WSWA (US distributors lobby) at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

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WSWA (US distributors lobby) at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Mike Conner » Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:21 pm

that purportedly "proves" that minor's access to liqour (wine was not specifically mentioned) in the U.S. has increased due to the new laws coming into being (not to mention older laws not being enforced) concerning the flow of alcohol across the borders of states and internet access to ordering such beverages.

Unfortunately, NBC News was duped by Juanita Dugger and her lobby, the WSWA (Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America) that their study was holy script. And, with the minute amount of time the nightly news gives non-priority subjects in their half hour program, there was no mention of the recent US Supreme Court decision, nor anything about the monopoly most of the WSWA members are simply trying to keep in force to continue to rob the pocketbooks of Americans.

I'm trying to write a nice comment in opposition to their reporting . . .

Here is the 'article' on Msnbc.com:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14271378/


Thanks,

Mike

P.S. can you tell I'm a little upset over this crappy "reporting?"
Last edited by Mike Conner on Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: WSWA at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Bob Henrick » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:16 pm

Mike, tonight sent the words below to NBC Nightly News. Not that it will do anygood, but why not? :-)

Sirs,

Your story that ran on 8/9/06 (non story really) regarding kids ordering alcohol on the internet, gives proof that you frequently do no checking before you "run" with the story. This is in the same League with the story that got Dan Rather in hot water. We all were kids at one time or another, and we all knew an older person who would get us alcohol if we wanted it. If you just give some serious thought you will know that you have been had by the WSWA. These are the folks that are setting prices and availability of adult beverages for all of us, and are killing off small operation wineries in many states with their big bucks buying out of state legislators. IMO, NBC should do another story on this subject, but with some research on their own first.

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Re: WSWA at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Mike Conner » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:21 pm

And, my lengthy response also sent to them:

It is almost unbelievable that NBC news has become an unpaid shill for the WSWA (Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America) - a lobbying group for the wholesalers and distributors of wine and liquor across America. Even the amount of money the WSWA has poured into the campaign funds of state legislators has not worked: states are recognizing that the monopoly the WSWA members have is not kosher (spurred in part by the recent US Supreme Court ruling that states could not allow in-state wineries to ship wine to consumers without allowing out-of-state wineries the ability to ship as well). Several state legislatures have recently passed new laws allowing consumers more access to across-the-border purchases of wines that are not available locally. Your story only allows the WSWA to lobby for free in the media a losing effort in many state’s legislatures: That they should keep in place something most Americans abhor: A monopoly.

In most states, the WSWA members operate a monopoly. They have the sole control over all wine and liquor that enters the state and is distributed to retailers (wine & liquor shops). And, because of recent mergers in the wholesalers and distributors across America, it becomes more difficult to find many limited-production wines (and liquors) at a nearby retailer because these small quantities involved do not add to the bottom line of the monopolists. The WSWA wants to stop the practice allowed in several states that would permit someone over 21 years of age to order and have delivered an alcoholic beverage that can not be obtained locally (or, receive a beverage at a lower price from another source).

Even the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under current President Bush, has issued a recent set of findings (see http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/10/ecommercewine.htm) that consumers pay a considerably greater amount of money for wine (the FTC spotlighted wine in their study) in almost all states because of the wholesalers/distributors monopoly, and that the issue of minors access to alcohol online was inconsequential for those states which have more relaxed laws giving consumers greater freedoms. Would the states Attorneys General who were questioned by the FTC be lying about minor’s access to alcohol and the lack of problems related to this issue?

Also, do you think a study sponsored by the WSWA lobby find a different result? It isn't like they have any governing body looking closely at how the study was set up, nor how they went about doing this study to make sure it wasn’t slanted to provide the results they are reporting.

Regarding the results NBC found when ordering on-line . . . Could the laws regarding the shipment of alcohol be better enforced? Yes, especially by those doing the delivery (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.). But, should the lack of enforcement by the states be reason to continue to strengthen a monopoly that has detrimental monetary effects upon its citizens? Would the lack of priority the states give to this enforcement issue give NBC an idea of the true severity of the situation? Do you really think there are millions of minors ordering wine and liquor over the internet, then having to wait for delivery when they can likely find an easier (and cheaper) means to purchase alcohol locally?

Come on NBC. You should try to “dig” into a story just a little bit to see if there is an agenda behind a study that is released by a lobbyist organization representing the continuation of a monopoly. Else you are showing your bias – something that I thought news organizations tried to avoid.

Thank you.


Tried my best to hurt 'em where it counts... their obvious bias on this story.

Oh well. More fodder that stupid legislators will turn to in order to restrict consumer's choice.

