Saturday, January 11, 2014
Do we really want to privatize our liquor sales? What are the benefits if we do? We really need to think about this before we vote it in.
There’s a good chance that more than 1,200 people could lose their jobs.
These are people who are contributing to Oregon’s revenue but will become dependent on the state if we give them the pink slip.
There are 249 store owners who could lose their businesses. They own these stores, contribute to the economy, and provide revenue. This is unlike Washington, where the liquor stores were owned and operated by the state of Washington.
Oregon would lose more than $380 million in revenues. This is money that is used to support schools, public safety and healthcare. This is revenue that will need to be made up through other sources, namely increased taxes.
Washington was promised lower prices and an economic improvement, but instead they lost small businesses and the price of liquor increased.
Research proved that the cost of a bottle (1/5 size) increased by $3.
That is just for the run-of-the-mill brands. If you prefer the higher-end brands, then the cost increase becomes much higher.
And then we come to the question of “where will they put it all?” Well, they’ll not be able to stock everything that’s available because of shelf space limitations. Grocery store shelves are already crowded. Adding liquor means something else has to go. And there’s no guarantee they’ll carry your favorite brands of liquor.
The liquor store here in Hood River is conveniently located close to Safeway. It has a great inventory. You have to be 21 to visit it. The people who work there are friendly and helpful. I don’t want to lose our store.
When you vote on this, just remember what has happened to Washington in the past: They ended up with a sales tax; they have to pump their own gas and still pay the same as we do; they pay more for their liquor than they did before privatization.
Just say “no thanks!
Water and jobs
The Nestlé bottled water plant has been an interesting debate. We all know local jobs are good. We also know many people need fresh water to drink. Maybe there is an obvious solution combining the best of the Gorge.
The local Subaru dealership sells cars they claim are built in a zero landfill plant. Americans create a tremendous amount of plastic waste which ends up in places we don’t want or need it to be.
I challenge Nestlé to convince Gorge residents that building a water bottling plant which will feature compostable bottles instead of those which take 200 years to begin to break down will be to everyone’s benefit. I am sure the Port of Cascade Locks would love to lease additional space to permit Nestlé to fabricate these environmentally friendly bottles and create even more jobs.
How does that sound, Mr. Palais? (“Questions welcome,” Jan. 8)
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Oil train car being transported by truck
A damaged rail car from the June 3, 2016 oil train derailment and fire is transported from the crash site via truck on I84. Enlarge