Today’s N&O features another story about Gov. Perdue’s lack of core principles regarding government’s proper role in society. I wrote last week about Perdue’s inability to articulate a vision for how society should be organized, i.e. what exactly her beliefs are regarding individual sovereignty versus State control.
Now Perdue can’t commit herself to questions about privatizing the ABC system or legalizing video poker.
Perdue, a Democrat, said she was seriously looking at recommending the privatizing of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control system but was awaiting a consultant’s study on its value and its impact on local governments.
“I have believed for a long time there has to be real examination of privatization,” Perdue said. “I’m not quite there. I need to know what it’s worth. I need to know what it’s worth to the taxpayer. I need to know what kind of damage it would do to local governments.”
Perdue also would not rule out legalizing video poker and having it regulated by the state, as a way to raise revenue, although she seemed less than enthusiastic about this option.
She noted that as lieutenant governor, she had cast the tie-breaking vote to pass the state lottery, so she was not philosophically opposed to gambling.
If the governor had any principles or core beliefs, the answers to these questions wouldn’t require any studies; they would be quite simple. The government has no business being in the alcohol business, and individuals should be free to dispose of their legally earned money in any way they see fit – even through gambling. State monopolization of a legal substance (alcohol) and prohibition of peaceful, voluntary activities (video poker) have no place in a free society.
But I should note, however, that Perdue’s comments do reveal a distinct bias towards state control. That she is evaluating both of these issues in terms of how much revenue they can generate for the government, rather than what they mean in terms of individual liberty, certainly does indicate a statist streak.