Friday, October 29, 2010

"Hey, man, got your fake ID?" (Updated)

Sound Politics is running a series of posts about next Tuesday's* election.   In particular, they are addressing the opposition to Initiative 1100, which would privatize liquor sales in Washington State, allowing the State Liquor Control Board to concentrate on regulatory activities, instead of the current setup, where the regulatory agency is also engaged in the retail activity it is charged with regulating.  In particular, I draw your attention to the following series of five articles, entitled "WHY THE LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD SHOULD GET OUT OF THE RETAIL BUSINESS AND SPEND 100% OF ITS TIME ON LICENSING AND ENFORCEMENT", Parts I-V:
(I updated the list with a synopsis of what that section is about.)

Most of the arguments against 1100 pretty much fall into one of three categories:
  1. Private enterprise is icky and evil, and Not To Be Trusted
  2. Making Demon Rum more available would be Bad, because People Are Not To Be Trusted
  3. Making Demon Rum more available would make it easy for Children to get Demon Rum, because Private Enterprise is Not To Be Trusted to Follow The Rules.
If you get the impression I don't think much of any of these positions, you're right: I'm fed up with Nanny Statism, or, for that matter, any form of Statism.

Anyway.  These Sound Politics articles pretty well sum up the opposition to I-1100.  In particular, consider that the major opposition is funded by out-of-state beer distributors, who fear that, if I-1100 passes, hard liquor would be available on grocery store shelves, possibly taking up space that was previously taken up by beer.  Thus, the argument that Beer is Good but Demon Rum is Evil.  And Safeway will be passing out airline-sized bottle of Jack Daniels to Trick or Treaters.

(Any proof that states which allow the sale of  hard liquor in grocery stores--like Hawai'i, California, and Nevada, to name three I have visited in the last 6 months, have higher rates of underage drinking, than those that don't?)

Frankly, the arguments in opposition to I-1100 amount to puritanism, as defined by Mencken, i.e., "The fear that somebody somewhere may be having a good time."

Another Update:  The Seattle Slimes fishwrap today ran an editorial against I-1100.  In which they lie, copiously.  Oh, I suppose they may have been mislead, possibly they're funded by the beer distributors.  Sound Politics takes them apart here.

*Although calling it "Next Tuesday's election" is a bit of a misnomer, since most of Washington State went all-mail ballot.  So comfortable knowing that my vote is in the hands of the mailcarrier's union...


DirtCrashr said...

They got a serious confusion if they trust Gubb'mint Enterprise to Follow The Rules.

D.W. Drang said...

As noted in the updated version, this is one of the strongest arguments for I1100.