WHY PRIVATIZE?

Well, for starters, read my book, and pay attention to the chapters titled “Because, It’s What Monopolies Do.” These chapters specifically illustrate what has transpired at the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control since 2011. Information clearly outlining the state-run monopoly is an abomination. The government agency cannot keep up with public demand and is severely handicapped due to widespread mismanagement and corruption. It’s an absolute disgrace that taxpayers pay for this type of abuse. 

  • Because of absolute exclusivity over a product, service, or commodity, monopolies are unjust, unfair, unethical, and illegal. A pervasive non-caring laissez-faire attitude exists within a monopoly, one that starts at the top, filtering down through the lower ranks. Since there’s no competition, employees exert the least amount of energy possible to get the job done - the path of least resistance. They know there are no alternatives, so why should they care about the quality or efficiency of their work? Without competition, prices, selection, and availability can be unfairly manipulated by the controlling interest. 
     

  • By operating a monopoly on alcohol without competition, the state violates its constitution, United States antitrust laws, and the Commerce Clause due to conspiracy of constraint over goods and commerce. Their antiquated system discriminates against outside business interests and favors economic protectionism while hindering imbibing citizens' rights.
     

  • The state mark-up on alcohol is exceptionally high at about 85% (a mix of tax rates on beer, wine, and liquor). Because the authoritarian LDS government ineffectively runs alcohol control, bootlegging is rampant. The three-tier system (producer, wholesaler, retailer) doesn't exist in Utah. They are the buyer and retailer – there is no wholesale.​

    • One of Utah's top-selling wines is Kendall Jackson VR Chardonnay (The Utah everyday price is $18). The average retail price for Kendall Jackson Chardonnay nationwide is $12.00.
       

    • The 3rd top-selling premium spirit, Patron Silver Tequila, is $53. The average retail price for this same item nationwide is $46.00.  
       

    • Utah citizens pay what are essentially tariffs imposed by the state. 
       

    • During the fiscal year 2020, alcohol sales amounted to over 500 million dollars.
       

    • Just under $181 million equaled net income after cogs and infrastructure costs.
       

    • The state of Utah spent over $319 million (cost of goods + operating expenses) to own and operate a severely outdated, inept, and mismanaged business that violates a large segment of the population's rights.
       

    • Because the state sells only products they want to sell at exceedingly high prices and prohibits direct shipping to residents from wineries, they've failed to capture tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue each year due to a high percentage of bootlegging by annoyed, angry citizens. This revenue helps other states pay for infrastructures like roads and bridges, while Utah gets nothing. 
       

    • The alcohol taxes that flow into the general fund coffers pay for certain goods and services of the entire state. It is wrong to unfairly and unjustly tax imbibing citizens and use the funds for infrastructure and services when others don't contribute similarly. In 2018, the legislature tried to ram jam a sales tax reform bill of around $200 million. The following year, taxes on alcohol brought in about $181 million. Coincidence? The way I see it: LDS lawmakers don't have a problem exorbitantly taxing so-called sinners and using the money to help the saints. But, who's really the sinner or the saint in the end? The imbibing citizens of Utah or the one-sided teetotaling government forcing their will upon the masses.
       

    • Furthermore, why should restaurants, bars, hotels, etc., pay retail for alcohol? If these valuable businesses had been paying wholesale prices all along, many of them would have weathered the Covid-19 storm rather than be forced to close their doors.  
       

    • Utah has what is labeled a "rainy day" fund worth around a billion dollars. It appears that the Covid-19 crisis is not wet enough to use some of it for the hospitality industry.

  • We live in the "golden age" of wine, artisanal spirits, and craft beer. Yet, we are behind national market trends and limited to the selections chosen by a handful of people in the DABC purchasing department. And, this public paid for department proves they could care less about efficiency and out-of-stock products on a daily basis.

  • Every citizen should recognize the fact that an LDS dominant state legislature tasked with overseeing a business contradicting their value system is entirely ethically wrong. People belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shouldn’t have a say with anything regarding alcohol regulation. It’s a hypocritical sin on their part. Non-Mormon citizens don’t have input or control with LDS Church business. Why should they have a say in an industry they scorn?

  • The Covid-19 Pandemic has proven yet another reason. Beer, alcohol, and wine are classified as "essential" businesses. Essential businesses should be located within other essential businesses such as grocery stores, convenience stores, and other private retail outlets.

    • Because imbibers have to make multiple trips to state liquor stores, this increases their risk of contracting Coronavirus.​​

      • Several state stores have experienced closures due to employee Covid-19 exposure; closures can last up to one week or more. 

        • The Moab state liquor store was closed for one week during the spring of 2020 while the store was sanitized; several employees were quarantined. Locals and tourists had to drive to either Monticello (54 miles) or Price (115) miles to obtain essential products.   

WHY PRIVATIZE? |