New Reason.tv video with VA Gov. Bob McDonnell about privatizing Virginia's liquor monopoly.
Bob McDonnell is a self-professed Pinot Grigio and White Zinfandel drinker.
He's also the new Republican governor of Virginia and is taking aim at the
commonwealth's oppressive and inefficient state-owned liquor monopoly. More
than a dozen states still completely control the sales and distribution of
all distilled spirits.
The result? Higher payrolls for state governments (state-workers are
public-sector employees after all) and rotten selection and service for
customers (state-sanctioned monopolies tend to diminish the shopping
Despite a reputation as a social conservative, McDonnell thinks that
state-run liquor stores are a bad idea from both pragmatic and philosophical
perspectives. Given budget crises, says McDonnell, "we can't just do things
the same old way.... Certainly there's nothing I gleaned from the [Virginia]
constitution that would have me think it's better or required to have the
government controlling distilled spirits."
States such as West Virginia and Iowa have gained millions of dollars in new
tax and license revenues by privatizing liquor sales, says Reason Foundation
policy analyst Len Gilroy. And they've also cut government expenditures by
millions of dollars as well.
Will Virginia join them? McDonnell invited Reason.tv to come back in a year
and check in with him. Sure thing, Mr. Governor. We'll bring the questions.
You can bring the White Zinfandel.
Approximately 4.30 minutes. Written and produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick
Gillespie, who also hosts. Additional footage: Dan Hayes.
For more downloadable versions of all videos, plus links and articles to
related materials, go to Reason.tv.