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(NBC News)   Washington State's privatization of liquor sales leads to surge in liquor sales...in Oregon   (nbcnews.com) divider line 235
    More: Obvious, Oregon, tri-cities, sales lead, Columbia River, Walla Walla, liquors  
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11447 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Jul 2012 at 5:10 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-19 03:45:48 PM

Telephone Sanitizer Second Class: 1183 was a cash grab by Costco, plain and simple. What's sad is the people who voted for it are blaming the state taxes for the higher prices. You know, the taxes that were clearly written into the initiative that they voted for.

Thanks for driving up prices and gutting selection, assholes. The initiative process is why we can't have nice things in this state.



Oh really? Was it a cash grab when they supported the far better initiative back in 2010? Or did the pro-government monopoly and "for the children" soccer moms force them to compromise on what they originally wanted?

And you're right in part....thanks to the initiative process, I can no longer light up a stogie inside a cigar bar or smoke shop.

But like I said, I own a nice chunk of Costco stock, so I'm loving this.
 
2012-07-19 04:02:00 PM

The_Sponge: Oh really? Was it a cash grab when they supported the far better initiative back in 2010? Or did the pro-government monopoly and "for the children" soccer moms force them to compromise on what they originally wanted?

But like I said, I own a nice chunk of Costco stock, so I'm loving this.


Yes, the 2010 initiative was an attempted cash grab for Costco as well. Not sure why you think it wasn't. Do you think they spent millions of dollars on the initiative process and advertising out of humanitarianism?

But, hey, I'm real happy about your stocks that you keep mentioning. The "fark you, I got mine" attitude makes me very sympathetic to your cause.
 
2012-07-19 04:15:02 PM

Telephone Sanitizer Second Class: Yes, the 2010 initiative


Both of these things are true...

The Wa State initiative process is farked up

Wa. State has no business being in a liquor monopoly

As for the prices - I've found the price change minimal and even cheaper in a couple of instances. I honestly give a rat's ass. Liquor is not a substantial portion of my net income. For those whom it is, taxes are the least of your worries. I just got back from a trip where gas was almost a dollar less than I'm used to paying and cigarettes are literally half. I don't really care - different things cost different prices in different places and sometimes prices change. Feel free to move about as you wish.

/owns 100 shares of costco too, but that's not why I voted yes - I'd have voted for any bill that got the state out of the liquor selling business. I voted for the last one too.
 
2012-07-19 04:59:55 PM
The fark do you people mean "Washington State has no business being in a liquor monopoly".

If the people of the state want it, they'll get it.

So fark you with that attitude.


The people of the state didn't want the monopoly any more, and now they're paying the price.


So congratulations, morons. You now have shiatty selection thats a little easier to get to because you were too stupid to buy alcohol between the horribly inconvenient hours of 9am to 9pm.
 
2012-07-19 05:10:45 PM

WSUCanuck: The fark do you people mean "Washington State has no business being in a liquor monopoly".

If the people of the state want it, they'll get it.



Right. The citizens of Wa State 'wanted' state run liquor control so they requested their governor appoint a 3 man liquor control board back in 1933. Clearly, that was the collective will of the citizens at work.
 
2012-07-19 05:12:42 PM
While it's a bit easier to get liquor now I still told every one of you farkers how it would decrease selection and increase prices. The responses I got back were basically "BUT...BUT.... SOCIALISMS!!!!!" And now I'm paying around 10 dollars more for pretty much everything I buy. Not only that the stores don't even include the taxes in the price. You literally have to figure it will go up another 25 percent when you take it to the register.
 
2012-07-19 05:17:19 PM

Telephone Sanitizer Second Class: Yes, the 2010 initiative was an attempted cash grab for Costco as well. Not sure why you think it wasn't. Do you think they spent millions of dollars on the initiative process and advertising out of humanitarianism?

But, hey, I'm real happy about your stocks that you keep mentioning. The "fark you, I got mine" attitude makes me very sympathetic to your cause.



1) True....but it wasn't a cash grab that involved farking over all competitors.

