Control States

Have you been following the press about privatization of some Control States?

In case you haven’t, Wine and Spirits Daily (June 7th edition) has a great score card on what’s been happening.

NABCA has issued a resolution in support of Control States. No surprise but people I’ve talked with have wondered why they didn’t do this some time ago. WSD reports that 4 states (NC, PA, WA and VA) are looking closely at privatization. So the debate must be getting serious.

I’m not sure I know how I feel about privatization.

Those who want to keep government involvement argue about jobs and the need for industry regulation or control in their jurisdiction. But the NABCA resolution states, “there is irrefutable proof that alcohol control systems have a positive public health and safety impact on their communities.” Does this mean that the 32 open states are not doing a good job in protecting health and safety? Or, that the industry, unless governed by state officials, will behave badly?

Follow the money. As WSD points out, in tough economic times, states will look to a range of resources to increase revenue including taxes, fees and privatization.

Hey, look at California – on the ballot this November is a voter initiative to legalize marijuana. The tax revenue from sales is seen as a way to help the state’s budget difficulties.

Interesting that the economic climate has created change in government’s involvement in the social climate. But I guess it’s always been that way.

Here’s a thought if you’re working in a state store that gets privatized – think about moving to California.

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