Monday, July 15, 2013

UFCW member admits privatization WILL make buying wine cheaper and more convenient!

John Rzodkiewicz, long-time PLCB clerk and now an employee of the UFCW (the main union for State Store clerks), made a surprising admission on a PennLive page yesterday, showing that he realizes that privatization will indeed make it more convenient to buy wine and spirits in Pennsylvania, and at lower prices. Here's how it happened.

PennLive published a letter from David L. Faust, of Selinsgrove, who said there were "six questions to ponder" about privatization. They're, well, you should probably go read them, because they range from Prohibitionist to pro-beer distributor to socialist to...internally contradictory, so much so that they're kind of funny.

Then down in the comments, 'fancysmom' asked "Will a change in how alcohol is sold in PA make a difference to alcoholics? NO", to which 'Chuck' responded, "Just less future alcoholics. Or maybe you should ask Alberta Brooks or maybe even Lewser Bryson. They seem to be the expert lackeys of Corbett, Cawley, TurDzai, Adolph, Taylor, etc...." (Chuck's quite a wit, as you can see; ho ho, haven't heard "Lewser" since high school, Chuckie.) 'fancysmom' responds, asking, "Please explain how maintaining state stores will result in fewer future alcoholics. A statement that definitive should have some support."

That's when 'JohnRz' responds with this amazingly candid observation: "Alcohol is a drug. Ask any cop if you have a bigger crack problem when crack becomes cheaper and more available."

Excellent! Sure, John makes a ridiculous equivalency between a bottle of chardonnay and a pipe full of crack cocaine, but that's the kind of neo-Prohibitionist cant we've come to expect from the PLCB and their ilk. The point is, John's owning up to the simple fact that wine and spirits will be cheaper and easier to buy if the State Stores are replace by private stores. We've known that all along, but this slip of the fingers shows that the pro-PLCB partisans know it too, and they're fighting against it to keep the status quo, and keep the crappy State Stores as the only choice for Pennsylvanians. 

Thanks, John Rzodkiewicz! Your honesty is appreciated! (Not sure how Wendell W. Young IV is going to feel about it...)


Anonymous said...

With the long list law enforcement groups, rehab specialists and first responders endorsing privatization it's hard to believe anyone would make such a ridiculous statement.

Lew Bryson said...

Yeah...whatever you say.

Anonymous said...

I am a producer of fine wine. I sell wine in 35 states. We sometimes are able to sell wine in PA, but there is no other state I work in that operates like PA. We have to get through the PLCB, regardless of whether or not our wine is wanted by citizens. Unlike every other state I work with, PA has an organization that can limit access to our wine because they don't want to buy it, don't like the price I have assigned to it, or for whatever reason, they simply don't want to work with me. I don't think that most Pennsylvanians realize how their access to fine wine is severely limited by the PLCB. Even when I know for a fact that I could be selling wine in PA, because people have contacted me and specifically said so, I am sometimes unable to do so because the PLCB refuses to purchase. The PLCB arrangement in PA consolidates power in the hands of one org, and many times in the hands of ONE individual. If I have a good relationship with this individual, I'm able to sell wine just fine in PA. If for some reason this individual doesn't like something I've done, like raise prices, then he/she can simply not buy. And he/she (the PLCB representative) is my ONLY option for selling wine into PA at the retail level. (Their are exceptions for restaurants, but it is nominal, and honestly, a huge hassle.)

In most states, if a distributor is willing to take you on, that distributor then purchases your product and goes out into the market and sells it. Maybe it sells. Maybe it doesn't. That responsibility falls on the distributor and me. And if that distributor decides to decline to purchase your product or starts to perform poorly, then you have other distributors to choose from. In PA, you can't even sell your wine to people who want it, unless you schmooze with the PLCB and give them their cut. So, in effect, PA citizens get taxed twice by their state government. I can think of no other example other than a mafia that works like this. And the only producers of wine that are okay with an arrangement like this are massive producers of wine like Gallo and Constellation, who make millions and millions of cases of wine and grease the skids with the PLCB and lobby the state government and have so much low end wine that people want that the PLCB can't really say no to them. In the eyes of these massive producers, leaving the choice up to one individual who simply can't say no to them is a huge victory. They love an arrangement like this. It keeps producers like me out of the market and all it is is competition between their own brands. False competition, given that all the wines are ultimately made by the same company.

Lastly, the idea that a bunch of jobs would be lost or a bunch of deaths would all of a sudden occur is simply preposterous. If that was the case, the rest of America would be mayhem, as PA is one of the few states that inserts the state government into the selling of wine to this degree. And other states are not mayhem. The operate just fine, and there are plenty of jobs. The real difference between PA and most other states is that in most other states you have a much better and broader selection of wines to choose from when you go to a wine shop.

Anonymous said...

I do wish that the pro-privatization side would altogether drop the "more job opportunities" line, because I'm pretty sure (not positive) that the majority of ex-PLCB workers would be taking a hefty pay cut moving into the private sector. Furthermore, I don't see why that's a factor anyway, because my potential joblessness is my problem, and it's not up to PA to provide me with a golden parachute should the PLCB dissipate.