Friday, August 9, 2013

People want to break the law

Just as Prohibition made criminals out of ordinary people who just wanted to have a beer, a cocktail, a glass of wine, the PLCB steadily creates criminals in Pennsylvania every day. Because the State Stores suck so hard, thousands of Pennsylvanians break the law every day, crossing the borders to buy booze and bring it home. The most common question people ask Google to get to this site is some variation on Can I bring booze into PA from another state?

Why, the PLCB is so crappy that they even hurt Pennsylvania's small, privately-owned, family-owned beer distributors' business. When those ordinary citizen smugglers go out of state to buy wine and liquor at often lower prices in a congenial atmosphere of informed, friendly service and great selections, they can't help noticing the beer in those same stores, sold by the 12-pack, sixpack, single bottle, and even growlers. They buy the beer, then they often get lunch or dinner, usually buy gas (much cheaper in New Jersey, for instance), and maybe even do some tax-free shopping in Delaware while they're there.

Millions of dollars of taxes and business profits are lost to Pennsylvania every year this way. Why? Because the State Stores suck so bad they drive retail business out of the state. The Control Freaks usually respond to calls for privatization by asking if the loss of the State Stores' "profit" -- taken from us by what should be an illegal retail monopoly -- is worth any "freedom of choice" the system costs us.

Putting aside the total lack of customer service sense that question reveals about the Control Freaks, I have to ask in return: is the loss of millions of dollars in retail business to businesses that aren't benefiting at all from the PLCB's reign of monopolistic retail incompetence worth the mirage of control the State Store System claims to deliver (and doesn't)? Is it worth the jobs program that doesn't benefit anyone except the island of lucky winners (if you do nothing else today, click on that link and read that post; clear answer to those who decry the loss of jobs if the State Stores are closed) who can get those jobs (and their exceedingly well-paid union bosses), doing nothing for all the other retail workers in the state who get the wages and benefits normal for the category? Is it worth the time and money Pennsylvanians spend going out of state to circumvent the State Stores? Is it worth making criminals out of shoppers?

No. No, it isn't. Contact your legislators, especially your Senators. Tell them you don't want to see privatization slip through their hands. Tell them it's a voting issue for you. Tell them they've got one more chance in September to get this done. And then tell them that this is how you want it done, for the best results for Pennsylvanians. It's not hard. The Republicans have majorities in both houses, and the Governor. Make it happen.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to do it tomorrow. Try and stop me coppers! Youse flatfoots can't catch me see. I'm to smart for you see. I'm gonna have my booze and drink it too see. Hell with the PLCB see!

Lew Bryson said...

Have at it!

But remember: don't drink and drive.

Anonymous said...

Just an anecdotal comment stirred up by Lew's "Don't drink and drive" post: When I first started in the PLCB, the plastic bags were dark brown and said "DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE" in large, stoic, white letters. Then, it changed to a fancy "Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits Premium Collection". And now, it's "Fine Wine and Good Spirits". Not really relevant to anything but I was in a post-y mood.

Lew Bryson said...

To the foul bastard who just slandered my family in an Anonymous post that will never see the light of day: I've nailed cyberstalkers before. They've been visited by the FBI. This is your only warning: stop now.

Anonymous said...

I finished reading Chasing the White Dog by Max Watman, in which it was stated Philadelphia was a huge market for Virginia moonshine. One factor for that fact must be the PLCB and your crazy laws (not a Pa resident). Bringing with it all sorts of dangers.