2) It's not so much "fark you I got mine", it's more along the lines of common sense that I would vote yes....considering the money they spent....and I want a return on that investment. What would you have done if you were in the same position?
 
2012-07-19 05:18:15 PM
JohnBigBootay

They elected the governor. I'm sure they had a fair idea what his alcohol platform was.
 
2012-07-19 05:19:43 PM

insertsnarkyusername: While it's a bit easier to get liquor now I still told every one of you farkers how it would decrease selection and increase prices. The responses I got back were basically "BUT...BUT.... SOCIALISMS!!!!!" And now I'm paying around 10 dollars more for pretty much everything I buy. Not only that the stores don't even include the taxes in the price. You literally have to figure it will go up another 25 percent when you take it to the register.


Welcome to the tax burden smokers have been living with for a long time now. No one needs liquor. Don't want to pay for it, don't buy it or go elsewhere. Drinking liquor is completely optional.
 
2012-07-19 05:24:54 PM

WSUCanuck: They elected the governor. I'm sure they had a fair idea what his alcohol platform was.


Undoubtedly. What right-thinking Washingtonian would not have foreseen the repeal of the 18th amendment when they chose their governor almost a year before?
 
2012-07-19 05:29:33 PM

JohnBigBootay: insertsnarkyusername: While it's a bit easier to get liquor now I still told every one of you farkers how it would decrease selection and increase prices. The responses I got back were basically "BUT...BUT.... SOCIALISMS!!!!!" And now I'm paying around 10 dollars more for pretty much everything I buy. Not only that the stores don't even include the taxes in the price. You literally have to figure it will go up another 25 percent when you take it to the register.

Welcome to the tax burden smokers have been living with for a long time now. No one needs liquor. Don't want to pay for it, don't buy it or go elsewhere. Drinking liquor is completely optional.


I'm a smoker as well so I know what that is like. Yes it's completely optional, and I've been choosing not to drink nearly as much. The extra cost pisses me off but screw it, I'd pay up if they actually carried the higher end stuff that I used to buy. I'd rather spend 60 on a bottle of really good bourbon than drink the cheap crap that is every where now. But I don't even have that option any more.
 
2012-07-19 05:32:48 PM

insertsnarkyusername: I'm a smoker as well so I know what that is like. Yes it's completely optional, and I've been choosing not to drink nearly as much. The extra cost pisses me off but screw it, I'd pay up if they actually carried the higher end stuff that I used to buy. I'd rather spend 60 on a bottle of really good bourbon than drink the cheap crap that is every where now. But I don't even have that option any more.


I have to admit I really don't care much about liquor or its cost. My health premiums went up 17% last year. Water, garbage, and electricity went up this year. The cost of a bottle of booze is the least of my worries. It was on the ballot and it passed. Personally I'm ready to move on.
 
2012-07-19 05:35:50 PM

JohnBigBootay: insertsnarkyusername: I'm a smoker as well so I know what that is like. Yes it's completely optional, and I've been choosing not to drink nearly as much. The extra cost pisses me off but screw it, I'd pay up if they actually carried the higher end stuff that I used to buy. I'd rather spend 60 on a bottle of really good bourbon than drink the cheap crap that is every where now. But I don't even have that option any more.

I have to admit I really don't care much about liquor or its cost. My health premiums went up 17% last year. Water, garbage, and electricity went up this year. The cost of a bottle of booze is the least of my worries. It was on the ballot and it passed. Personally I'm ready to move on.


Yah, I've got hit on all those things as well. But this thread is about booze and frankly I love my bourbons and irish whiskys and this pisses me off.
 
2012-07-19 07:04:19 PM
There's a lot of confusion over what's happening with this law and the new higher prices.

The taxes did not go up; Washingtonians have been paying these same two taxes in the same amount since forever. If you don't believe me, I can show you the old price sheets they used to have. The difference is that the taxes were included in the shelf-tag price in the state stores. Most private stores aren't doing that, so it seems like an increase. It's not.

The price increase is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT wholesaler + retailer markups, not tax.

The reason the wholesale price went up is because, according to the law, if the tax receipts to the state in the first year of operation fall short of what they were in the last year of the old system, the wholesalers have to make up the difference. They're required to set aside I think $150 million for this purpose. The wholesalers are a little nervous about this.

