Beer is cheaper, more plentiful and all around better with socialism

socialized alcohol 2In their stirring call to arms that is The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels make argument after argument why capitalism is an inherently flawed, anti-humanist, grossly authoritarian and ultimately doomed economic system.

As it turns out, Marx and Engels left out what could have been probably one of the most effective arguments to win over the hearts and minds of blue collar workers to the cause of socialism.  We’ve long known that making alcohol retail a nationalized monopoly can bring in billions of dollars to the public coffers and thus reduces taxes.  For instance, the LCBO brings in well over 1 billion dollars annually (even before Provincial Sales Taxes on LCBO alcohol sales are factored in) to the province of Ontario.  But, as the CBC recently reported, it turns out that ‘socialized’ alcohol also makes beer cheaper and more plentiful.

To paraphrase David Lloyd George: the provincial Tories in Alberta would make drums of out of the skins of their own mothers the better sing their own capitalist free-market praises.  However, in addition to the hidden costs that get passed on to Albertan workers, it turns out that their free-market ways are costing them considerably more compared to Ontario and Quebec who both have alcohol monopolies in the LCBO and SAQ respectively.

Beer is just better with socialism.

beer prices across canada.

12 Responses to “Beer is cheaper, more plentiful and all around better with socialism”


  1. 1 marcel 27 May, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    You are seriously onto something here Paul.

    There must be more, much more profit making businesses that are wholly ownd collectively. With the profit going to the public purse. Also to set a standard for the private sector operations to live up to, regarding wages for workers and envronmental standards.

    If you can make a cool bil selling beer, how much more could the people earn selling real profitable things, like oil and gas, like oil and gas.

    But of course these things are the capitalist’s turf, and they will, like any thug gang, defend their turf by means of murder.

    ‘Tax cuts’ is a serious buzzword nowadays. Perhaps promoting public ownership as a means to cut taxes would gain some traction.

  2. 2 Ken Furber 28 May, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Actually Paul the cost of a case (dozen) of beer in the Saskatchewan Liquor stores is $20.50. I should know, I buy enough of the stuff — just to do my bit for the provincial coffers you understand. However, our price is still way below what Albertans apparently pay. Good on us.
    Now the $24.50 in your chart could be the after-hours price for off-sale from hotels or at cold beer and wine stores. Actually, that price has gone up here to about $25.25 now I think. At least where I live it has.

  3. 3 paulitics 28 May, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Ken, it’s not my chart. It’s from the CBC.

  4. 4 Ken Furber 29 May, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Darned CBC.
    On another note, I used to think privatizing liquor stores would be a good idea. Might even lead to a decrease in price. But your column brought me back to reality. The argument from free-enterprisers of course is competition will keep the prices down. But we see from your analysis that apparently is not the case. The private liquor store pricing issue can be linked to the petrol industry. Rather than competition forcing the prices at the pump down, possible collusion tends to force them up. A corporation’s life blood is profit. The more the better. So forcing prices up makes sense to them. Lower prices aren’t the only benefit of public-owned liquor stores. Profit goes to badly needed public services. Employees tend to be paid I would estimate between $4 and $8 per hour more because private stores keep wages near minimum — again for profit reasons. The higher wage tends to help local communities through more spending. So rather than dumping our government owned businesses — as is the popular sentiment these days — perhaps we should consider expanding them. I know I’m dreaming in technicolor if I think that’ll happen but fantasy is fun.

  5. 5 marcel 30 May, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Whenever I party with union made beer bought in publically owned liquor stores, I always get lucky. If I drink that cheap free trade beer from China, made by slaves, I get in a fight, puke, and wake up with a hangover. In jail.

    Call it kamma.

    What ever happened to the post that linked us to the website saying Hitler’s Germany was a socialist state? After all, the name of his party was the national SOCIALISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ’nuff said. Hitler was an ideal socialist, according to some.

    I’d like to see what you educated debaters have to say in rebuttal to that. It could be paul’s next post! “debunking to myth that socialism neccesitates a non democratic, military government.

    You know, just like in North Korea, where we all wish we lived.

  6. 6 Tennessee-Chavizta 30 May, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Hello Paulistics: Great socialism blogger !! Here is an article i wrote on how to save USA from capitalism-barbarism !!

