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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 4, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Booze shortage: State shouldn’t be tending our liquor stores

Free market best for alcohol industry

Hey, Tim Eyman, have you ever considered an initiative that would privatize the purchase, distribution and sale of liquor in Washington state?

Since the Legislature lacks the stones to do so, we continue to be saddled with this prehistoric mastodon of a system. With guaranteed markups and an increase in taxes, the centralized system could have at least gotten orders out completely and correctly in time for the lucrative holiday weekend [“Liquor shortage possible,” NWWednesday, July 1].

In the midst of a recession, the food and beverage businesses should not also have to deal with bureaucratic snafus. The taxes will still be collected no matter what system is used. The profit motive is still the best stimulant of efficiency and sales. We should at least bring the system into the 20th century.

— Jack McClurg, Marysville

State bureaucracy stunts sale of spirits

After reading The Seattle Times story on a possible liquor shortage, I believe it is time for the state of Washington to get out of the liquor business and allow each licensed liquor business, whether it be a mom-and-pop store or a large grocery store, handle the sale of liquor.

Independent stores can be more competitive in holding the prices down and save taxpayers from having to pay rent, state employees and benefits.

Go to California, Arizona and Nevada and see how their system is running. State liquor control in Washington is way outdated and too bureaucratic to continue as it is.

Makes me think about the old Texas Two-Step dance: one step forward, two backward!

— Ray Gonty, Seattle

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