I'm guessing a big part of why people are going to Oregon is because they don't HAVE liquor stores nearby anymore. Safeway or QFC is great if you're looking to buy one of the ten most common brands, but if you're looking for anything else, where are you supposed to go? Some of the old stores were bought by private citizens, but the ones I've seen are woefully undercapitalized (the one closest to me has seemingly 10,000 bottles of Jim Beam and absolutely nothing else). Any new stores have to be 10,000 sq. ft. or more -- the "Costco rule" designed to keep small business OUT. And even if you have one of those nearby, how are you supposed to know it's there?
 
2012-07-19 07:16:33 PM

Generation_D: casey17: farkityfarker: What's sad is that Washington State already had almost the highest liquor prices in the country. (I think it was 3rd after AK and HI). This is why many people voted for the initiative. They thought it would lower the prices somewhat.

^^^^THIS^^^^

Also, it was supposed to increase the choice of brands & from what I can tell it's DECREASED them. Not to mention stores like Safeway & QFC never seem to have a full shelf. It is the exact opposite from what we were told it would be. However, I'm not going to waste the gas on a 3 hr. trip to Portland to save $5-$10 bucks. It sucks all the way around. :-(

Thats been my experience as well. The State Stores carried about 300 varieties of Single Malt scotch, as well as a full range of fledgling local distilleries.

Big ass stores like Safeway have a whole bunch of Crown Royal. And because of the wholesale tax increase, as well as the 10,000 foot / inventory requirements in the law, unless you are a big box store with a big variety on hand already .. you won't be carrying many of the niche brands the state stores used to have to carry.

Its a big damn dirty shame how much the public didn't care about the negative impact. They voted to hand Costco a big payday, as well as out of state wholesalers. Small local distilleries are threatened with survival now, and any fan of niche brand alcohol is having to scramble around to figure out where to buy, if they can find their favorite brands at all. Variety is way down at retail, even the newer just-opened stores don't have the same variety. And likely won't, since there's no "private market incentive" for them to. And niche liquor stores cant afford to open because they can't afford to be 10,000 square foot. Beautiful catch-22 Costco and the voters created.


Well luckily speciality shops are opening up. I live in washinton, when the law first changed we went to oregon to buy shooters to take on a plane trip since we didn't know where to buy them in washington(we left from PDX) . When we got back into our town a brand new huge retail store that sells beer/liquor and wine had openened up with any brand we could ask for and a few we never heard of. I think the selection at normal retailers will be limited since they don't specialize in liquor sales anyways but as more speciality stores open the selections will all be available.
 
2012-07-19 07:32:03 PM

fnarf: There's a lot of confusion over what's happening with this law and the new higher prices.

The taxes did not go up; Washingtonians have been paying these same two taxes in the same amount since forever. If you don't believe me, I can show you the old price sheets they used to have. The difference is that the taxes were included in the shelf-tag price in the state stores. Most private stores aren't doing that, so it seems like an increase. It's not.

The price increase is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT wholesaler + retailer markups, not tax.

The reason the wholesale price went up is because, according to the law, if the tax receipts to the state in the first year of operation fall short of what they were in the last year of the old system, the wholesalers have to make up the difference. They're required to set aside I think $150 million for this purpose. The wholesalers are a little nervous about this.

I'm guessing a big part of why people are going to Oregon is because they don't HAVE liquor stores nearby anymore. Safeway or QFC is great if you're looking to buy one of the ten most common brands, but if you're looking for anything else, where are you supposed to go? Some of the old stores were bought by private citizens, but the ones I've seen are woefully undercapitalized (the one closest to me has seemingly 10,000 bottles of Jim Beam and absolutely nothing else). Any new stores have to be 10,000 sq. ft. or more -- the "Costco rule" designed to keep small business OUT. And even if you have one of those nearby, how are you supposed to know it's there?


The 10K sq ft rule wasn't meant to keep small businesses out, it was meant to please the biatchy soccer moms.....Costco's original initiative is proof.
 
