When Will Oklahoma Values Include Valuing Oklahomans?

Riverside Sunset
Originally uploaded by FreeWine
For seven years, Oklahoma winemakers have enjoyed self distribution, and the fledgling industry grew from two wineries to 45 licensed wineries. This is according to Marta Patton, deputy director of the ABLE Commission, the agency that regulates Oklahoma's liquor laws.

Mike from the OkieDoke blog asked me today, why Oklahoma winemakers will be represented by a California winemaker at the upcoming Epcot Food & Wine event. Why couldn't the opportunity to market to 1.5 million visitors go to Oklahoma winemakers?

The problem goes deeper than Natalie Shirley's recent public statement that Oklahoma winemakers could not produce the wine quickly enough. (Although, I do have to wonder if that statement wasn't libel.) Since Oklahoma's wine industry is so young, they cannot afford to defend themselves from officials that choose to be the attack dogs for big out-of-state, business interests.

Listen to our ABLE folks teaching on the ins and outs of suppy and demand economics... after they were leaned on to force all Oklahoma wineries to pay a pound of flesh to the parasitic corporations they serve.

"It's a trade off. It costs them. They make probably less for their wine because there's a markup when it goes through the (wholesaler), but if someone wants it, they're willing to pay for it. That's supply and demand."

Much like the wine they grow, Patton said winemakers are a "resilient” group of people and will survive.

"I know this is a setback for them in their minds, but I also know the system is set up to help them," -- Full NewsOK.com Article

Wow! I wonder how that statement made Oklahoma's struggling winemakers feel? Maybe they were happy to learn that forcing them to use high priced middlemen was to 'help them' and the problem was only 'in their minds'.

Oklahoma's 3-Tier system was NOT setup to help Oklahoma winemakers, consumers or our economy. The system was setup so that big business could control the market through the wholesale purchase of politicians and their cronies. Since it's birth, after the repeal of prohibition, the 3-Tier System has delivered our state nothing but higher alcoholism rates, spouse abuse, drunk driving...you name it.

Much like our state Tourism Department, ABLE is much more interested in picking winners and cashing in... than the lofty goals they claim. Luckily for them, bureaucrats don't have to be 'resilient' to survive...they just have to serve their masters as instructed.

We have met the enemy... and they are us!

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