    HOW TO FIX AND SAVE USA FROM CAPITALIST-BARBARISM AND FROM SINKING LIKE THE TITANIC !! A STEP BY STEP THEORY AND PROGRAM ON HOW TO SAVE UNITED STATES

    First of all: what people need in this country is to create a united-front composed of the anti-fascist, anti-wars political parties of USA (socialist, leftists, centrists, libertarians parties of this country (The Green Party, The Libertarian Party, The Socialist Equality Party, The Democratic Socialists of USA, The Socialist Party of USA, The Revolutionary Communist Party of USA, The Workers World Party of USA, The Marxist-Leninist Party of USA, and other alternative socialist parties) which would be a real vehicle in which the masses, the majority of americans who are pissed off with the capitalist-system, would have an answer out of this mess. to caste their votes every 4 years.

    However there is a catch-22 with a creation of a United-Socialist-Front composed of small socialist parties.

    The catch-22 problem is that the USA corporate fascist system thru the media and its other evil things it has, will not let that united-front succeeding, The media apparatus would denounce it as a cult or an evil organization, and would spread dirty propaganda against it, just like it did and it has done many times against Ron Paul, Howard Dean and even against Obama.

    Second: An educational-propaganda campaign

    In order to create a united socialist party we would also need an educational campaign in order to spread socialism and marxism propaganda, information and knowledge to the masses about the evils of capitalism, fascism and imperialism and that the only solution for American citizens is socialism and marxism as the only real alternative which is participative democratic socialism. An educational program to debunk the taboos and myths created by right-wing libertarians and conspiracy theorists such as Jeff Rense, Alex Jones and other conspiracy free market libertarian lunatics against Marxism, and communism ideology.

    I read the biography of Hugo Chavez and that’s how he started his political program in order to change Venezuela. He first tried to wake up Venezuelan poors about the evils of neoliberalism, he talked about the importance of teaching the masses about capitalism vs. socialism. And then when Venezuelan’s poors digested the ideology of socialism, Hugo Chavez and his political movement began a campaign in Venezuela as an electoral option in 1998.

    And here in USA we gotta do the same thing that Chavez did, teach the US poor for some months or years what is capitalism and what is socialism before trying to do form any political party.

    Almost nobody in USA have taught the masses the evils of neoliberalism, not even Kucinich, Ron Paul or any other candidate.

    Ron Paul was one of the few candidates who talked about the US constitution and nobody listened to him, however his major flaw is that Ron Paul is not socialist or marxist. I don’t know why if he is good intentioned as people say, he chosed the Libertarian free market ideology. If he is real smart, he should be a socialist and leftist, not a libertarian.

    Because we all know that in history and present, countries with real bad economic problems and where its population is real poor, adopt state-capitalist policies or social-democrat leftist policies, but not libertarian free markets at all. In fact, when libertarianism free market is applied it increases poverty and destroys whole economies (Examples: Argentina)

    So Ron Paul didn’t teach the US population about the evils of capitalism, because of the fact that Ron Paul was a capitalist, not a real alternative for poor people.

    Only socialist parties can be a real alternative for victims of the Bush-Obama 1.5 trillion dollars bailouts, but socialist parties don’t have access to TV and the press in the USA and that’s why most americans don’t know the ideology of socialism,ge in TV.

    So before marketing a United Socialist Front in USA as a third party alternative we need to spend some months or years trying to teach the poor people of America about the evils of capitalism and the wonders of a participative democratic socialist system, a people’s system.

    socialism is so good, that it is the only ideology in this country that proposes a minimum wage of 15 dollars an hour.

    No other ideology proposes 15 dollars for minimum wage: http://socialistparty-usa.org/platform/economics.html 3. We call for a minimum wage of $15 per hour, indexed to the cost of living. 5. We call for all financial and insurance institutions to be socially owned and operated by a democratically-controlled national banking authority, which should include credit unions, mutual insurance cooperatives, and cooperative state banks. In the meantime, we call for re-regulation of the banking and insurance industries

    .

  7. 7 John Wright 27 June, 2009 at 1:00 am

    So, what’s your e-mail? What’s your phone number? What’s your address??

    What, you aren’t a coward are you???? Show us where you are…you have to have more than that “Paul Bernardo” lookalike picture, don’t you???

    C’mon, fess up…

  8. 8 duty free shop o'hare 27 February, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures
    aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.

    I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

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