Albert Brooks | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Albert Brooks 
Member since Jun 10, 2015


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Re: “Vermont Mulls Pros and Cons of Privatizing Liquor Sales

Hate to disappoint but I don't work for the liquor industry. I am however, heavily involved in privatizing Pennsylvania and the same points apply to both places. While there may not be direct savings it is up to each consumer to decide if the increased convenience and selection has a value to them. Does the increase in employment offset something else? Will competition provide a downward price effect? Since the store density in Vermont is about 1 per 7800 residents convenience may not be as important as it is in PA with one store for every 19.800 residents. If the population as a whole is satisfied with only being able to get 2500 products instead of 25,000 and having some government bureaucrat decide for them then privatization may not work in your state. If the population wants more than privatization will do it.

Being a control state does not automatically mean that you are safer, look at Montana as an example. For PA 4 of 6 border states have better DUI rates, 5 of 6 less binge drinking. I don't know about Vermont but in any case it is still up to the citizens to decide what is best and after 80 years now may be the time to have a look and see what else is available.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Albert Brooks on 06/11/2015 at 1:58 PM

Re: “Vermont Mulls Pros and Cons of Privatizing Liquor Sales

The DLC is not being very forthcoming. Washington State craft distillery licenses increased 83% in the first year after privatization from 35 to 64. Their DUI fatality rate decreased since privatization and is better than the rate in Vermont. With over 30 stores that stock 10-12,000 skus of beer wine and spirits it is impossible to say selection went down, especially compared to the ~2500 liquor skus that Vermont carries.

The Seattle Times notwithstanding, the Forecasting and Research Division, Office of Financial Management report of January 2015 doesn't agree. Since they actually track this information; what they list (on pg 7 of the report) is that the average price for a liter went from $22.28 to $24.52 and that is also counting 3 years of inflation.

What privatization would do for Vermont is provide more convenience, greater selection, increased employment and greater amount of tax revenue from sales along with getting government out of what most of the country looks at as a retail business and removes the inherent conflict of interest of selling and enforcing liquor. If that meets the wants and desires of the citizens then that is how it should be..

4 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Albert Brooks on 06/10/2015 at 6:08 PM

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