Wednesday, January 25, 2017

These numbers might leave your crying in your beer in Pa. booze battle

It might be said that the true mark of an editorial writer might be penning a piece with which her fervently disagrees.

I have some experience at that.

And it happened again today.

I can't tell you how much it pained me to write today's editorial.

You happen to be reading the state's foremost proponent of getting Pennsylvania out of the booze business, selling off the state stores and turning the sale of alcohol over to those who are best at it - private enterprise.

However, I have made it clear that my reasons for that have nothing really to do with the economics of the issue and everything to do with convenience.

I simply no longer want to make several trips - to different locations - to buy beer, wine and spirits.

Yes, the state is slowly but surely dragging its laws governing the sale of alcohol out of the dark ages. We now have beer and wine sales in supermarkets. Although you can argue how convenient it is since you have to enter a separate part of the store and pay for your purchases there, rather than merely tossing them in the car and paying for it along with all your other groceries.

Some convenience stores are getting into the act. Even Wawa is experimenting with beer sales at one of its stores here in Delco.

And just recently, beer distributors got the green light to sell six packs and even singles, long a point of contention with them. For years they were saddled with selling only beer by the case and kegs, putting them at a significant disadvantage to the big supermarkets that were siphoning off their business.

With the state again looking at a massive budget deficit that is approaching $600 million.

No doubt Republicans in Harrisburg will once again broach the topic of privatizing booze sales, noting the bonanza the state could reap in selling off licenses to private enterprise to replace all those state stores.

But there is one thing they leave out.

Yes, there could be an economic bonanza on the front end.

But they usually fail to mention the annual revenue all those state stores produce.

The numbers were brought into a little better focus this week when the state Liquor Control Board announced it had a record one-day sale on Christmas Eve, and also set a record for revenue from state stores for the month of December as well.

Like I said, I'm no fan of the state continuing doing something I really don't feel they have any "business" doing - running this monopoly on the distribution and sales of booze.

Gov. Wolf has steadfastly opposed privatization, pushing instead for updating and "modernization" of the current system. No doubt he will mention some of these new LCB numbers as this discussion heats up again.

You can read the editorial here

. It might leave you crying in your beer.


Blogger Dave Stewart said...

While I agree the state should be out of the booze business. But if it isn't can it at least have a way better selection and nicer employees that if you ask a question you don't get an attitude.

January 25, 2017 at 7:41 AM 
Blogger Dave Stewart said...

i agree with you the state should not be in booze business. But if it is can they at least offer better selection and not so rude employees.

January 25, 2017 at 7:43 AM 

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