Letters to the Editor

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LIQUOR: Thanks, Costco, for hurting families

Letter by Patricia L. Frederick, Tacoma on June 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm with 57 Comments »
June 5, 2012 1:40 pm

Re: “Where’s concern for the employees?” (letter, 6-5).

Kudos to Wendy Weidman for giving a voice to the ex-liquor employees. To some, 900 may not seem like a large number, but it”s 900 families who now have to struggle even more.

My son-in-law is one of the 900 who lost his job. He and his wife work hard to raise their three sons. These employees not only lost a valuable source of income but now must struggle further to meet their basic needs to survive. Unemployment will help, which by the way is also taxed as income, but how many of them will have to look to the welfare rolls to make up for their loss of medical and food?

Did Costco give them any thought when it poured $20 million into getting the liquor initiative passed? Has it hired any ex-liquor store employees? The jobs at the old state-run stores are there at minimum wage with no benefits, if the new owners hire them at all. What a blow for employees who have worked to raise their families.

Thank you, Costco, for taking the livelihood from the 900 who now have an even larger struggle in this already depressed economy.


Leave a comment Comments → 57
  1. Pecksbadboy says:

    Everyone seems to want smaller government and their fingers out of every business.

    You got what you wanted. Enjoy!

  2. igotdabombfool says:

    Thank the voters…and it’s not like it snuck up on him. I remember reading an article in the TNT about these same employees were finding jobs at a remarkable rate and that the liquor control people were having a hard time keeping stores open or maintaining current operations. Not to sound mean…but maybe your son-in-law should have started looking sooner for a job.

  3. concernedtacoma7 says:

    So state liquor sales was a jobs program? Who knew.

    The market/environment changed. Adapt and move on. The problem with govt programs, once started they become impossible to stop.

    This is a rare victory over statism in Wa. Once the insane taxes are lowered and we stop punishing the poor who enjoy a responsible drink, the victory will be complete.

  4. Theefrinker says:

    Also, the “losing jobs” thing is missing the point of it all. I’m sure people lost their jobs at the printing press so that I could type this comment on this website; does that mean the TNT should not have made news available online? Besides, this was a corrective initiative: partially removing government from somewhere it should not have been.

  5. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Thanks Costco for helping us achive the goal of smaller government. The unions lost 900 members that were forced to pay dues and collected by the state so the dollars can be passed over to the unions and democrats.

    This is 900 fewer people that will be donating to democarts with union money that came from my taxdollars.

    Thanks Costco, you folks are great Americans. Now we need Scott Walker reforms so state workers can opt out of forced dues.

    We will hear the same whining when they close other services that the state runs that should be privatized, like the state print shop. Can’t wait until I can send my kids to a charter school and my dollars will go to teaching not union bosses and their admin crap.

    Liberals, there is a new age dawning, get used to it. If you are smart you get new jobs before the rush caused by privatizing state services.

  6. Fibonacci says:

    Wow, I don’t belong to a union but you make me want to go out and join one. May I ask, just what harm have those evil unions done to you personally. You have WAY too much hatred for unions to have this just be on principal. I haven’t seem any letter to the editor about ANY subject that you don’t seem to turn into some anti-union tirade.

    As to those charter schools. Well, 25% do better, 37% do worse and the rest are about the same. So, it seems like your kid has a bigger chance of doing worse in one that better. Or do you even care about anything but that the teachers there are not union? They are still PUBLIC schools by the way. YOUR dollars DO go to teaching right now and not to “union bosses and their admin crap.”

  7. Ortingmom says:

    I hope your son-in-law finds a job soon, there are many others facing the same challenge. I for one thank Costco for proving jobs and getting the State out of where they do not belong.

  8. Ortingmom says:


  9. It’s real interesting to see the number of people that have been brainwashed on the idea that government shouldn’t exist. Without government, who would they blame everything on?

    They are the same people that were crying when private industry hiked the price of booze on June 1.

    Funny how state liquor stores could sell the same liquor cheaper than private stores…huh? And all this time these Grover Norquist-wannabes tell us that government can’t run efficiently.

    Fibbonacci – if I’m not wrong, I recall “Taxed” complaining about his wife having to pay union dues as a teacher. It’s known as “biting the hand that feeds him”, but the mindset of conservatives is that they want services, but don’t want to pay for them.

  10. “with union money that came from my taxdollars.”

    yeah…Taxed…you forget. Those people worked for their money that they paid union dues and donated to political causes. It wasn’t your money anymore than you owning the money you give to the grocery store for the goods you buy.

    Your dishonesty is almost as ugly as your anger.

  11. Maybe Taxedenough would have the courage to say where he works. That way all the families that are living off wages made by state employees can spend their money elsewhere so that Taxed’s wages aren’t tainted by that nasty state employee money.

    And maybe elephants will fly…..

  12. concernedtacoma7 says:

    The price is higher because of what? Govt. Excessive and ridiculous taxes. Nice try. Do you really believe if the taxes were removed from the equation the state can run a business more efficiently? No.

  13. took14theteam says:

    From what I have observed, the product price listed appears to be the same price as what was offered in the former liquor stores (which had the mark-up and tax built in). Then you have to add in the tax and the per liter charge. So yes, Larry we got screwed and we did it to ourselves, and we didn’t even get a kiss.

    We all knew what the state markup and taxes were, so the difference in price now, I believe, is because of the base price of the product. Which compared to other states is artificially higher here (just like gas, go figure). So yes, I will admit that business is taking advantage of us.

  14. Larry H

    “It’s real interesting to see the number of people that have been brainwashed on the idea that government shouldn’t exist.”

    Did someone say Government shouldn’t exist? I read that a lot people think it should just be smaller. There is a difference.

  15. beerBoy says:

    I read that a lot people think it should just be smaller.

    And those people, when they get elected, ALWAYS grow government even bigger. It is just an empty slogan.

  16. concernedtacoma7 says:

    So it is about the growth and reach of govt. The way the system is set up shrinking govt is a near impossible task.

  17. Dave98373 says:

    Buyer’s remorse? So soon? This is a good example of one naive’s attempt to shrink government…it ends up creating a vaccuum that benefits only big business. Wake up voters! Privitization is not always a good solution.

  18. Personally I like hearing the whining, it brings joy to my heart…Oh and paying the extra $1.55 for my drink of choice is worth it…Get over it..

  19. “smaller”…a subjective term.

    Some people just hate anything with the name “government”


    Reading material for Frank

  20. took14theteam says:

    So I have to ask, Larry, who belongs to your new obsession Frank?

    Remember, as a good little Democrat, you will respect the privacy of others.

  21. Has Costco hired any of the liquor store employees? Yes.

    196 former state liquor store employees applied
    26 were hired and have already started work
    15 will start work within the next week
    25 were offered jobs but declined
    27 canceled their interviews

    This information came from one of the Seattle radio station / news web sites.

  22. Fibonacci says:

    Yes, I had forgotten that “taxed”s wife was a teacher. The funny thing is, I have never seen an anti-union teacher turn down the benefits that the union bargained for them. If they did that I could at least respect their principles. But they want the benefits but don’t want to pay their share.

  23. took14theteam says:

    Looks like another sock puppet for larryH.

    Where is ehill?

  24. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Leftists- go into hiding, never to come out. Your time has past, your policies failed.

    Wisconsin shows the Nation reason beats emotion. Union thugs lose to the tax paying citizen.

    Romney 2012!

  25. 1. Wish the last time I was laid off I was given MONTHS notice that it was going to happen. Sounds like too many of them hung around thinking someone was going to prevent it.

    2. Breaking the reliance upon government and an easy job is harder than getting off meth. It’s just as addictive.

    3. I was listening to Dave Ross and some state liquor employee sent in a message not more than a few hours after private stores opened claiming that more liquor was shoplifted at one store in that short time than ever from state liquor stores.

    4. Extra taxes – The government doesn’t like the way WE voted, so they are punishing us.

  26. Oh, and for the Dave Ross message, the guy was just soooo sure that the majority was from kids.

    So, I guess the scenario is teenagers got up real early and mobbed a store and shoplifted the booze and nobody caught them. But this guy is sure it happened.

