Advocates of privatized liquor sales in Washington state have some 'splainin to do: prices for the hard stuff have increased
since the Evergreen State took its dispensation out of state hands, reports
the Associated Press
Washington passed Initiative-1183, which privatized the sale of liquor, in the first half of 2012, and in the time since has seen the average price of rum, vodka, gin and whiskey go up 10%, despite the initiative's backers' suggestion that privatization would increase competition and thus bring prices down.
"The average statewide price per liter of hard liquor after taxes was $24.06 in October," writes AP
. "That's slightly less than the average price in June, right after privatization, but it's still higher than the average of $21.59 at state liquor stores in October 2011."
While the initiative removed the state's whopping 51.9% markup, it appears those who ply their trade in drink are compensating. "The private sector is adding its own markup as well," said Brian Smith, a spokesman for the state's Liquor Control Board.
But as the meme says
, perhaps they're doing it wrong. In 2011, David Nelson of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer compared
Washington's state-managed liquor prices to California's privatized counterparts, and found the latter to be an order of magnitude cheaper. For a 750ML Captain Morgan Rum, $39.95 to 19.74, respectively. For Johnnie Walker Red, $54.95 to the Golden State's $29.62.
Whatever the source of Washington's higher post-privatization liquor prices, it wouldn't seem to be privatization per se.
Via AP and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer