Free Colorado’s Beer and Liquor Markets

At a recent Liberty On the Rocks event, Kris Cook and I argued in favor of free markets in beer and liquor sales. The event was actually a debate, but, as the other participants didn’t actually believe their stance, I didn’t want to include that footage.

We make the following basic points:

* We have a moral right to buy and sell what we please, from whom we please (within the context of consenting adults), by voluntary association.

* The Colorado laws prohibiting (most) grocery stores from selling regular beer, wine, and alcohol violate our rights to protect a special interest.

* Because of the law, Colorado consumers pay higher prices and suffer loss of convenience. But, because a small group artificially gains wealth by the law, it lobbies to maintain it.

* Claims that establishing a free market would lead to less safety or less beer selection constitute bogus fear-mongering. Other states without the restrictions don’t experience those problems.

* Likewise, claims that establishing a free market would “cost jobs” constitute gross ignorance of basic economics. A free market would instead direct resources to more highly valued uses, thereby creating more wealth.