Even by the standards of Swedish nanny statism, this is pretty stunning. A friend passes along this taxpayer funded advertisement that ran in today's edition of the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet—itself partially funded by the state, incidentally, through something called "presstöd" (press support). According to the ad, the state liquor monopoly, Systembolaget, must be saved or there will be pandemonium in the streets; people will die; the state bureaucracy will collapse (hurrah!); your wives, mothers, and sisters will be brutally assaulted. Or something:
A quick-and-dirty translation of the ad:
Why Can't You Guys Buy Wine at the Supermarket?
Imagine that you suddenly get this question from a tourist. Perhaps you know exactly how you should answer. If not, it might be good to know what the results of a recent survey showed: The Swedish alcohol monopoly saves many lives each year. If strong beer (Note: beer with more that 3.5% alchohol per volume), wine and spirits were sold in grocery stores consumption would increase by 30%, researchers believe. And they stress that this is a conservative estimation—the increase could be more. They calculate that there will be approximately 1,600 more deaths each year, 14,000 more assaults and around 16 million more sick days.
So the monopoly makes a huge difference for a lot of Swedes. And because it will only be around as long as people want it to be, we at Systembolaget have to do everything in our power to make sure our customers are satisfied.
This has resulted in our having perhaps the world's largest assortment of strong beer, wine and spirits. (And an assortment one not finds in Stockholm and Gothenburg, but also in Jokkmokk and Töreboda.)
If you want more [pro-monopoly] arguments, visit systembolaget.se.