Thursday, November 27, 2014

Other Voices :On selling liquor on Sundays and no Saturday post office

Posted on Feb. 12, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 12, 2013 at 6:29 p.m.

Recent editorials from Indiana newspapers:

Herald-Times, Bloomington:

The debate over whether Hoosiers should be able to buy alcoholic beverages from retail stores on Sundays should really come down to consumer choice. In this issue, the consumer often has been the last consideration.

The argument pits grocery stores and convenience stores against specialty liquor stores. The former supports Sunday alcohol sales because they already have the infrastructure in place to capitalize; they’re open on Sundays already and have a built-in market that already visits their stores.

The latter opposes Sunday alcohol sales because they would have to stay open a seventh day of the week, which clearly would add costs without guaranteeing commensurate revenue. The liquor store representatives also argue that their stores are held to a higher standard because employees must be licensed to sell alcohol and no one under 21 years old can enter their establishments. They don’t want to mess with the status quo.

Indiana State Rep. Bill Davis, R-Portland, agrees with that. He’s the chairman of the House Public Policy Committee and has said he does not support Sunday sales because “I really don’t see the need for an additional day of alcohol ... I don’t see a compelling reason to change what we’re doing. ...”

While the world won’t end if Hoosiers can’t buy booze from a retailer on Sundays, it’s time the option was available.

It’s just hard to justify this so-called “blue law” any longer. Hoosiers can drink alcohol in bars, restaurants, sporting events and concerts on Sundays. It’s legal to buy carry-out wine from local wineries and growlers of beer from local brew pubs. Casinos are open and so are strip clubs. It’s kind of crazy not to be able to buy a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer from a retailer to take home to consume.

The liquor store argument rings of protectionism. It suggests local businesses will be driven out by the box stores if Sunday sales are allowed, and thus the General Assembly needs to protect them.

That just does not have to be the case. Those with good customer service and competitive prices will be able to compete on Sunday as well as the other days of the week. They also still have the advantage of being able to sell cold beer — groceries and convenience stores can’t. ...

The Sunday debate is about who has the most political power, the groceries or the liquor stores. It should be about the people.

Journal & Courier, Lafayette:

Will there be some pain once the U.S. Postal Service cuts service on Saturdays? No doubt.

But, honestly, what should Americans expect, long after they dropped shipping much of their everyday correspondence through the postal carrier? The Internet, apparently, is here to stay.

On Wednesday (Feb. 6), the U.S. Postal Service laid out a plan that would take delivery from six days a week to five, leaving Saturday without regular mail, starting in August. Package delivery, a post office service seeing gains, would still go to customer doors on Saturdays.

The savings would be about $2 billion each year, postal officials said.

The change is past due for an agency running in the red and that has been forced to reconfigure how it processes the mail ... and where it stations rural post offices.

Pressure from federal officials resistant to necessary changes has helped the U.S. Postal Service’s reputation for being slow-footed. But how can a business operate efficiently if it isn’t allowed to adapt?

The postal service is in no position to run a 21st century business under 19th and 20th century models. The loss of Saturday delivery was inevitable because we, as customers, all but demanded it through our declining patronage.