Thursday, August 20, 2015
Citizens urge lawmakers to accept Convenience 2016 plan
Commonwealth citizens — we, the people forced to shop at State Stores — issued the following statement today.
The Citizens urge lawmakers to pass a consumer convenience bill to normalize liquor sales in the Commonwealth. The PLCB issued their "Convenience 2020" scheme three years ago and we have fewer stores and fewer "stores in a store" than we did at the start of their plan. It is time to put into effect a Convenience 2016 plan that will close all the state stores by the end of 2016 and open up the freedom to sell wine and liquor to anyone who wishes to purchase a license and meets current on-premise qualifications.
We Citizens have been treated like children for far too long. It is not up to the state to limit commerce between individuals, corporations and other states in pursuit of the false claim of safety. We are not safer, as any reading of national statistics will show. Even the PLCB reports higher than average underage drinking in the state.
We Citizens want the increase in jobs privatization has proven to bring. We want the decision of which products will be stocked to be made using our dollars as votes and not have a nameless, faceless bureaucrat (who certainly isn't an expert by any industry standards) decide for the entire state. We want the greater convenience that privatization will bring, not some idiot's dream 80 years in the making, but one proven to work: the free market.
If the state thinks that having liquor in grocery stores is a good idea, which apparently they do, then allow grocery stores to sell liquor. Problem solved.
If the state thinks access should be more convenient which again, they apparently do, make more licenses available and stop competing with private business. Another problem solved.
If the state thinks that there should be greater selection, that problem will be solved by any number of superstores waiting to enter the market, or entrepreneurs who want to offer the largest selection possible to win your business. We'll soon see stores with more items on the shelf then the entire state stocks now.
If the state wants revenue, then the free market will give proven increases in sales, which in turn results in more taxes collected. A free market will reduce border bleed with increased convenience and pricing competition, increasing collected taxes even more.
If the state wants to treat their citizens like rational adults that don't need to be told what, where, and how much they are allowed to purchase of a legal product, they will pass this plan.
We are not safer, we are not better served, and we are not satisfied. End false modernization, end false promises, end the state store system. Convenience 2016!
The Citizens represent most of the 12 million people in the Commonwealth who work in the southeast, northeast and central, western and all parts of Pennsylvania in supermarkets, drug stores, food processing plants, government services, manufacturing facilities, nursing homes, professional offices, and all businesses, except Pennsylvania's "Fine" Wine and "Good" Spirits Stores.