Memory loss caused by alcohol consumption

Earlier this month, the Times Colonist's Paul Willcocks revealed the Campbell administration "quietly offered private liquor-store owners yet another price break before Christmas, cutting the prices they will have to pay for wine, beer and other alcohol by five per cent across the board." The Liquor Barn Income Fund, which owns seven stores in British Columbia, issued a news release promoting that price break - which will mean "$20 million less revenue for the government" according to Mr. Willcocks. That's a lot of money. So some might find it curious the Liberals didn't make an announcement about this costly policy change. After all, that's exactly what public safety and solicitor general did when booze prices were dropped in 2003 and 2005. Fancy that!

21 Comments

Can't you see the headlines?

Gordon Campbell, before his Christmas vacation in Hawaii, is pleased ... vurrry pleashed ... to announce amazingly low prices for BC liquor ... !!

You really think the public would be complaining about getting relatively cheaper booze?

And you lefties think the gov't run stores are a good deal?!? You wanna know the ridiculous prices we're paying up here? One stark example is that $12.99 will get you a 750 bottle of the ever-popular Yellow Tail Merlot, Shiraz, Riesling, or Cabernet Sauvignon varieties, while a quick trip down to the Bellingham Costco (and BTW, its President James Sinegal is a big Democrat supporter) would enable you to purchase a 1.5L (that's twice the size) bottle of the very same wines for only $8.49 US. Just another example of how we're being taxed to death for no tangible reason!

I noticed the price break right away when I went to my favorite private liquor store and had the discount passed on to me ... not!

I guess Gordo has found a new business segment to target for donations to the party in 2009.

Holdem, you righty dinks are really something. If you find the prices in the BC government Liquour stores above your appreciation level I would urge you not to shop private or you'll find out what profit taking is all about.

Oh, and while your picking up that galloon of plunk down at Costco in Bellingham be carefull you aren't mistaken for a suspicious looking foreigner.

Bleedinghart, like any self-loathing socialist with a grade 10 education, you fail to understand the underlying point. What good reason is there to limit even just soft booze sales (ex. beer and wine) to purely liqour stores? Same with the rediculous corking fees we pay to bring "outside" wine into banquet hall establishments, etc?

It's too bad that like most dippers, you are too loaded on Glen Clark's 1996 Private Reserve to engage in any meaningful debate on this topic.

Why this happened? Check Sean's column for Oct. 25, 2006. For shame, Sean and Paul for missing this.

On a recent trip to Alberta I found their liquor prices for the most part to be similar to BC. Except that scotch is a lot cheaper. An entry level single malt that sells for $40 in BC was about $27 in Alberta.

Actually, Holdem, I'm quite self-loving, but I'm sorry I seem to have missed your "underlying" point.

Did you make one? All I could read was whining about the cost of cheap wine at BC government liquour stores.

I suspect your real bugbear is taxation, but tax on booze is a pretty normal thing in a modern progressive nation.

Afterall if they didn't tax some people they'd be lolling about spilling the cheap stuff on the public carpets and you'd probably get real pissed at that when CUPE members showed up on overtime to clean it.

BTW, check out the price of health insurance when you make the next plonk run to Bellingham, but check your health on this side of the border first just in case.

Believe me most Americans are more interested in prices for our health care and prescription drugs and I really feel for them paying all that profit tax to the capitalists.

IT remains to be seen whether prices will be lower or profits will be higher, I know what I'd do if I could....People are so naiive when it comes to the sale of booze.

As a wine lover it is pretty hard for me to get upset about lower prices. I don't really ever shop at private liquor stores though, as dropping an extra five to ten dollars a bottle for no good reason never made sense to me.

Holdem, what kind of meaningful debate can we have around a 5% drop in the price private businesses pay for their stock? Are we supposed to now debate your recommendation that we drive across the border to pick up our plonk?

