ABC Store Sale Hoax

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    Bob McDonnell proves daily he’s hornswoggled by the “free market.” Let me help. What the ABC Privitization Coalition wants is abolishment of the liquor distribution restrictions, not the stores. That diminishes the value of the state stores to the storefronts themselves. If everyone sells liquor, the stores are virtually worthless.

    “Right now, it’s totally dead in the Senate. We’re not going to give up $100 to $200 million a year for a one time shot at $150 million. We’d have to be some kind of idiots to do that.” – Senator Dick Saslaw (D-35th)

    Saslaw’s estimated value is $350 million less than the Governor’s sale advocates’ and must now be further discounted with the creation of the coalition. This effort looks like support for the Governor’s idea and on the face it is. But it also is a veiled attempt to change the retail liquor landscape in a way that diminishes the value of the monopoly to almost nothing. Look at the reported members of the coalition: Wal-Mart, Costco, Kroger, Safeway and Food Lion. Think they are looking to help someone else grab the monopoly? Or that they need those storefronts at an average of $1 million each?

    “For 70 years, we’ve distributed beer and wine in every 7-Eleven, every Food Lion. But we’ve controlled the distribution of spirits. From a free market stand point, it doesn’t make sense to continue to control only one part of the distribution.” – Governor McDonnell

    Moving beyond the fact there were neither 7-Elevens nor Food Lions 70 years ago, is the Governor suggesting, then, that controlling all of the distribution makes sense? And if we are going to license everyone, who needs to buy the stores? Babbling Bob Purkey, meet babbling Bob McDonnell. This state has a surplus, but it’s not a budget surplus. It’s a free market hoax surplus. And either it has the Governor bamboozled or he’s playing us.

    • vaambition

      The Governor’s number is just flat wrong.  There is no way to raise that kind of money when you don’t even own the land the building sits on.  I believe every ABC store sits on land that is leased to the state.  

    • blue bronc

      “Free Market” is one market economy the R’s don’t believe in anyhoo. They believe in tightly controlled monopolies or at most highly regulated oligarchies all to minimize competition.

      It VA does let the hard stuff be sold by others than the state it is not the facilities sale that really matters.  It is how controlled will the sales be.  Will the booze be sold in “one owner, one store only” limited editions or will it be a free for-all  of Total Wine and Booze,grocery plus and CostCo stores selling anything anytime?

      And, the big question is taxation. That goes on after the initial immediate bottom line sales numbers are used up.  Long term taxation and which taxing districts get how much.  Keeping current divisions might be less than desired by some locales.

      But, no matter, taxation is what counts.  I cannot see the R’s in their “free market” cloak dealing with that very well in public or in straight talk mode either.

    • VA Blogger

      I’ve always wondered, if the argument against privatizing ABC stores is that the government loses the profit made off of them (even though Democrats of all stripes readily admit that selling booze isn’t a proper function of government), why don’t we just expand that idea and have the government do other things that turn a profit, like selling cell phone service, or candles, or scotch tape? Companies that currently produce those goods do so at a profit. What are we waiting for?

    • First bottled water, now this.