Vail Daily’s view: Strange sense of monopoly
Vail, CO Colorado
Front Range legislators Jennifer Veiga and Buffie McFadyen have a curious concept of monopoly. In the minds of these two, the myriad little liquor stores are the ones with the monopoly over the poor chain grocery stores. The mom-and-pops are beating up on the supermarkets.
So the two Democrats are introducing legislation that threatens the livelihood of the liquor stores to the big stores’ profit. This is their concept of monopoly: The many local places have an unfair advantage over the few big guys.
Don’t they have this a bit, well, backward?
In the midst of recession, the Legislature should reset the rules so that the local liquor stores suddenly are imperiled?
That doesn’t sound entirely prudent.
Veiga, the state senator, said, “I don’t think the state should be picking winners and losers. We should just be leveling the playing field.”
Fine, but her version means our neighbors may lose their businesses by legislative fiat. This isn’t the time to be playing God.
Eagle County’s state representative, Christine Scanlan, clearly gets it.
“I don’t think that it’s the right moment even to have the conversation in,” the Summit County resident told our sister paper, the Summit Daily News. “I think it would hurt our small businesses, small liquor stores across my entire district. I don’t see any way around that.”
The legislation to come in the next couple of weeks sounds small enough: a measure to let the supermarkets sell full-strength beer instead of the 3.2 percent stuff.
Sounds a lot like the creeping efforts that have more often been tried to advance the right-to-life cause and legalizing marijuana. It’s duplicitous. That is to say, sneaky. Today beer, tomorrow wine and so on.
Whatever the arguments, though, the most damaging option is for the state to take steps that threaten the local liquor stores. The evidence in other states where grocery stores do stock up on liquor is very clear. Our liquor stores simply won’t exist.
And that walks, talks and is a truer definition of “monopoly.”
Vail Daily Editorial Board