Anyone who drinks to enjoys a drink, or has purchased one outside of BC, will agree that prices here are on the high end of the scale. But so what? Sure I'd drink a hell of a lot more Merlot if I could pick it up at half the price, but is that necessarily a good thing? When cigarettes were cheap more people smoked. Cheap meth is contributing to a province wide crisis. Maybe it's a responsible decision to keep liquor prices artificially high to discourage outright drunkenness.

Or was it the 20 million in lost revenues we're meant to be debating? That's probably the bigger issue, nearly enough to cover the slush-fund Vancouver "needs" for the Olympics.

Maybe we need a Royal Commission to investigate the levels of taxation on gasoline, tobacco and alcohol and to make recommendations on where these taxes should be set in order to accomplish certain policy objectives. In that, I would include what the BC Govt somewhat disengenuously calls "liquor store profits", since these are really a disguised form of taxation.

What kind of consumer price levels and associated taxation levels are needed in order for motorists to pay for the highway system? And for smokers and drinkers to pay for medical and other costs associated with diseases and accidents caused by alcohol and tobacco consumption?

Is the object of tax policy in this area to discourage and deter consumption, or to recover costs? This latter is a truly fundamental issue, since a tax rate which is high enough to discourage consumption may reduce government tax revenues below the level of tax yields that would produce full cost recovery.

Since it's painfully obvious that most of you, like all brainwashed dippers, chant the mantra of high taxation until it hits YOU in the pocket, let me ask you this:

How do you feel about paying nearly twice the price for BC-produced beer and wines across the line compared to what we pay where the stuff is made?

Holdem makes the following contribution to this discussion:

"Since it's painfully obvious that most of you, like all brainwashed dippers, chant the mantra of high taxation until it hits YOU in the pocket, let me ask you this:

How do you feel about paying nearly twice the price for BC-produced beer and wines across the line compared to what we pay where the stuff is made?"

Yet Holdem knows that BC liquor prices are no different than those of any other Canadian provice with the exception of Alberta. He also knows that those tax and pricing policies have been sustained by Gordon Campbell's Yuppie dominated BC Liberal Govt. So what, if anything, is Holdem talking about?

If the comparison is to prices in Washington State, I agree that many products there are priced much less expensively, a case of Corona beer coming to mind. That is why I think we need a Royal Commission of tax policy experts and economists to make recommendations on tax policy in the case of all three of the heavily taxed commodities, tobacco, alcohol and gasoline. Most reasonable people, including publications like the Economist magazine, will readily state that US taxes on fuel and cigarettes at least are lower than they should be, so that's probably not a very good comparison base.

In the case of alcohol, I think we may be over taxing, and especially on higher end products like single malt scotch, a practice Alberta alone has abandoned.

I'd just like to say, Although on occasion - especially after a few glasses of wine - I have been called a "dip", I have never been a dipper. Nor have I ever been called a dipper by anyone who actually had something to contribute to a discussion.

I buy wine, beer, and liquor in BC. The taxation hits me in MY pocket. I was also a smoker for around a decade, the taxation hit me in MY pocket.

Stop trying to polarize a debate around some B.S. left/right divide. So far you only seem to be trying to drum up outrage over the fact that booze is cheaper somewhere else. Could it be you're an owner of a private liquor store?

"Could it be you're an owner of a private liquor store?"

No doubt owners of such stores have an interest in getting lower wholesale prices, though it's not clear they would benefit from lower retail prices unless demand for alcoholic beverages is highly responsive to price changes. The ususal suspicion is that the sin-taxed commodities, alcohol and tobacco, are fairly non-responsive in terms of price changes, so governments can use them to raise revenues.

I think consumers have an interest here as well. Are we being overtaxed on alcohol? Does the BC Govt really need all the revenue they are getting from this commodity, or could they do without some of it, raising the revenue by other means, and allow social drinkers to pursue their happiness at lower cost? That is a question I think a Royal Commission should look into.

I think Holdem's real effort here was to take attention off the private liquor store industry in BC, but why?

Could it be that,as others imply, Holdem is holding an investment in one or more of those stores?