2012-07-19 08:51:42 PM

fnarf: There's a lot of confusion over what's happening with this law and the new higher prices.

The taxes did not go up; Washingtonians have been paying these same two taxes in the same amount since forever. If you don't believe me, I can show you the old price sheets they used to have. The difference is that the taxes were included in the shelf-tag price in the state stores. Most private stores aren't doing that, so it seems like an increase. It's not.

The price increase is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT wholesaler + retailer markups, not tax.

The reason the wholesale price went up is because, according to the law, if the tax receipts to the state in the first year of operation fall short of what they were in the last year of the old system, the wholesalers have to make up the difference. They're required to set aside I think $150 million for this purpose. The wholesalers are a little nervous about this.

I'm guessing a big part of why people are going to Oregon is because they don't HAVE liquor stores nearby anymore. Safeway or QFC is great if you're looking to buy one of the ten most common brands, but if you're looking for anything else, where are you supposed to go? Some of the old stores were bought by private citizens, but the ones I've seen are woefully undercapitalized (the one closest to me has seemingly 10,000 bottles of Jim Beam and absolutely nothing else). Any new stores have to be 10,000 sq. ft. or more -- the "Costco rule" designed to keep small business OUT. And even if you have one of those nearby, how are you supposed to know it's there?


QFT.

What baffled me was why Washingtonians voted for the initiative, despite the obvious flaws in it. (I voted against it, obviously.) It was pretty damned clear that prices would rise, selection size would fall, and the big players who wrote and funded the legislation would make a killing at the expense of Washington citizens. The legislation itself guaranteed that the decision would be expensive to reverse - Washington laid off the employees that handled the retail and distribution of alcohol, and then auctioned off the properties on which the state liquor stores stood.

And yet, a majority of Washington citizens voted for it. Baffling.

And, no, it's actually still cheaper to go to Oregon, especially if you're buying in quantity, than it is to buy high-end liquors here in Washington. Retailers are jacking up the prices - in some cases, the high-end stuff has tripled or more in price - enormously, even as the selection dried up because some of the big box folks have negotiated sweetheart deals with specific distributors.
 
2012-07-19 08:59:55 PM

FormlessOne: Retailers are jacking up the prices - in some cases, the high-end stuff has tripled or more in price - enormously, even as the selection dried up because some of the big box folks have negotiated sweetheart deals with specific distributors.


I'll bite, show me an example of a liquor selling at more than triple the price.
 
2012-07-19 09:43:59 PM
I haven't seen a 300% increase, but my favorite booze, Zaya rum, did go up 87% at the closest store to my house, which seems punishing. Almost every rum they carry is up 30% or more.
 
2012-07-19 09:55:00 PM

JohnBigBootay: FormlessOne: Retailers are jacking up the prices - in some cases, the high-end stuff has tripled or more in price - enormously, even as the selection dried up because some of the big box folks have negotiated sweetheart deals with specific distributors.

I'll bite, show me an example of a liquor selling at more than triple the price.


Don't hold your breath waiting for an example. For some reason a bunch of folks here seem to think that the government should be in the business of selling booze because they seem to believe that the benevolent government is so much more efficient and better at pricing and selling alcohol than shady free market private business assholes. You know because the government does such a great job of not completely farking up everything it meddles in. The government could fark up the recipe for a glass of milk.

To be honest I think the last thing this person or the farking dimwit towards the beginning of the thread who said that red states should look at the former government run monopoly on alcohol sales WA used to have as an example of how free enterprise should work need is access to cheaper alcohol. When in your mind government monopoly = free enterprise it's time to put the sauce down.
 
2012-07-19 10:21:34 PM

MoeSzyslak: JohnBigBootay: FormlessOne: Retailers are jacking up the prices - in some cases, the high-end stuff has tripled or more in price - enormously, even as the selection dried up because some of the big box folks have negotiated sweetheart deals with specific distributors.

I'll bite, show me an example of a liquor selling at more than triple the price.

