The Wenatchee World

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An exit from the liquor business

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What possible justification is there for state government to run a liquor monopoly? It is not just a monopoly on retail sales, but top to-bottom, complete domination of wholesale, distribution and marketing — the whole game. The stated motivation in 1933 was the promotion of sobriety. Washington was a progressive state that fretted over the pernicious degrading effect of liquor on working families, a state that went dry early, and was not cheering for the repeal of Prohibition. Upon repeal, it replaced a criminal enterprise with state control. If liquor must be available, it should be boring, unadvertised, expensive and hard to get, not sold by saloonkeepers or distilleries.

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