Perhaps it's because if anyone looks closely at that industry a number of questions immediately leap to mind like: why are private liquor store employees paid so poorly that "tip" jars are prominently parked in front of all cash registers;
why is most stock priced 25 to 40 percent higher than in government run stores, especially when the markup difference is minor and the wage difference (as noted above) is obscene;

Where do all those profits go?

Or look at it from the other end. Why are government liquor stores able to hire and employ skilled workers who know their products, pay them good wages and benefits and still turn a good profit that helps reduce taxes for people like Holdem?

Of course, my biggest question is why is Heldem complaining, but then only he can tell us that.

Could it be, just perhaps, that I'm just an ordinary Joe Sixpack who enjoys a couple beers on a Friday or Saturday night after a long work week and wonders in bewilderment about the ridiculous price differences going across the line? Or maybe I'm some wealthy private liquor store tycoon who sleeps on top a large pile of money with many beautiful women and had endless time to waste getting into verbal spats with local fatcat union blowhards? But then again, logic has never been a virtue of the NDP, so let's go with door #2.

I just don't understand the logic of the government being in the liquor sales business in the first place? Look at sin sticks. You don't see "BC Cigarette Stores" around, do ya?

But then again, it all boils down to the "poor, mistreated private liquor store employees" again for ya, doesn't it? Why should a basic stocker position pay much more than minimum wage anyways? What special education or training does the job entail? My guess is that you've got a vested interest in your couchy gig in the gov't liquor stores, and all this talk has got ya running scared again.

"Or maybe I'm some wealthy private liquor store tycoon who sleeps on top a large pile of money with many beautiful women and had endless time to waste getting into verbal spats with local fatcat union blowhards?...

.. But then again, it all boils down to the "poor, mistreated private liquor store employees" again for ya, doesn't it? Why should a basic stocker position pay much more than minimum wage anyways? What special education or training does the job entail? My guess is that you've got a vested interest in your couchy gig in the gov't liquor stores, and all this talk has got ya running scared again."

Like so many BC Liberals, Holdem clearly has an agenda which is not only anti-union, but anti-worker. The price to the consumer is NOT an issue for him, rather, it's how little can we pay the people doing the work. It's pure class warfare spite, the difference being that it's middle and upper income groups that Holdem want's to unite in a campaign to reduce the incomes of those already paid less than themselves, but not enough less in the government stores to satisfy Holdem's need for distinctions and class structure in society.

Budd, it's good to see you're still alive and kicking, after getting yourself voted off Jordan's blog (and it took a massive amount of personal insults for that to happen)!

Furthermore, thanks for resurrecting the "class warfare" slogan that's seem to have fallen out of favor lately. I wonder why. Too radical for the NDP who's made a pathetic attempt to move to the centre. Nah, that can't be it.

Once again, you've illustrated that you lack even the most basic of reading skills since you've failed to answer my basic question. So, I'll repeat it again, S-L-O-W-L-Y:

Why should a basic stocker position pay much more than minimum wage anyways? What special education or training does the job entail?

But then again, like the good trained-seal socialist that you are, you believe in complete and total where everyone receives the same amount of income from the government, regardless of education or training....that is, unless you are a union boss.

My, my Holdem. You've got the cliches rattling and the venom hissing, but you keep moving away from the argument. Why?

Right from post one on this issue you've been avoiding the issue of the gift the private store owners got for Xmas from Gordo Claus while spilling red whine about the government liquor store rip-offs -vs- the cost in Bellingham where health insurance is a scary proposition even for private liquor store owners.

Bush is forever saying that democracies do not invade other countries and start wars. Well, he did just that. He invaded Iraq, started a war, and killed people. What do you think? How does that work in a democracy again? How does being more threatening make us more likeable?Isn't the country with
the most weapons the biggest threat to the rest of the world? When one country is the biggest threat to the rest of the world, isn't that likely to be the most hated country?
Are we safer today than we were before?
We have lost friends and influenced no one. No wonder most of the world thinks we suck. Thanks to what george bush has done to our country during the past three years, we do!

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