LETTER: Politicians get money, taxpayers get bills
First, I have to say I enjoy adult beverages as much as anyone, but when politicians start to talk about privatization of liquor sales for my benefit I have to wonder who they are really looking out for, me or the owners of grocery and convenience stores.
Oh, our state may make a little money short term on the sale of licenses, and it will be more convenient. But here is my prediction of the sequence of things that will follow (just watch the papers to see if I am right):
Politicians will take away about the only state agency that runs in the black and hand it over to the private sector.
Private sector companies take their bags of money to the bank and politicians get their donations, while taxpayers have to hire more Liquor Control Board staff to issue these new licenses and oversee all these new outlets.
Because getting alcohol is now so much more convenient, we start to see more and more problems where alcohol is a major factor. So taxpayers have to hire more police officers, their staff and lots of equipment.
Police find more and more people driving under the influence of alcohol and associated crimes (i.e. child, spousal or family abuse, sexual or violent assaults).
This causes our already over-loaded court system to to hire more judges, prosecutors, court-appointed lawyers and all the staff that goes with that.
Lawyers are happy because there are a lot more clients to go around. More people are convicted of alcohol-related offenses, so now taxpayers have to pay for the space to put them and for the people and equipment to watch over them. Then when all these people get out on parole, taxpayers have to shell out more money for more parole officers, their staff and equipment.
These people have trouble getting jobs due to their criminal record and need welfare and food stamps.
Then there is all the money social and child services and their staff will need due to all the problems families will have.
Then more money will be needed to help all these people with alcohol addition.
Private sector and politicians get the money, taxpayers get the bills. No one seems to remember the old saying, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" — especially when in this state we do have so many things that are broke (including us taxpayers). Another thought: Alcohol causes a lot of crimes and deaths, so, like handguns, maybe we should have a background check on anyone buying a bottle of liquor. Maybe if we had less Liquor we would also have less gun crimes.