To the editor:
I am writing in response to “Group seeks broader liquor sales” in the Jan. 5 Journal World, referring to legislation which would allow grocery and convenience stores to sell beer, wine and spirits.
“Uncork Kansas,” which claims to be working in the interest of consumers and for free enterprise, actually is working to further the interests of chain stores such as HyVee, Walmart, Dillons and others, most of whom are taxed out of state.
The vice president of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, which supports a change in the law, claims in the article that the existing law is “protecting an illegal monopoly.” A monopoly? Wikipedia states, “A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity.” How can over 750 independent retailers in direct competition with one another in the state of Kansas be a monopoly? Illegal? The 10th and 21st amendments of the U.S. Constitution provide for the states’ regulation of alcoholic liquor, and numerous court decisions uphold Kansas’ and other states’ regulatory systems — so what is illegal here?
If licensing rules change, accountability will be diluted for the corporate licensee — creating an incredible disadvantage for any individual in the business. Making this change will be disastrous for most liquor stores. Many stores will close, and employees will lose their jobs.
Yes, businesses do fail. But it isn’t often that an established business fails because the state changes the rules under which the business was established, thereby handing it to someone else.