I have no pony in the race to sell the state stores. What I do know is that I don't want to see them sold. The plus side of the Liquor Control Board handling liquor sales is real. It provides us with a safe and controlled environment to shop, trained and helpful staff, a large selection of all types and prices of wines and liquors, and there is less chance of the underaged being served in a state store.
Another plus to the system now in place is that employees can support their families on the wages. Profits go to paying living wages. Profits of privately held stores would go to owners, while employees will be lucky to get minimum wage. Is it really so important to purchase a controlled item such as wine or liquor at a convenience store? How about gas stations? Where is the good in that? Should minimum-wage employees be responsible for evaluating customers, i.e., not selling to the already intoxicated or someone with a fake ID?
Will all-night grocery stores be able to sell liquor 24 hours a day? Will private ownership decrease available items to only popular brands on coveted shelf space? Do you think prices would actually go down? Will they carry that once-a-year purchase that you buy for Thanksgiving dinner? Have you ever heard of a state store robbery?
It sounds great for the state coffers to add the monies from the sale to our budget. Our governor has even dangled putting the monies toward education programs. I would like to see him sign a binding contract to do that before I would believe him. I feel it is just another way to help the 1 percent owner class (maybe Bain Capital would like to purchase our stores) as the rest of us receive less service, less choice and less safety, for the same costs.