Monopolies are bad. Government ones are worse.

Competition promotes innovation and results in higher quality and lower costs. Government-run schools are a tragic example, by contrast, of why monopolies generate bad results. This video uses the example of school choice to explain why competition is a better approach.

The fact that Virginia’s government controls alcohol sales is shockingly true, but not for long, thanks to the states new GOP Governor, a Bob McDonnell is a self-professed Pinot Grigio and White Zinfandel drinker taking aim at the commonwealth’s oppressive and inefficient state-owned liquor monopoly.:

More than a dozen states still completely control the sales and distribution of all distilled spirits.

The result? Higher payrolls for state governments (state-workers are public-sector employees after all) and rotten selection and service for customers (state-sanctioned monopolies tend to diminish the shopping experience).

Despite a reputation as a social conservative, McDonnell thinks that state-run liquor stores are a bad idea from both pragmatic and philosophical perspectives. Given budget crises, says McDonnell, “we can’t just do things the same old way…. Certainly there’s nothing I gleaned from the [Virginia] constitution that would have me think it’s better or required to have the government controlling distilled spirits.”

States such as West Virginia and Iowa have gained millions of dollars in new tax and license revenues by privatizing liquor sales, says Reason Foundation policy analyst Len Gilroy. And they’ve also cut government expenditures by millions of dollars as well.

Will Virginia join them? McDonnell invited Reason.tv to come back in a year and check in with him. Sure thing, Mr. Governor. We’ll bring the questions. You can bring the White Zinfandel.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Using Gravatars in the comments - get your own and be recognized!

XHTML: These are some of the tags you can use: <a href=""> <b> <blockquote> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>