Fast Focus: 'Are you satisfied with the liquor privitization laws?' Loss of living wages in community

July 21, 2013 

No, I am not satisfied. Recently, I bought a bottle of vodka at a local supermarket. It was advertised as being 40 percent off of the regular price. I wanted to see the effect of liquor taxes on the final price. Guess what? The end price was within a dollar of what I used to pay for the same bottle at a state liquor store.

For this "benefit," we gave up about 1,000 living-wage union jobs. Those folks had health and retirement benefits that the private operators don't come close to matching.

If you pay an ordinary worker a living wage, she won't sock that money away in the stock market or a hedge fund. She'll take it out in the community and spend it on the local economy. If you give a worker decent health benefits, she won't go to the KGH emergency room when she is sick, but to her regular doctor, and I won't end up paying for her medical treatment through increased property taxes to our local public hospitals. If workers have a realistic retirement plan, they won't become public charges after they retire, and can enjoy their senior years with a modicum of dignity.

Face it folks, everyone gets old and sick some day. The liquor privatization initiative was just about the most short-sighted piece of legislation we have had shoved down our throats lately.

Sure, liquor is a little more available, but is that really a good thing?

Just because government provides a service, doesn't automatically make the service bad. The state-run liquor operation was self-sustaining and provided a number of families with good jobs. Turning it over to the private sector was a mistake, and we're all paying for it now.

-- ERIC NORDLOF, Kennewick

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service