Booze Wholesalers and The Stupidity of My Species
No, really, let’s let that system sink…all the way to the bottom of the archaic well from which it first emerged.
That system in question is the “Three Tier System” and as you might imagine it’s wholesalers/distributors who are pleading for its continuation. In the case of the headline above, the plea comes from the NBWA: National Boxcarriers and Whiners of America….Wait…I got that wrong. I meant the National Beer Wholesalers of America.
Today the whiners are trying to make the case that it’s a bad idea for brewers to be able to sell their beer themselves to retailers and restaurants. They don’t tell us why its a bad idea, just that it’s a bad idea. The reason they don’t explain themselves is because if they did explain this contention they’d basically have to say, “Well, because it would mean we, the whiny distributors would have to provide a competitive service, would have to forgo unwarranted economic protection and we really don’t want to do that.”
In the editorial linked above, the president of the whiner’s association, Craig Purser, goes as far to say that if the three-tier system is altered to no longer give distributors complete protection from competition, America will become Mexico.
“Policymakers need only look to America’s neighbor to the south, Mexico, to see what can happen without a three-tier system. There are no real choices for retailers or consumers outside the FEMSA or Modelo brands. That is something policymakers should consider before poking holes at the American system that is working so well.”
Yes, because the U.S. is just like Mexico!!
Purser has gone so far around the bend he may never be heard from again. He concludes is rant about maintaining regulatory protectionism for distributors by…are you ready….quoting Joni Mitchell:
“As Joni Mitchell sang, ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.’ “
All you need to do to discover what happens when the three-tier system is gone is look at California, where you may just have the greatest diversity of alcohol beverage product choice in the universe. In California, brewers are not required to sell to wholesalers. Wineries, brewers and distillers may choose to sell direct to the consumer, the retailer or a wholesaler. Prices are competitive for consumers. All is well.
Whenever you hear the likes of Purser or any other wholesaler try to make the case that retailers, producers and consumers ought to be forced to sit at the foot of wholesalers who act as product gatekeepers, ask them to make a real case for their claims rather than just quote Joni Mitchell. Whenever you here a wholesaler try to explain that the world will crumble unless wholesalers are given sweetheart, protectionist deals by enforcing a three-tier system, ask them to make their case rather than claiming without them the state will descend into some sort of Mexican Anarchy.
Whenever I hear the likes of Craig Purser or other wholesaler representatives claim the three-tier system is necessary, I think of another Joni Mitchell quote:
“My heart is broken in the face of the stupidity of my species.“