Wednesday, February 11, 2009

PLCB to Phoenixville: Drop Dead

Great discussion ongoing in The Phoenixville News about the PLCB pulling the State Store out of town.

It starts here with local business (the Earth Mart) owner Lisa Longo asking why the PLCB closed the downtown Phoenixville State Store "without any notice or public hearings, no due diligence (to my knowledge, and I asked the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board spokesperson), no economic impact study, but the PCLB spokesperson told me it was "just business" and, because there was "no free parking" in Phoenixville. Really? Since when?"

Seriously, since when should a state agency be slamming shut a door for reasons that are "just business"? Why the hell is the State in this business to begin with?

The city follows up today with this piece from Henry Wagner, the borough council president. "I, together with the rest of Council, the Mayor and the CDC agree that the loss of the State Store would not be a positive step... The PLCB made this decision without speaking to any borough representatives."

Look, if this had been a privately-owned liquor store, okay, they can close up shop, no sweat. Maybe the town would have tried to keep them open; P-ville is trying to re-vitalize their downtown. But for a government agency to do it, after saying they would consult with the borough before moving? Your tax dollars at work: congratulations, Phoenixville, you've been screwed.

The State Store System continues in operation because it is a frickin' jobs program, and a great place for Governor Rendell to reward out-of-work legislators. If it's a jobs program...apparently they can't even do that right. Sell the whole thing, get the state out of this business, and realize the windfall.


Anonymous said...

I hate to keep punching holes in your reasons, or attempting to, since I may just agree with you but you can't have it both ways. If you champion the private sector and then the state acts like a private business you can't cry foul. I know you don't want the state in the business but if they are (and they are) then you should applaud when they make decisions based on dollars and cents.

Its kind of like saying the government shouldn't interfere with the free market and then bitch that the government didn't do anything to reel in sub-prime lending. Not the perfect analogy but a valid one in my opinion.

Lew Bryson said...

I don't want the State Stores to do the right thing. I want them to go away. That's the thing, the State Store System isn't a business, it's a government agency. The State Store System makes decisions on their own agenda, not on a business basis. They can't make decisions on a business basis, they are an artificial monopoly.

The local government has no power over the State Store. They have various ways to reason with the owners of a business, but the State Store is immune, and can't be touched. It is not accountable to the community, it runs by different rules.

It comes back to the artificial nature of the whole thing. The State Store System making business decisions based on dollars and cents is no more natural or laudable than my dog walking on hind legs, wearing a dress, and smoking a cigar. It is not a business.

Rich said...

The people in Phoenixville should just circumvent all the laws and say f*** the PLCB and open their own store, commando style, with backing from the town governement.


This is America...we're products of a rebellion against government but quite afraid to rebel against our own when we feel the laws are unjust/unconstitutional/unAmerican/unwhatever.

Lew Bryson said...

Rich, that's fantastic! God, what a great test case! I hope someone from Phoenixville sees that and gets feisty. Be interesting to sue the State on that concept. Lawyers? Anyone?

(But..."commando style"? Might make it real popular, knowing the staff was sans culottes. Would customers have to follow the custom as well?)

Rich said...

(But..."commando style"? Might make it real popular, knowing the staff was sans culottes. Would customers have to follow the custom as well?)

Absolutely! Face paint and ammo belt, required! At least the store employees would know how to recommend a good merlot! LOL!

sam k said...

And yet we still have a state store in Snow Shoe, PA (pop. 785) on a part-ime basis as evidence of
Pennsylvania's benevolence toward its kinsmen.

WTF is going on here??

Anonymous said...

That store should have moved to a better spot 5 years ago. The place smells of mold. I was told by the people who work in the store that the basement is full of mold. only street parking. Moving it to Kimbertin was great. Nice new CLEAN store. It's even bigger more for me to choose from. I know this blog is Kill the state store system. but this is a step in what any Real world Co. would do.