Everything below is taken from the March UFCW Wine And Spirits Council talking points. This is what the State Store clerks' union is encouraging their members to use in communications with legislators and public groups to convince them that normalization of the State Stores would be a disaster. We found a few issues with their issues.
- This legislation risks the over $566 million in annual contribution from the PLCB.
- States that have privatized in the past, such as Iowa and West Virginia, saw dramatic decreases in revenue after they privatized their liquor systems.
- PFM predicts there will be 10-30 wholesalers who will carry a wide array of products in a private wholesale system. This is simply not true in other privatized states, due to only 1 or 2 wholesalers usually operating in private states.
New York has at least 40 just for wine. Pennsylvania has one - the PLCB. Of course, you don't even need to guess how things will be in a privatized system in Pennsylvania, you can just look at beer. There are over thirty beer wholesalers in the Commonwealth. This one isn't even close.
- ... $1.4 billion over five years that will cost the state to transition from a public system to a private system according to the PFM report commissioned by former Governor Corbett.
This is a lie that has been told over and over and over, to the press, to the Legislature, to the public, and it simply isn't so. The actual first heading on page 186 of the report is "Total Agency Operating and Transition Costs." So the $1.4 billion is the system's normal operating costs plus any transition costs. The operational costs are almost $1.2 billion! With a little math, you can figure out how much the cost is to keep the PLCB using the very same report. Over $2.2 Billion. How do you like me now?
- This proposal has the potential to put alcohol on every corner possible.
- A peer-reviewed study from a U.S. Centers for Disease Control Task Force recommended against any further privatization.
- Studies show that state employees have a much higher rate of carding minors than the private sector does.
- The Turzai privatization proposal will lead to increased prices and decreased selection.
|A real New Jersey Liquor Store; not near Philly or New York, either.|
- No where in the private sector can you find that type of selection in each and every store in the state.
- The proposal eliminates the 30% markup, yet keeps the 18% Johnstown Flood tax. This will result in dramatic price increases.
- Prices have gotten so high, that Washington consumers have been driving across the border to both Oregon and Idaho.
- Those who purchased the former state liquor stores from Washington State are already out of business, as they were not able to compete with Costco, Safeway and others.
- The Turzai proposal will lay off 5,000 Pennsylvanians who work in the Wine and Spirits stores.
The Wine and Spirits Council seems to believe that consumers, and more importantly, legislators, can't learn from what other states did. That we can't put in place an even better system based on real world data, and not bad reports formed from junk science, or scary commercials where family members get killed off one by one.
Private systems work: just look at how you buy everything else. We don't need State Stores or the people in them to sell a legal product. There are 27,000 licensed establishments in the state and none of them have state workers standing behind the bar, serving or managing. We aren't safer, we aren't better served, and we aren't satisfied and never will be by a state run system.
*Much of the UFCW's "scientific" support for the State Stores as a bulwark against booze-fueled lawlessness leans on a CDC "taskforce" report, largely exposed as junk science by this piece. They lean on cherry-picking out-of-context nuggets on the economics from a report on the impact of liquor privatization prepared by PFM, a Harrisburg think tank. Have a look for yourself; why trust the UFCW, why trust us?