Last Chance to Buy Booze at Moderately Ridiculous Prices

Tomorrow, the price of booze in Washington graduates to stupidly expensive when the Washington State Liquor Control Board raises its profit margin on every single bottle of hard alcohol available in the state.

You can read my column about it, "They've Got Us by the Booze" and get angry, hopefully. I just want to make sure, when you complain about having to pay more for your cocktails in the coming weeks, that you blame the right people. With the margin on hard alcohol going from 39.2% to 51.9%, establishments selling spirits will have no choice but to raise prices across the board. Remember, it's all the Washington State Liquor Control Board's fault. (You can read the board's explanation/spin on it HERE.)

The bitch of it all? The WSLCB also enforces liquor laws, so absolutely no one will fight this increase, cannot fight this increase, won't even comment on this increase...for fear of retaliation against their brand, person, or establishment. This, my drinkers, is classic fascism.

According to my Random House dictionary, fascism is a "a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism." In this case, the governmental system is our state-controlled liquor industry, and the dictator is the WSLCB. They suppress opposition and criticism of their policies because they control the supply of liquor and enforced its use. ALL businesses who rely on them fear retaliation if they oppose or criticize policy publicly. We're dealing with alcohol. So the Puritanical attitudes of some toward the substance allow the entire system to exist, even though nearly every other state in the union seems to get along just find without anything near our level of state control.

Over the top? I don't think so. But I'd love to hear what you think, and I bet so would Governor Gregoire (email her HERE, or call 360-902-4111). Drinkers of Washington, for the love of all that's 80 proof, unite. YOU are your only hope.

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