Contrary to the view expressed by a News Tribune editorial (6-5), voters did not make a mistake when they voted for Initiative 1183.
It is the purpose of government to accomplish things for the public welfare that cannot be done well by the private sector. Retailing of alcoholic beverages (or any other commodity) can, and normally is, done effectively by the private sector. Generally, in fact, the private sector tends to be highly competitive in performing the retailing function, leading to consumer convenience; a myriad of purchase options; and moderate, competitive pricing.
With the passage of I-1183, purchasing of alcoholic beverages stronger than wine has already become more convenient than it ever was under a state government monopoly. Yes, prices remain high. That is the ransom we voters/consumers paid for the release from government of the retailing function.
The News Tribune becomes histrionic in its editorial when declaring that any reduction of alcoholic beverage sales taxes would “create the perfect storm.” Many of the same retail outlets now selling “hard” liquor have long sold beer and wine, yet this has not led to hordes of drunken 10th-graders meandering in the streets.