August 24, 2010
Nice poll, don't get cocky
Today's SurveyUSA poll shows liquor privatization Initiative 1100 winning, 59-27. I-1100 was written to favor consumers and eventually won backing from Costco, Safeway, other retailers, restaurants and wineries. The wholesalers' privatization initiative I-1105 is also ahead, 54-29.
Great news, but the consumers haven't won yet. The Massachusetts attempt to allow wine in grocery stores is a cautionary tale of how inefficient businesses addicted to protectionist laws will do what it takes to screw their customers at the ballot box.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at August 24, 2010
10:17 PM | Email This
1. So if they both pass, then we'll put the state out of a business they can't afford to be in now, BUT we'll have the highly questionable distribution network that 1105 establishes to go with it?
Michele, if they both pass we're in uncharted territory. There's no state law that resolves the situation when two initiatives that address the same subject in conflicting ways both pass. It would take a 2/3 majority of the Legislature to sort out the mess, or more likely the State Supreme Court would be the final arbiter.
If 1100 passes alone, we get a pro-consumer marketplace. If 1105 passes alone we're stuck with a lot of unpleasantness -- higher prices, horrible licensing terms for small stores, and the possibility that the tax-lovers in the Legislature use it as an excuse to replace the current tax with a much higher tax.
If both pass, there's a good chance that the Court will tell us we voted for the worst parts of 1105 and make us live with it.
3. Sounds like the NO on 1105 needs to make a full-court press on getting the word out more than has at present.
I still don't understand this all, evidently. My read of 1100 is that the state gets to pick and choose which retailers to license.... Costco and big stores might be the only ones that are allowed to sell (rather than the current liquor agency stores). My read of 1105 is that it is the distributors that are to be licensed - basically what we currently have in beer distributors - would be able to distribute the spirits.
I don't see our beer prices as being too high. In fact, if I didn't think beer tasted like total cereal I would immediately switch to beer because it's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying soda.
Doug: My read of 1100 is that the state gets to pick and choose which retailers to license.... Costco and big stores might be the only ones that are allowed to sell (rather than the current liquor agency stores)
Not true. 1100 allows any currently licensed beer/wine retailer in good standing to upgrade their license for a $1000 fee set in the intiative. 1105 directs the liquor board to develop new criteria and additional fees for spirits licenses and we have no idea what the liquor board will do on this.
As far as brand new licenses, the liquor board will use its existing review process for any new license. They conduct background checks and have discretion, but they can't deny licenses arbitrarily.
6. In fact, if I didn't think beer tasted like total cereal I would immediately switch to beer because it's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying soda.
Where in the (bleep) do you shop?
A case of regular beer - Bud, MGD, etc - runs anywhere from 16 to 20 bucks. A six-pack of microbrews can run as high as six to 10 bucks apiece.
One can easily find three 12-packs of pop for 10 bucks or cheaper ... depending upon the brand
Beer is more than double the price of pop, and always has been.
7. Thank God there's still people who call it "pop".
8. I-1100 was written to favor consumers and eventually won backing from Costco, Safeway, other retailers, restaurants and wineries.
Ooops! You mean "written by Costco and supported to the tune of $735,000".
9. Demokid - Costco is a big Democrat donor. Best not get caught bashing them.