A Brief Trip To Free-Market Paradise of State-Owned Enterprises

On the way back from a wedding in Deerfield, the lady and I decided we’d swing by New Hampshire and check out the prices at the libertarian liquor store. Of course, we realized only after several miles of deserted, potholed highway that the store in Winchester NH was closed on Sundays. We tried to see if other stores might be open, but there was no cell service! No 3G, no Edge, nothing!

(Now that I’m back in-network, I’ve learned that some of the other locations are indeed open Sundays. Just not the one we dropped by. Poor planning, that.)

On the bumpy ride back toward Athol, I got to thinking. People here in the nanny state to the south love to complain about socialism. But in tax-free New Hampshire, home of limited government, it’s the state that decides when liquor stores are open. Not through zoning or neighborhood input to set regulations, the way we do it here. The state liquor board picks where the stores are, when to open them, what goods are sold, and how to price them. If socialism is state ownership of businesses, New Hampshire is the most socialistic state we’ve got up here. Sure, the Mass lotto is state-run, but tickets are sold in a variety of places, which can compete on convenience and amenities if not on price. Only in New Hampshire does the state actually own and operate such a major business that is, elsewhere, left entirely to private enterprise.

What’s this world coming to?

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