by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
Here is a snippet from PrivatizeNC’s Change.org petition:
North Carolina, along with 17 other states maintains a government monopoly on the sales of distilled alcohol. This means that private citizens buying at retail must go to a ABC store operated by one of 188 local boards with oversight from North Carolina state. In addition, ABC licensees such as bars and restaurants must purchase all their spirituous liquor from these government owned stores. Such a system stands in stark contrast to the way we buy nearly everything else. …
The time has come to modernize the system and follow the other 32 states which have already done so — including our neighbors, South Carolina. Visit a liquor store directly to our southern border and you will see private citizens owning, operating and working directly with distributors and producers. The results are a fantastic variety of goods, competition and a system that works for normal people.
Thanks to a succession of scandals in 2009-10 there was some interest in privatizing North Carolina’s ABC system. Then-Gov. Bev Perdue was interested in it before she wasn’t, extricating herself from the issue with a ridiculous argument ad misericordiam neptis, to wit:
I don’t want to be the governor who holds my little granddaughter’s hand as I walk down the aisles of Wal-Mart or Target or Rose’s to the toy center and have to pass shelves and shelves of liquor.
The John Locke Foundation’s Agenda 2010 discussed reforming the ABC system, noting among other things that: