Saturday, July 19, 2008

The PLCB's Swedish cousin

A reader (thanks, reader!) sent me a link to a post at Reason Magazine's Hit & Run blog about a poster, a real paper poster, done by Systembolaget, the Swedish state booze monopoly. See if you don't think that Systembolaget and the PLCB sound eerily similar:

"Why Can't You Guys Buy Wine at the Supermarket?"

Imagine that you suddenly get this question from a tourist.

Perhaps you know exactly how you should answer.

If not, it might be good to know what the results of a recent survey showed: The Swedish alcohol monopoly saves many lives each year.

If strong beer (Note: beer with more than 3.5% alchohol per volume; really, 3.5%), wine and spirits were sold in grocery stores consumption would increase by 30%, researchers believe. And they stress that this is a conservative estimation—the increase could be more.

They calculate that there will be approximately 1,600 more deaths each year, 14,000 more assaults and around 16 million more sick days.

So the monopoly makes a huge difference for a lot of Swedes.

And because it will only be around as long as people want it to be, we at Systembolaget have to do everything in our power to make sure our customers are satisfied.

This has resulted in our having perhaps the world's largest assortment of strong beer, wine and spirits.

(And an assortment one not finds in Stockholm and Gothenburg, but also in Jokkmokk and Töreboda.)

Wow. Separated at birth, or what?

Let me parse this my way. "We're saving you from booze. If we didn't, you'd drink yourself to death, you idiots; we know this, because of Science. That's why we sell you all the great booze you need, from the cities to the reindeer-herding stations in East Jebip. Tell your friends."

I mean, it doesn't even make sense. If booze really is as scary, uncontrollably bad as these guys say...why sell it at all? Prohibition would be the course of a truly caring state. Save us!

I put the full text of the poster up, but you should go read what Reason said...and check out the paternal-looking Swedish øldska fårtskë on the poster. Oh, man, the PLCB should just lift this!


Rich said...

Whenever you say that an "expert" or "researcher" makes a claim, then the public will believe it as truth. My question can you prove that something is better when it doesn't exist. In the case of PA, how can you prove the monopoly is better of the free market system when the free market system has never existed? It's balony. Not to mention...WHO funded the research?

Anonymous said...

By the way, PLCB SLO is DOWN again been down from Saturday. I mean The wine is at my home store and I can't take it. The paperwork from harrisburg is not sending.....

Joe Roberts, CSW said...

You are my new hero!!!