Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The big, wet issue of our time

Well, thanks to $22.7 million campaign financed by Costco, hard liquor drinkers in Washington state can now get their fix at the corner grocery store or, better yet, at the gas station.

Thanks to the voters Tuesday, Washington returns to its days of yore.

The term "Skid Road," which is often called Skid Row, originated in Seattle where logging roads were lined with joints selling alcohol to weary loggers. The term now means any run-down section of town where the inebriated loiter.

The heat, now, turns on Oregon, which has a similar state-run liquor control business. Beer and wine are sold everywhere.

In Bend, we have just four liquor stores, one of which, is inside Ray's Food Place.

Gee, I remember those long, difficult days when we only had two liquor stores. And, they closed on Sunday, of all days!

The local daily has long championed easy access to hard liquor. Why? They must like their scotch.

Evidently, in this era of high unemployment and diminished expectations, we need a quicker way to spend whatever money we have left on vodka or tequila to drown our sorrows away.

Never mind the social ills caused by alcohol-abuse, just think of the jobs that will pour forth once Oregon gets wetter than it already is.

Let's see, we'll need more alcohol treatment centers, which employ people, not robots. Same for shelters for battered women. We'll see a greater need for police to deal with more drunken drivers. Auto repair shops will employ more to fix the increase in the number of damaged vehicles. Don't forget tow trucks. And, we could always use more divorce lawyers.

I guess it's a win-win situation.

Except that Washington has a sales tax. It estimates that with the number of liquor outlets expected to increase five-fold next summer, the state could reap $80 million in taxes over six years.

Oregon has no sales tax, so the revenue, $178.3 million last year, would no longer go to the government.

Not that it needs any money, with massive budget cuts, school closings, skyrocketing college fees, fewer state troopers, an ailing health care program, crumbling infrastructure and the like.

But, damn, it'll be easier to toast our failings when we can get our hard stuff at 7-Eleven.

1 comment:

  1. It is really important for alcohol sellers from shops, supermarkets, pubs and bars to take an NCPLH course. This course is designed for those alcohol sellers to become a personal license holder. This course covers topics like the Licensing Act of 2003, how to properly sell and supply alcohol, legal responsibilities and underage access and protection of children from harm.