Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Price Fixing Booze

This is happening in Alberta home of Free Enterprize.

Drink prices rising?
Alberta is eyeing a minimum price for booze in bars and restaurants in a bid to stop customers from pounding back drinks and pounding on each other.The province is considering the floor price following concerns raised by bar owners, police and municipalities, Gaming Minister Gordon Graydon said Monday."Once upon a time, long ago, Alberta did have minimum drink prices. It would be going back to that policy," he said. He said the issue will be explored at a round-table discussion in Calgary later this month.

So much for the "Free market" in booze. Once upon a time we also had unionized liquor stores run by the province.

It is of course alright to privatize the liquor stores , despite the loss of monies it created, but now the business folks want the State to regulate per shot prices.

Once again proving that the capitalist state exists to do what business wants, not what the supposedly sacred "market " wants. Guaranteed prices means a guaranteed profit, and lessens competition between bars and lounges. Hey isn't that price fixing by any other name? Why of course it is.

Next time you hear the refrain about the need for government to get out of business or how the free market creates competition, remember this. Business hates a free market, it wants an assured market, it wants the state to guarantee its business. Protectionism is ok to these guys until they become a monopoly and then they want markets to open up to them.

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