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I-1183: The Costco way to democracy

Letter by Thomas E. Juvik, Port Orchard on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:46 pm with 4 Comments »
October 31, 2011 12:46 pm

With so much conflicting information about the I-1183 liquor initiative, I thought it might help voters understand what’s really at stake by providing a math story problem:

Hoping to bring an end to booze tyranny, Costco contributes $22.7 million to promote I-1183. (By comparison, the second-highest corporate contributor to the campaign is Safeway, which chips in a paltry $50,000.) Not only is Costco almost single-handedly fighting this battle in the name of alcohol democracy, the company’s net income in the fourth quarter this year was only $478 million, an increase of less than11 percent, thus necessitating that Costco increase membership fees for its 22 million members by 10 percent.

Approximately half of these members will pony up $10 more apiece per year to belong to Costco, while the others will pay $5 more.

Question: How much money will Costco gain by raising membership fees this year alone? Answer: Enough to promote the liquor bill at least six more times after it loses this year’s election.

There; now don’t you feel better about paying more for your Costco membership? If so, repeat after me: “Free-dumb, free-dumb, free-dumb!”

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. Looktheresanother1 says:

    Interesting thought

  2. fatecreatr says:

    As a holder of an executive membership card at Costco, I can tell you that in my household the yearly rebate more than pays for the cost of the membership. It’s pay to play, but this is your choice.

    It’s obvious that this would be a long term gain for Costco but I’m fine with that. In fact, it would be irresponsible to their employees, investors and customers if they didn’t try to carry this new product line.

    Our choices as citizens are two fold. One is a personal vote, (informed, uninformed or random) which we all have the right be responsible with or throw away. The other is if you want to shop at Costco or not. No one is forcing you either way, and even if 1183 passes, you can still shop elsewhere.

  3. alindasue says:

    Unlike most businesses, Costco has rarely increased its costs. The new $5 increase is the first in nearly a decade and the prices inside the store seem to be more stable than at the regular grocery stores…

    So, the funding of the initiative doesn’t seem to affect the store’s members much at all.

    What I want to know is how much the anti-1183 supporters are spending on their constant misinformation scare tactic campaign. I don’t drink alcohol, but there’s problems when all they have to put on the mailings is that “I-1183 would allow nearly 1,000 convenience stores and gas stations to sell liquor…” – despite that fact that in rare cases where they would be the ONLY store in the area selling liquor, convenience stores would be too small to meet the 10,000 square foot requirement.

    If they have a legitimate argument, they should present it, but the scare tactics hyperbole on the mailings they are filling my mailbox with (at a much higher rate than the pro-1183 campaign) is nothing more than a waste of natural resources.

  4. daggercat says:

    I thought Costco said they had to raise the fee because their costs were going up? Wasn’t this their claim about the increased price of gas, and cheese and who knows what else. Oh, and the cost of initiative 1183! If the net income for last year was anywhere near an increase of 11 percent, I think they can eat a couple of percentage points and keep the fee as it is. We seem to be paying for this initiative and then some! I’ll miss a couple of items they sell that I can’t find elsewhere, but I’ve already noticed that by watching the ads and careful shopping, I can meet or beat Costco’s prices. And, sorry, but they have price increases just like everyone else. And I don’t have to pay $55 a year to shop at Winco, Fred Meyer or K-Mart. (great prices on toilet paper by the way). If Costco is intent on putting a lot of people in Washington out of jobs, and there will be job losses, I can do without them.

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