  27. Patricia L. Frederick, from Tacoma your son n law needs to look at his former co workers for part of the blame they didn’t know sh@t from shinola when it came running a distribution warehouse which was losing millions. So by passing I1183 it stopped the bleeding of the wasted distribution warehouse money.

  28. alindasue says:

    CRB9000 said, “4. Extra taxes – The government doesn’t like the way WE voted, so they are punishing us.”

    No one is “punishing” anyone. There are no extra taxes attached to the liquor that weren’t clearly spelled out in I-1183.

    Fibonacci said, “Yes, I had forgotten that “taxed”s wife was a teacher. The funny thing is, I have never seen an anti-union teacher turn down the benefits that the union bargained for them.”

    Yea, I noticed that too. I’m not so gun-ho union that I think employees of a company should unionize if they don’t feel the need to BUT if the members do vote to unionize, then all those who benefit from the union’s activities should be paying the union dues. Those who willingly accept the benefits from the collective bargaining while claiming to be “anti-union” should not be given a free ride.

    That’s a problem I have with “right to work” states. That, and those same states also tend to be more lax about enforcing workers’ rights and workplace safety regulations – all things brought about by the efforts of unions but taken for granted by Americans now that they’ve been in effect for a few decades.

  29. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Lax about workplace safety? So OSHA ignores right to work states? Come on Alindasue, you know that makes no sense. Violations equal lawsuits.

  30. beerBoy says:

    alindasue – the saying is “gung ho” not “gun ho”. ;-)

  31. royboy361 says:

    Yes everyone wants a smaller government as long as it’s not their job at stake. The people of this state have spoken and they said they no longer want the state in the liquor business.

  32. fmrliqemp says:

    To those that have said blame should be placed on the former co-workers at the distribution center and have stated that we all should have been looking for new jobs sooner, I personally started looking for a new job as soon as the initiative was in the process of getting signatures to date I have over 100 applications filled out w/cover letters and resumes attached with a big return of 2 phone interviews you do the math on that one. with over 16yrs of retail exp. no one is wanting to hire at the wages for the exp. now as for the distribution center that was “bleeding” millions of wasted dollars believe the media and big corporation hype if you wish. It is a state of the art facility of which most of you know nothing about since you have never stepped foot inside it. Finally, Thank you Patricia for standing up for all of us former Washington State Liquor Control Board employees.

  33. scooter6139 says:

    concerned – “Union thugs lose to the tax paying citizen.”

    Umm, no. Unions lost the money game in Wisconsin by HUGE margins (at least ten to one). Reasonable enough since Walker destroyed the unions in Wisconsin. Four of the top seven Walker contributors were out of state. First election that proves outside money can BUY the electorate. Way to go Citizens United!

  34. “concernedtacoma7 says:
    June 6, 2012 at 2:15 am Lax about workplace safety? So OSHA ignores right to work states? Come on Alindasue, you know that makes no sense. Violations equal lawsuits”

    And the state agency tells workers if they can sue. Someone’s lack of knowledge on the subject is shining again.

  35. SwordofPerseus says:

    Conc7, you used the word “impossible” several times in this LTE comments, I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    You obviously do not understand the historical role that unions have played in this country,(5-day work week, 8 hour day, time off, holidays with pay) too bad you are so sadly ignorant of the facts.

    Those who are too dim to learn from history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

    As shown in Wisconsin recently, we seemed to be headed backwards, away from progress for the working class of this nation. We have had thirty years of bad policies, Republicon policies. They have led us to the brink of collapse and I fear that with the tone in this country toward fear of government and embracing the false hope of privatization we are fast becoming a third world country. Just like the Koch Brothers and their ilk would like.

    People like this are the same kind who would cheer for Mr. Potter and boo/hiss George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life…which is a great analogy, if we do not stop people like the Koch Bros. it will be like George Bailey had never been born. No more Bedford Falls, only Potterville’s

  36. “took14theteam says:
    June 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm Looks like another sock puppet for larryH.”

    Said by the one that forgot to take off the “Took” mask when emoting an “AJ” comment.

