Get in your wayback machine and travel to the Liquor License reform of 1981. I was then state liquor director under Governor Bruce King. If you wanted a $50 state license you would have to pay up to $700,000 to some one who already had one to get it. King appointed me to that job after his Organized Crime Commission said there was real danger in the system from criminals controlling the licenses. The department itself was corrupt and inept. We stirred the pot and started taking legal actions against the folks who were 'brown bagging' in restaurants in order to have a glass of wine with their dinner. It brought the whole charade of a corrupt system into view after a few citizens and cafe owners were cited for breaking the law.
After a three year battle a reform was passed doing away with private ownership and trade in licenses after a ten year period. Also a Beer and Wine license was created which has been a great success. Ten years later Bruce King was again Governor and he signed a bill giving back private license status to the system. It was the only really unethical thing I ever saw him do.
Now, the system has rapidly inflating license costs again and one example of how it hurts our economy is the Art Bar demise. Some brave legislator needs to take on the liquor lobby once again, like Senator Les Houston did back in 1981.