Sunday, August 7, 2011

New poll: serious this time

With privatization actually in play, I've decided to do something different here. I've put up a poll that's actually serious, rather than just an attempt to raise consciousness through humor. Take a look at the upper right corner of the blog, you'll see the new poll on what concerns you have about privatization, either directly with HB11 or in general. You can vote for more than one issue; please feel free to do so, and please spread the word -- I'd love to see a big response on this one. If you have a concern that's not on the poll, feel free to make a comment on this post. Cheers!

Special note to UFCW and ISSU members: once your "talking points" arguments have been made once in the comments, I won't publish them again. The 'tax collection' and 'Walmart' arguments have been made; the 'no stores in small towns' red herring has been displayed. Make new points, or don't bother; no 'avalanches' here, thank you. Of course, that goes for already posted pro-privatization arguments as well; please read the comments before adding your own.


hbgonlooker said...

The PLCB is taking up shelf space with their private label wine TableLeaf instead of having what the customer wants.

Anonymous said...

I chose 4 of the available choices.

The big box stores (Wal-mart, CVS, ect) are going to be the ones that take up most of the licenses. Good luck finding somebody that knows a good deal about booze working there.

Taxes will most likely not go down. Plus the state won't be getting as much money as the currently are despite what Turdi says. Unless of course you think those companies are going to be honest and report 100% of sales and liquor taxes collected. And if somebody things that they're probably rather naive.

Selection will not improve very much. The big box stores are going to stock what sells. And if by chance you want something special then you're going to have to pay an arm and a leg for them to bring it in special. That is of course if they decide to help the customers at all (go to a Wal-Mart and ask an employee for help and you'll see what I mean).

Everybody's cronies are going to get first dibs on any licenses that aren't already bought off by the big box stores. Case in point, back when Ridge tried to sell off the stores, a family friend was asked by the political boss in our town to purchase a license backed by his money. He couldn't buy one because of a criminal record.

Also, might I suggest that you add something about location? Many of the small towns in the state are going to lose their liquor store because none of the people buying the licenses will want to locate there.

Lew Bryson said...

Wow. Someone's shaking the booga-booga stick. These are the classic UFCW "arguments."

Let's see... If the bill remains the way it is now, too many licenses will go to chains. Change the limit on number of licenses to one company from 40 to 10 or less; I'd prefer 5.

Tax collection? A non-issue: either it's a major Department of Revenue issue -- in which case we can fix it for the whole state and get tons more "revenue" -- or it's a minor issue. Period. Not a valid point in this argument, in either case.

The PLCB IS a big box store. They stock crap, their selection is sorry and sad compared to true "world class stores." And we're fixing things so the chain retailers don't get all the licenses; not an issue, in that case.

Cronies? Shine the light. Get citizens involved, and don't do this deal in the dark.

"Many of the small towns in the state" don't have liquor stores now, since the PLCB only has one store in each of 9 of the states counties. Many of the PLCB's rural stores are only open part-time.

Want to make the chances for rural towns to get a liquor store better, want to keep the big box stores from dominating? Issue more licenses!

Greg said...

I picked several of the boxes, but it's fair to point out that almost all of them are things that happen now. All of anonymous' arguments, for example, could well be said of our current system. It's already a high-tax system of cronyism, unhelpful employees, and poor selection.

No doubt, some of that would remain. But at least there would probably be a FEW places - in markets that demanded it - where that was not the case.

Michael said...

The brave Anonymous posting the usual pro-plcb garbage that's been debunked about a thousand times now.

I'm not concerned about anything, if they look to private states that are successful(such as Maryland, at least from this customer's perspective), there shouldn't be many problems.

It all seems tantalizingly close now, I hope they get it right and make the necessary changes/amendments.

Ben said...

Having lived in other states (IL & IN) for most of my life, I couldn't believe the ridiculousness of the PLCB and the concerns that people have about abolishing it.

I'm saying this and I don't even drink. I would just like to be able to pick up a bottle of wine at a grocery store every now and again to cook with.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the bill myself, but this blogger usually has pretty accurate insight to what is going on at the PLCB.

From his analysis it looks like this bill is going to increase taxes rates by switching to a gallonage tax. As well as limit selection through brand fees that just seem over the top, especially for small producers.

I hope to see the state store system go away, but this looks like trading one bad idea for another.

Karen said...

I so enjoy drinking Chairman's Selections--I drink a lot better quality of wine at a very nice price--way less expensive than at other liquor outlets in other states, including CA. I also am more inclined to try a wider variety of wines because I am not spending an obscene amount of money on something that I might not like or am pleasantly surprised at a new bottle. Let those who like Yellow Tail pay the same amount for swill as I am paying for a wonderful $30 shiraz for $12.99... If there us privatization, doesn't the buying power of the state, which brings these bargains to us, disappear?

Lew Bryson said...

Depends, Karen. (I buy Chairman's Selections too, by the way.) Some folks bring up the bugaboo of allowing big stores to get licenses, but at the same time support the PLCB's huge buying power. Fact is, Costco recently surpassed the PLCB as the second-largest purchaser (Ontario's LCBO is actually the biggest), so you can get privatization AND the great prices Costco is known for. Far as that goes, Total Wine has immense buying power too...and a lot more savvy in using it than the PLCB does. We'll do fine, and the selection will be better, so long as that part of HB11 is fixed.

Steve D said...

Don't forget Trader Joes. I bet you will come out much better with their wine selection than you are doing so now.

Steve D.