Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Don't believe the hype...

I get so irritated everytime I see a "Vote YES on Question 1" ad.
It's such propaganda.

And what's so interesting is that I'm seeing so many "Vote Yes" ads, and have seen no "Vote No" ads on television. I received one mailer about voting "no".

Why are they working so hard, if it's such an obvious answer to the question? I'll tell you why. Because they're lying. They're not being honest with the public and the people behind this bill think the public are fools.

Question 1 does not "simply allow supermarkets to sell wine". That's a very misleading statement.Question 1 would grant ANY retailer who sells any type of perishable product - which by Massachusetts law requires them to carry a grocer's license - the ability to sell all alcohol that is covered under a retail wine license. This would include White Hens, 7-11s, Christys, you get the picture. This would even include some gas stations that are "Mini-Marts". Do you know that there are some malted liquors that are considered "wine" by retail licenses? This is what they are not saying on their commercial ads.

Don't be fooled. Supermarkets in MA have been able to sell wine and beer for a while now - it was regulated on a "x" amount of licenses per chain. BJs, Costco, Sam's Club - they've all been selling these products for years with little or no impact to most retailers. Will supermarkets have an impact on some stores....sure. Or if a store is located directly next door to a major supermarket - yes, it will be detrimental to them. Most major competitors of liquor retailers are other retailers and this is a competition we've had to deal with for years. For some reason, liquor stores seem to be bundled in areas. It's rare to be the owner of a liquor store and be the "only gig" in town. We are our own worst competition. And as the advent of Amazon and other online "malls" didn't destroy the retail walk in business - this allowing of supermarkets to carry alcohol is no way connected to preventing a monopoly amongst retail stores. That is just one of the most foolish things I've heard.

Here's why you should vote "no" on Question 1. It doesn't matter whether we "catch up" with the rest of the country with regards to our laws on selling alcohol. Truly, does "keeping up with the Jones'" mean anything with regards to our children's lives? We can't prevent our children from underage drinking, or doing drugs. But we don't have to make it so readily accessible to them either. As it is, Massachusetts has been pushing for the driving age to be raised as a result of the high rate of teenage driving deaths we've seen over the past few years. Do we truly need to add alcohol to the mix? Do we want our kids to pull into the gas station that has wine available and have them "fill up" on all levels? Are the teenage kids that work at the supermarkets responsible enough to card their peers? We have enough peer pressure in schools today regarding the use of controlled substances, let alone adding the pressure for distribution of them. And the ABCC is understaffed as it is. They're having a hard enough time monitoring package stores, how are they going to be able to monitor the sales from all of these additional stores.There is a liquor store on virtually every corner in Massachusetts. And most stores are open 7 days a week. Tell me, what is the true advantage to having the White Hen or 7-11 selling wine?

Call me crazy. Call me old fashioned. Call me responsible. Leave the sales of alcohol -- which is still a controlled substance, might I add - to the retailers who have been proven responsible enough to control the sales and distribution of such product.