Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And I thought I had to get people angry?

I started this blog to get people in Pennsylvania angry about the PLCB. I figured once enough people realized the problems inherent in the State Store System and the Liquor Code, they'd get angry enough that we could start thinking about political action.

I'm wondering if I underestimated the level of anger already out there. Steve Twedt did a series of pieces on the PLCB in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette back in January (more about that in the near future: great work by Steve). The paper opened a forum on its website to see what people thought about the PLCB.

Take a look. These people are mad enough to march on Harrisburg now; there were a substantial number who said it was one of the reasons they'd left the state.

"I believe the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is an antiquated system that should be abolished immediately."

"This arrangement is insane to anyone experienced in service oriented retail business."

"It doesn't curb underage drinking or alcoholism, has no effect on drunk driving."

"The way the state runs the package stores is illegal. They run it as if we are in Russia."

Well, and one or two malcontents...

"I absolutely love the fact that the government of Pennsylvania still cares about the health and well-being of its citizens and children enough that it controls liquor sales...why is it the state's job to get more people to consume alcohol? It isn't. Alcohol is a drug. Long live our wonderful state store system!" (Dude...they sell drugs every day...at privately-owned drugstores.)

Looks like the revolution may start without me.


Anonymous said...

Assuming we have critical mass (and that seems well evidenced by the Pittsburgh area comments), what tools do we need to pragmatically affect political change? Do we need an official organization (like the Citizens for PLCB Reform or whatever)? Do we need a 'champion' or state level public servant who is willing to advocate for us? Do we need a referendum or some way to demonstrate that our point of view is a popular one?
Despite the obvious inertia and overwhelming financial forces working against us, if our point of view is truly the will / mandate of the people of this state, I am confident that change will come. Let's try to speed things up a little, shall we?

Lew Bryson said...

I was actually being somewhat facetious. I still think we need a lot of groundwork (or maybe a series of articles like this in every daily in the state) before we're ready to start an organization. I'd hate to see something get started too early and flop...again. I'd rather go slow and have this be the one that works. For instance, I'd like to find the right wine people to reach out to; an invaluable group to enlist.

Once that time comes, we'll need an organization to get information out, to set up letter-writing campaigns, to get people out on the street for demonstrations (think of the anti-Prohibition marches with the WE WANT BEER signs), and to raise money for projects like professionally-done polls. I know there are already state politicians who can be champions for this; we'll have to reach out to them at the proper time; i.e., when we can reach out as a large, organized group.

Baby steps, baby steps. Crawl. Walk. Run. Abolish.