Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not so Radical

Think my call for a simple abolishment of the case law is radical? I said it was myself. But it's almost exactly what the Scranton Times-Tribune called for today in an editorial comment on Monday's Wegmans decision allowing supermarkets with delineated 'cafes' to purchase liquor licenses:
Even though the court decision is a victory for consumers, it does not create the level of competition that those consumers should enjoy. Lawmakers should build on the court decision to create true consumer choice for beer. State law does not require meat to be purchased only from local butchers or cakes to be bought only from independent bakers. There is no reason that adults should not have the same options for beer that they have for other consumer goods.The law should be changed to allow open, rather than restricted, retail sales in supermarkets, and to enable distributors to sell beer in quantities other than cases.

Eat 'em up, Scranton! That's the kind of duh!-level common sense the debate on the case law needs, and the kind of support for the consumer that's been wholly absent. Beat the drums, people, write those letters.


Anonymous said...

hey lew their sales are way up at the plcb so far could bring in almost 2billion. it was in the pittsburgh paper today. sounds like the profits are going to be good this year. they wont get rid of them with that kinda money coming in.

Lew Bryson said...

"Sales" for last year were $1.7 billion; it's way too early to make projections for 2009. Operating profits last year were around $150 million.
Nice chunk of change, no doubt. But why keep taking $150 million when you could easily make a windfall of $500 million one year, and still make your $150 million the next year in increased tax revenues (from increased sales -- because Pennsylvanians will buy in-state more frequently -- from increased wholesale activity, from increased restaurant sales as more booze becomes available, and from increased taxes on all the new jobs and businesses). Selling the SSS is a win-win: big payoff this year, no loss of revenue for the state. Not doing it is short-sighted.

Unknown said...

I would love to see supermarket sales like in most other states. However, I would be perfectly happy if distros were simply allowed to sell any quantity of beer. How could that particular change hurt anyone? Except for the children, obviously :)