Don't hold your breath waiting for an example. For some reason a bunch of folks here seem to think that the government should be in the business of selling booze because they seem to believe that the benevolent government is so much more efficient and better at pricing and selling alcohol than shady free market private business assholes. You know because the government does such a great job of not completely farking up everything it meddles in. The government could fark up the recipe for a glass of milk.

To be honest I think the last thing this person or the farking dimwit towards the beginning of the thread who said that red states should look at the former government run monopoly on alcohol sales WA used to have as an example of how free enterprise should work need is access to cheaper alcohol. When in your mind government monopoly = free enterprise it's time to put the sauce down.


I won't.

Here's how I feel about it in general... there's an adjustment period going on right now, some odd retailer behavior with respect to this reserve fund and they don't want to get caught with their pants down but it will eventually settle out and the market will do what it does. People in Washington want to drink booze. People who sell booze want to sell it to anyone, they don't care where they live. And the state wants to collect tax on shiat that gets sold here. The equalization will happen as it always does. And border dwellers will continue to do as they have always done and drive over the border to make the purchases that seem worth going out of their way for. I don't see the big deal - and even if it was a big deal, the state still has no business in the liquor trade.
 
2012-07-19 10:38:03 PM
And of course the gop from penntucky want to do the same thing as washington. The taxpayers and customers are going to pay more either way when you priviatize a source of income. PA residents complain now about prices and having to drive out of state, they are going to be more up in arms when they realize they asked for it.
 
2012-07-19 11:06:11 PM

soj4life: And of course the gop from penntucky want to do the same thing as washington. The taxpayers and customers are going to pay more either way when you priviatize a source of income. PA residents complain now about prices and having to drive out of state, they are going to be more up in arms when they realize they asked for it.


TFA: Washington voters last fall approved an initiative taking the state out of the liquor business for the first time since Prohibition. The measure allows large retailers like grocery stores and Costco to sell liquor, but it also imposed an additional 10 percent distributor fee and 17 percent retail fee to replace money the state lost when it shut down its state-run liquor stores. The result was higher prices for consumers at many retail outlets.

So the business is privatized and the government raises taxes fees 27% driving up the prices of alcohol and chasing away customers but the problem here isn't with the government but rather the private sector for having the audacity to get involved in the retail sale of goods? Some how this is the fault of the GOP? Do you honestly believe the government should be in the retail business?
 
2012-07-19 11:45:02 PM

MoeSzyslak: soj4life: And of course the gop from penntucky want to do the same thing as washington. The taxpayers and customers are going to pay more either way when you priviatize a source of income. PA residents complain now about prices and having to drive out of state, they are going to be more up in arms when they realize they asked for it.

TFA: Washington voters last fall approved an initiative taking the state out of the liquor business for the first time since Prohibition. The measure allows large retailers like grocery stores and Costco to sell liquor, but it also imposed an additional 10 percent distributor fee and 17 percent retail fee to replace money the state lost when it shut down its state-run liquor stores. The result was higher prices for consumers at many retail outlets.

So the business is privatized and the government raises taxes fees 27% driving up the prices of alcohol and chasing away customers but the problem here isn't with the government but rather the private sector for having the audacity to get involved in the retail sale of goods? Some how this is the fault of the GOP? Do you honestly believe the government should be in the retail business?


The state raised the taxes to keep the level of income the same, which is the same thing that PA is going to do. Like I said, privatizing income for the state will either hurt tax payers or customers, or both. If the state gives away the profits from the liquor stores, taxpayers will have to pay more in taxes. If the state keeps the income levels the same, customers pay more by paying a middle person.

The system is not perfect but it works out more for customers and taxpayers then people want to admit.
 
2012-07-19 11:54:44 PM

soj4life: The system is not perfect but it works out more for customers and taxpayers then people want to admit.


Actually, it doesn't. That's the problem. Thanks to the way the initiative was written, the big boys got to keep smaller stores out of the picture.

Folks thought they were voting for a "get the government's hands off my booze" initiative, as you can see from some of the responses. What they got was something a bit different - the state is still getting their revenue, albeit with a different mechanism. Big-box stores are now using their marketing leverage to control what gets sold. Small businesses got locked out, and the end result for customers was higher prices.

