Alcohol Monopolies are Anti-Consumer

Competition among producers of goods and services benefits consumers. It increases consumer choice, reduces prices, and improves customer service.

It was abolishing the old telephone monopoly that made possible the dramatic expansion of communication products that we take for granted today. It was deregulation of the airline industry, opening it to competition, that led to an increase in the number of airlines and a significant reduction in the inflation-adjusted price of air fares. It is competition among computer companies that reduces prices and continues to expand the diversity of products available.

Monopolies and near monopolies (oligopolies) only benefit the monopoloies and oligopolies themselves; they harm everyone else by increasing prices and reducing consumer choice.

Surprisingly, many people and organizations want to increase the price of alcohol beverages, reduce the selection of brands, and make them more difficult to purchase.

They want to maintain old Colonial-era Blue laws prohibiting the purchase of alcohol on Sundays, although it is the second busiest shopping day of the week.

They want to prohibit retailers from purchasing directly from producers, thus eleminating unnecessary middlemen who only add to the cost that consumers must pay for alcohol beverages.

They want to prohibit the use of credit and debit cards for the purchase of alcohol, prohibit its home delivery, and make it more difficult to purchase.

They also want to maintain government alcohol sale monopolies in those states that have them and to expand them to non-monopoly states. In government monopoly states, consumers must pay higher prices for the same brands, suffer restricted product choices, and experience limited service.

Government monopoly stores often resemble the old Soviet stores with their take-it-or-leave-it surly attitude of indifferent state bureaucrats in their secure jobs that are unrelated to customer service and satisfaction.

Monopolies are anti-consumer and promoting them is also anti-consumer.

State alcohol monopolies resulted from the continuing power of the temperance movement following the Repeal of National Prohibition.

There are currently 18 alcohol monopoly or control states in the U.S. The term "control state" is popular but misleading because all states control and regulate the sale of alcohol. Therefore every state is a control state but only 18 are monopoly states.

Learn more at about alcohol monopoly states.

 

filed under: Economics

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