMEN from me, Daggercat!!!!

    I too, am not thrilled to see Costco spending $10,000,000 on this campaign. I’m beginning to think they don’t need my business either.

  16. SadujTogracse says:

    Kard you can deny all you want. I just wanted to post the actual piece where I got my info. You can cover your eyes and claim it’s a lie, we will see where the majority of the voters stand on election day!

  17. Saduj….deny what? The Seattle Times wrote an editorial. So what? It lacks depth (who said lie, other than you?)

    I’m really afraid of the outcome of the election. As a non drinker, I wake up each day worrying about where I don’t have to go to buy a bottle. ::::famous eyeroll:::::

    My concern, and the concern of others, as you’ve been thoroughly schooled, is taking money from the taxpayers and handing it to businesses.

    We can see you don’t care about that kind of stuff.

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