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