Don't take my word for it. See for yourself. The link goes to a database, maintained by the Seattle Times, of state liquor prices prior to the law taking effect on June 1. Compare those numbers with what you're seeing in stores. You'll note that the linked article anticipated a "15% to 35% increase" in prices. In more than a few cases, it's a hell of a lot more than that. But, like I said, don't take my word for it.
 
2012-07-20 12:01:29 AM
Thanks to some stores dodging the sticker shock by leaving taxes off their posted prices, the actual prices jumped enormously when the "final price" was calculated at check-out time.

From this article (emphasis mine):
Beginning June 1, when large retailers began selling liquor in Washington, most posted signs showing customers how to calculate taxes themselves. It involves adding 20.5 percent for liquor sales tax, plus a liter tax that varies depending on the size of the bottle. In some cases, those taxes can double the initial retail price of the liquor.

Most stores are now posting final prices, and that's where some, but not all, the sticker shock is coming from - the pre-tax prices also went up on quite a few things, as well. Washington's liquor taxes are now incredibly high, but, that's what we apparently voted for - we didn't vote to "get the government out of the liquor business." We simply voted to get the goverment out of distributing liquor - they're still in the business, just from a different angle.
 
2012-07-20 12:27:14 AM

JohnBigBootay: I'll bite, show me an example of a liquor selling at more than triple the price.


While not triple, Monopolova gin has gone from under $17 to over $40. I know some high end tequilas and Scotches have seen similar increases. The 300% number may be an exaggeration, but you can't pretend things haven't gotten worse.

To the anti government folk, all I have to say is I don't give a damn who is in charge of selling me booze. I just want a good selection of liquor at a reasonable price, and since 1183 took effect, I've had neither.
 
2012-07-20 12:34:55 AM

MoeSzyslak: So the business is privatized and the government raises taxes fees 27% driving up the prices of alcohol and chasing away customers but the problem here isn't with the government but rather the private sector for having the audacity to get involved in the retail sale of goods?


No, the problem is that the private sector sponsored an initiative that included the 27% tax in it, and people who didn't read the fine print are pissed off that they got what they voted for.
 
2012-07-20 02:22:24 AM
Just wait. BevMo will realize WA has a market that needs selection and we will get them.
 
2012-07-20 02:47:44 AM
Lick her?
 
2012-07-20 03:01:32 AM

hoihoi8: Just wait. BevMo will realize WA has a market that needs selection and we will get them.


They already have a BevMo somewhere near Tacoma. More are starting to open up in the state.

As for the selection, give it some time. It's going to take a while for liquor stores to open up and stock their shelves.
 
2012-07-20 03:07:32 AM
I'd say I'm glad I no longer live in Washington, but since I lived so close to the border and I don't drink hard alcohol, it wouldn't have mattered to me, anyway.

Actually, I kind of MISS not having to send the state a farking income tax check every year... especially when much of my shopping was done in bulk in Oregon. ;)

/bought gas in Washington... saves a lot of time
 
2012-07-20 06:55:45 PM

legendary: Who are the idiots that voted for this?


I knew the price would go up. I knew some small stores would go away. I voted for it.


First, the state shouldn't be in the business of operating the stores.

Second, because the WA selection outright sucked. Maybe if you were in Seattle or Spokane you could find something. Get out in the small towns and you had the choice of Jack Daniels or Crown Royal.

Third, there will be some pain while things settle down, but it won't last. Say what you will about the WA state initiative process, but we use ours. I bet you see some modifications coming up soon.


One other thing. WA isn't a red state. We're a bunch of independent hippies out here. Even the eastern side of the state is a bit odd.
 
2012-07-20 07:34:28 PM

Outlander Engine: We're a bunch of independent hippies out here.


You think you are. But you're not. Right-leaning hypocrites more like it. Like western Oregon, western Washington likes to tell itself it's all hip and progressive, but it's just where rich kids go to retire. And they vote that way.
 
2012-07-20 07:54:12 PM

Telephone Sanitizer Second Class: The "fark you, I got mine" attitude makes me very sympathetic to your cause.


pictures.mastermarf.com
 
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