Mark Aselstine
November 9, 2011 | Mark Aselstine

Score One for the Free Market

While some of our distributor friends might not agree, the results from the ballot box in Washington yesterday are very encouraging.

Voters enthusiastically approved a bill in the state of Washington to, in essence, tell the state that they shouldn't be involved with the sale of alcohol.  While the measure was backed largely by Costco, I'm sure grocery stores and other big box retailers are going to be thrilled with the change.

Of course, I feel terrible for the 900 state employees who are going to lose jobs in this economy, but I hope that they can move into the private sector and find work at one of the 1,100 newly licensed alcohol sellers.  Of course the state's independent budget office seems to think the change will be good in both the long and short term for the state as far as tax revenue which IMO should be a primary concern.

It's a nice change in the Pacific Northwest and I hope it's a sign of things to come in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania where the state is incredibly active in liquor sales while there is also litigation moving through the courts while there also stands to be plenty of challenges at the ballot box as well.

More from the Seattle Times and Melissa Allison who has done a truly incredible job covering this niche ballot proposition from beginning to end.


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