  37. Took – google “Frank Burns” and you’ll know. LLAO

  38. An article in today’s “TNT” lays out large projected City of Tacoma deficits. The article boldly states that 60% of the City’s expenses are wages and benefits.

    It would benefit all citizens of Tacoma if we follow the Wisconsin model and the I-1183 example to reign in deficit spending.

  39. Sword – don’t expect logic from Frank Burns

  40. SwordofPerseus says:

    Correction “Pottersville” not “Potterville”

  41. “The article boldly states that 60% of the City’s expenses are wages and benefits.”


    In a service business, what do you think the labor factor is?

  42. igotdabombfool says:

    fmrliqemp – “with over 16yrs of retail exp. no one is wanting to hire at the wages for the exp.”

    So your saying that you’re only looking for a job with the same pay and benefits. Welcome to the public sector…might be time to make your search more realistic.

  43. Zeblistic says:

    It doesn’t matter how much notice they were given. 900 jobs. Are there 900 jobs out there?? Has anyone taken a look at the economy these days? And this will just make it worse. How many of these peoples homes will be foreclosed on bringing down the market even more. Be proud of yourselves for your critical thinking skills.

  44. Theefrinker says:

    I, for one, am proud of my sensible thinking skills. The system needed fixing, regardless.

  45. alindasue says:

    concernedtacoma7 said, “Lax about workplace safety? So OSHA ignores right to work states?”

    No. With employee bargaining power and voice weakened in right to work states, employers are more inclined to ignore OSHA. Unions do more than just negotiate wages and benefits.

  46. concernedtacoma7 says:

    And the list of excuses begin…

  47. fmrliqemp says:

    I know all about the private sector line of work, I was only with the board for the last few years so yes, I do believe I have earned the right for better than minimum wages which is all any are offering. Oh and to the one earlier that called us former state employees lately I am also former military so bite me on the lazy I served my country proudly while you were probably still in diapers.

  48. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Given those writing skills, I am shocked you have not received well paying job offers.

    Military service and state employees have little in common, minus the taxpayer funding your salary.

    One is required (national defense), one should have never been a govt function.

  49. tree_guy says:

    thanks Henry Ford, for hurting the families of buggy whip manufacturers.

  50. Zeblistic says:

    And who cares who is affected by it in the long run as long as it isn’t YOU…..yet.

  51. concernedtacoma7 says:

    We are all ‘affected’ when the state over reaches. We are all affected when the state penalizes one group of citizens (drinkers) to find entitlements and a retail sales program.

  52. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Fund, not find.

    Taking money from people who enjoy a drink and unfortunately those with a dependency issue. Hammers the poor over the rich. Quite sad.

  53. hansgruber says:

    10,000 people are retiring everyday now, I’m sure a job or two will open up for your beloved family member to aquire.


  54. “tree_guy says:
    June 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm thanks Henry Ford, for hurting the families of buggy whip manufacturers.”

    For those who don’t follow history, Ford was quoted: “I want my people to be able to afford my cars”

  55. I wonder when Taxedenough is going to tell us who he works for, so that we can avoid tainting his salary with State employee family wages.

    I understood what fmrliq was saying. He was telling FrankBurns that his state salary helped pay Frank’s wages while he was employed by the federal government (and possibly still is). He was reminding FrankBurns that history has demonstrated that defense jobs are not a requirement and can be farmed out of mercenaries.

  56. concernedtacoma7 says:

    If Taxed is on welfare or a billionaire it makes no difference. He is not trying to make state liquor sales a ‘jobs’ program.

    End of the day state retail sales of booze are gone. Instead of whining, those who are a victim of progress need to move on. One of life’s tough breaks.

    You show what is wrong with socialized anything. Once a program starts, it is near impossible to end. This was a rare glimmer of hope for Wa.

  57. Ct7 – now thanks to i-1183 we can give more of our money to corporations and the state.

    A pity that rare glimmer of hope is costing wa citizens so much more.

    Ford was also sued by his stockholders for cutting into their profits by ‘overpaying’ his workers.

    Federal salaries (civilian and military) also pay state salaries.

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