Home Opinion OPINION: Ending North Carolina’s ABC system

OPINION: Ending North Carolina’s ABC system

The general tendency of the marketplace suggests that the more open a market is, the more that can be made, traded, or sold. When a company begins manufacturing or even just setting up ordinary operations, it must call upon other companies and individuals to acquire or handle all that is needed. This includes office supplies, machinery, investment, labor, boxes, shipping, food, and the like.

As a company is showing signs of success, or there is enough market demand, other companies move in to make profits while fulfilling those market needs. As healthy competition within that marketplace continues, companies begin adjusting, which prompts more changes and improvements, driving more business in various fields that supply those other companies.

The web of interconnectivity through commerce becomes exponentially intertwined as more and more exchanges occur, driving further change and growth and more business to supply all that is demanded. 

State controls openly limit the growth of the markets they regulate. If a state controls the production, distribution, and selling of a particular product, there will naturally be fewer businesses dealing with that product in the open legal market. Consider further that there are logically direct and indirect effects when a market is strictly regulated, hampering the market altogether. If an investor is assessing their investments, return potentials, and so forth, the greater the regulation, the more unwilling the investor will be to invest in that heavily regulated industry. 

When states or local governments restrict the production, distribution, or selling of alcohol, they naturally limit the development of the state and local alcohol markets. No matter what level of restriction that may be, there is logically an effect, whether big or small, immediate, or delayed, known or unknown. 

With more restrictions on alcohol production, there becomes less variety and less local influence on that market, whether locally or wherever it could potentially be sold (by state, regional, coastal, nationwide, and worldwide). With more restrictions on alcohol distribution, acquiring the products becomes more costly and geographically limited. With more restrictions on alcohol sales, the primary incentive of financial returns is hindered, leaving investors reluctant to invest and a market of potential being left completely hampered. 

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When investors decide to invest, most of them will invest in the same things that have shown easier returns, ensuring only the same products are sold instead of other products that people might enjoy the same if not more than the other. These restrictions commit to the stagnant growth of the market in which they are a part of or influence, directly or indirectly. 

Many restaurants, bars, event space venues, and districts are not likely to populate as these regulations persist. The loss of immense potential is immeasurable, and the loss of potential jobs, businesses, and market growth are equally dispensed of when regulating bodies continue their stronghold on the market. In fact, there is no telling how much the restricted marketplace inspires people to travel to other states for vacation, permanently find a happier life, or work in a more lucrative open market state that does not have such regulations. 

It is prevalent for North Carolinians to vacation in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, or Florida; each of these states has less regulation on liquor than North Carolina. It is also normal for people in the southern parts of North Carolina to simply purchase large sums of alcohol in South Carolina or Georgia to bring back over the state border. At the same time, those in the western regions may go to Tennessee for their choices of liquor. The lower cost of liquor in these states is not only due to less regulation and reduced tax burden that beckons bulk buyers, but there is also a greater variety of liquors to select from.

Anecdotally, and as a consensus general among North Carolinians, most agree to end North Carolina’s control-state approach to liquor. The majority of citizens agree that ending the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control is a good idea, no matter the person’s political leaning. Although this is the predominant view, the state regulatory body has continued its control with little-to-no retribution for the citizenry of the very state that praises being “First in Freedom.” People’s natural tendency to grow accustomed to, and comply with, tyranny is not necessarily their approval of it. Nevertheless, steps toward reestablishing those freedoms can be taken.

Perhaps the ‘anecdotal’ aspect is a part of the reason the North Carolina ABC laws and policies have largely remained intact. There have not been any serious, large-scale, polls throughout the state, and there have not been enough petitions or discussions pressuring local and state officials to remove the prohibitory clutches of the institutional monopoly. Conducting a legitimate poll to see what people’s views are in North Carolina about ending the Alcoholic Beverage Control system is probably the best first step. 

Joshua D. Glawson works in technology and currently resides in California. Republished from the Carolina Journal.

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