Mike


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Re: WSWA at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Mike Conner » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:32 pm

oh - and a slightly different link for responding to the "reporting" of Ms. Thompson . . . .

http://dailynightly.msnbc.com/2006/08/g ... l#comments


Thanks,

Mike


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Re: WSWA at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Mike Conner » Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:39 am

And, the link to the 'landmark' study:

http://www.wswa.org/public/media/tru-re ... index.html


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Re: WSWA at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Paul B. » Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:54 am

Mike, I read through some of those comments on that link and I think that the core of the issue is responsible parenting and reform of the North American drinking culture. I think it makes no sense to wax wistful over prohibition and desire solutions of its nature to deal with youth getting access to alcohol.

It continues to strike me as interesting that in North America, there is often a palpable hysteria behind this connection, whether genuine or manufactured, whereas my understanding is that in the wine producing countries of Europe, not only is there no hysteria around wine or beer at the family table but the culture itself "regulates", if you will, the manner in which youngsters become accustomed to alcoholic beverages. There isn't this sort of "forbidden fruit" approach over there - and although I'm not a psychologist, I am convinced that the prohibitive/hysterical Puritanical approach is the author of the very problem it seeks so self-righteously to combat.
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Re: WSWA at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Thomas » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:52 pm

Paul B. wrote:Mike, I read through some of those comments on that link and I think that the core of the issue is responsible parenting and reform of the North American drinking culture. I think it makes no sense to wax wistful over prohibition and desire solutions of its nature to deal with youth getting access to alcohol.

It continues to strike me as interesting that in North America, there is often a palpable hysteria behind this connection, whether genuine or manufactured, whereas my understanding is that in the wine producing countries of Europe, not only is there no hysteria around wine or beer at the family table but the culture itself "regulates", if you will, the manner in which youngsters become accustomed to alcoholic beverages. There isn't this sort of "forbidden fruit" approach over there - and although I'm not a psychologist, I am convinced that the prohibitive/hysterical Puritanical approach is the author of the very problem it seeks so self-righteously to combat.


Paul,

Most of that approach in Europe is fading also. In fact, among the younger set there is a sizable decrease in wine consumption and an increase either in higher alcohol spirits or those nasty, colorful electrolite fruit concoctions.

There is a move in Europe to regulate all alcohol almost the way we North Americans do, based of course on how we North Americans do it--more's the pity for them.
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Re: WSWA at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Paul B. » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:58 pm

Thomas wrote:Paul,

Most of that approach in Europe is fading also. In fact, among the younger set there is a sizable decrease in wine consumption and an increase either in higher alcohol spirits or those nasty, colorful electrolite fruit concoctions.

There is a move in Europe to regulate all alcohol almost the way we North Americans do, based of course on how we North Americans do it--more's the pity for them.


That really is pitiful IMO. I have always wished that it would go the other way: that we'd eventually adopt their approach to wine just as the food scene in North America has improved in recent years.

But a large segment of the national psyche isn't an easy thing to change - especially in this day when people prefer not to think for themselves but lap up whatever pap the news networks deem to toss them ...
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Re: WSWA at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Thomas » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:19 pm

Paul B. wrote:people prefer not to think for themselves but lap up whatever pap the news networks deem to toss them ...


A-#@*%ing-men!
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Re: WSWA (US distributors lobby) at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Sam Platt » Fri Aug 11, 2006 4:03 pm

I have an 18 year old. If she wished to she could be drinking alcohol of a potent variety within half an hour of her decision to obtain it. Why would she wait ten days to two weeks to take delivery on a measly 13.5% alcohol content bottle of wine that she doesn't care for anyway? What a bunch of bunk.
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Re: WSWA at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby Mike Conner » Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:47 pm

Paul (and Thomas and Sam),

I agree wholeheartedly in your comments.

Unfortunately, there remains a significant amount of puritanical and prohibitionistic (is that a word?) feelings in this country, not to mention this continent. I have long felt that the best means to stop the binge-drinking attitude that many young folk seem to have these days is better parental involvement, and minor's introduction at an appropriate age to alcoholic beverages in small quantities at the dinner table.

And, since I don't have the never-ending resources to find the proper lawsuit to get behind to have all these ridiculous rules overturned, it isn't going to change significantly any time for this country in the near term.

But, it helps bitching about it in public.

Oh - here's a link from our venerable USA Today that had a slightly better take on the results of the survey that the WSWA sponsored:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2006- ... ohol_x.htm

Thanks,

Mike


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Re: WSWA (US distributors lobby) at it again... they've sponsored a study . . .

Postby ClarkDGigHbr » Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:49 pm

Well, I guess that study did not happen in my neighborhood. Over a 7-year period, I belonged to several wine clubs and received regular wine shipments via UPS. Every one of them was clearly labeled Adult Signature Required. I can't count the number of times I came home to see that yellow UPS notice on my front door. I relied on my neighbors to sign for these packages. However, it got to the point where I'm tired of the hassle, and dropped out of every one of the wine clubs.
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