When there is a war between players of one of our states industries should the legislature pass a law that creates in statute, huge monopolies? The question remains should government be picking winners and losers?

On the surface this battle may just appear to be a fight between our states wholesalers and distributors in the liquor business. Two of the three players in our three tier system are battling because of a recent court decision that has turned their world on its head.

The history behind our current law dates back to the 1930s and was an over-reaction to the ratification of the 21st amendment that repealed prohibition. As often happens in the course of massive change to culture through government action is the people accept an encroachment on liberty without a challenge. In an effort to “protect” the people from the evils of alcohol, we allowed for state law to infringe on our freedom and the free market system.

What other industry aside from utilities do we apply such an anti-competitive standard? Would we apply this to the auto industry? How about fast foods? The fallacy that is being promoted is that we should fear competition in our state when it comes to the liquor industry. That government knows best.

The fact is that SB 365 and HB 759 are both attempts to impede on the right to contract, freedom of association and letting the free market work to benefit consumers.

Missouri law should always error on the side of freedom and liberty. The free market works! Capitalism works! Limited government works!

If the concern is that the regulating of wine and hard liquor will somehow be going away if these bills don’t pass this session, which concern is unfounded.

One final thought. Remember the gas wars when we were children? They are now illegal due to actions of the state. In the end the consumers were the winners of those wars but now can no longer benefit from them. The consumers always win when free market principles are applied.

Jim Lembke

United for Missouri