North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

January 24, 2013

Our Views: It’s time the state got out of the booze biz

AN NJN EDITORIAL — A republican state senator from Decatur has announced that he will file a bill in the next legislative session that would get the state of Alabama out of the retail liquor business.

It’s about time.

The notion of the state-owned package store goes back to the end of Prohibition, when governments felt compelled to control alcohol as much as they could, given that they no longer could keep it away entirely on a broad basis.

Here in Alabama, the ABC Stores — often simply called “the state store” — were used by the state to clamp down on alcohol as much as they could. The premise was virtuous, at least by government standards: we’ll let y’all have your booze, but we won’t make it easy for you to get. Stores were often placed in out-of-the-way locations, far from where children would be likely to see them and be tempted.

No matter what you think of alcohol use, those notions seem rather quaint today. More to the point, the question today is why state government is operating a profit-making business, when it should be the province of private-sector businesses instead.

Alabama has been moving toward that goal for some time. Private liquor stores now greatly outnumber state stores. Here in north Jefferson County, we have one ABC Store in Fultondale, but there are several privately-run package stores in the same area, as well as in Warrior.

So why, in this day and age, is the state still directly competing with these businesses, especially when it is also the wholesaler who supplies the private stores as well?

The proposed bill would shut down the state stores and let private owners take over. Locations and numbers of liquor retailers would still be regulated, and the state would stay in the wholesale liquor business.

We’d rather see the state get rid of the wholesale side, too, but at least the bill would move in the right direction. One step at a time.

The state-store concept is one whose time has come and gone. Give the ABC Store one last parting toast, and hand over the keys to local business owners.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: I’ll never live down running out of gas

    Have you ever had one of those days where you are functioning on four hours of sleep, and yet you still have to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get the family to church by 7 a.m. on the other side of town? After church you run home to get ready for your 6-year-old’s birthday party and then head straight back to church to help with the services until after 9 p.m.? That just might be a good description of our Sunday afternoon. Whoever said “easy like Sunday morning” obviously didn’t have kids and probably didn’t go to church.

    March 20, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

    I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014

Featured Ads
Twitter Updates
NDN Video
Royal Wedding Live