Well...like a number of things they say, it's true only on the surface. If you look at the agency's Income Statement for June 2012 to June 2013 you will see that Sales net of taxes is $1,731,463,014, while cost of goods sold is $1,192,047,304...which indicates a profit margin of 45.2%. All sorts of businesses can operate on a 45% margin. So how does the PLCB get from 30% to over 45%? They have bottle fees, bailment fees, "rounding," and probably some miscellaneous stuff we don't know about. Do the bottle fees and rounding account for an additional 15 percent of PLCB markup?
According to the PLCB itself, it does. This quote is from PLCB Consumer Relations in an email they sent me. "According to our Bureau of Financial Operations, apart from some other minor influences, the bottle fee and rounding do account for the approximate percentage you note of gross revenue on a yearly basis."
Let's look at the last board meeting from April 2 to get an idea about how quickly the price can jump once the PLCB gets hold of a bottle. We'll start with these:
Item..............................................Unit cost...Sale Price..Markup
Shoofly Chardonnay $6.05 $10.99 81.6%
Woop Woop Chardonnay $6.10 $10.99 80.1%
Sassello Morellino di Scanzano $6.12 $11.99 95.9%
Camara Alta Tempranillo Navarra $6.33 $11.49 81.5%
Domaine du Chapitre Touraine Blanc $6.47 $11.99 85.3%
Wine By Joe Pinot Gris $6.55 $11.99 83%
Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling $6.75 $11.99 77.6%
Chasseur Des Brousses $6.87 $12.99 89.1%
(Markup for this list is total markup with 18% JFT)
As you can see, a few cents difference -- with the 30% markup + the bottle fee + "rounding" -- can equal a large amount of change in what the PLCB charges the consumer and what their real total markup is.
And think about it. What this means is that even with a 45% total markup the PLCB can't afford to have as many stores as they did 20 years ago, let alone the 750+ they had in the 1970's. They can't afford to hire and maintain workers at the highest end of retail and still provide the service they are required to provide. Even with a police-enforced monopoly, their business model doesn't work anywhere near as well as the private sector.
Life in Pennsylvania: where the police will tell you what legal products you can buy and where you can buy them...and if you try to buy them somewhere else...they'll arrest you.
WE DESERVE BETTER - PRIVATIZE!
Yes, the picture is fake but the verbiage isn't. Duh. It's what we call a parody, or exaggeration, a photographic catroon. The difference is, unlike everything Wendell W. Young IV says about the PLCB, we admit that it is bullshit.