The Ugly Truth Starts to Come Out

Published at 08:19 on 30 May 2012

And that’s that the ill-considered initiative measure to privatize liquor sales in Washington State is certain to increase prices. The Establishment media is at this late hour, one week before the state liquor stores close for good, starting to feebly offer the caution that prices “might” go up.

Really, now, how couldn’t they? One of the measure’s selling points, trumpeted by its advocates, was that it would not reduce revenues to the state; the legislation was crafted to be revenue neutral. And capitalists are capitalists: in the retail liquor business, as in any business, the goal of business is to make a profit.

So, the state is still making its profit. To that picture, we now add capitalists taking their cut. Just where is that money going to come from? Does anyone honestly think the new for-profit liquor stores are going to harvest C-notes from a secret orchard of money trees and make their money that way? This is not rocket science we are talking about.

Sure, some of it is going to come from union-busting and pushing worker pay down. But that can only go so far. The advocates of paying workers less always overestimate the profits for owners that this will generate.

In short, prices will go up. It’s as close a thing to a future certainty that a simple economic analysis can predict.

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