Thursday, December 19, 2013

40 years of…….……nothing.

As you read this I want to remind you that A. Democrats have been in power 21 of the past 40 years and B. Shapp was a Democrat.

This story from 1973 illustrates that after 40 years the Union and PLCB have done almost nothing for the consumer. Let’s take the points one by one.
1.       The union proposed more stores, particularly self-service ones. Self-service stores like we have now were introduced in January of 1969 and 34 years later, or 30 years after this article was written, the last counter store finally closed. There were 750 stores in 1973 - we have 600 now. I would call that a double failure. (For those of you not old enough to remember, Pennsylvania had “Counter Stores” exclusively for the first 35 years after Repeal. You walked up to a front counter, marked a printed list of what you wanted or wrote down the code number, and gave it to the clerk, who then went into the back to get it for you. The last one closed in FY 2003-04.)
2.       Permit credit cards. While the union may have proposed this it was customers, particularly licensees that brought about this change in 1987 - 14 years later and at least 15 if not 20 years after other business of this size did. Certainly a failure at the time.
3.       Provide home delivery for large orders.  I would think that businesses would like delivery too since they place larger orders than most residents but notice how they weren’t mentioned.  A continuation of the PLCB “don’t rock the boat or we’ll screw you” policy still in effect today. In any case there is still no delivery. Another failure.
4.       Adjust markup on items.  You thought this was thought up recently didn’t you? 40 years later still nothing.  I’d call that a failure too.
5.       The union report claims that prices are no higher than in New Jersey.  Sound familiar? After 40 years the citizens still think New Jersey prices are better – mainly because it is true and the over $300 million in border bleed and the building of the outlet stores prove it.*
The fear-mongering hasn’t changed at all. Prices will go up if we raise taxes they say in the last paragraph.  Well DUH.  Don’t raise taxes, increase convenience and sales will go up and revenue will go up, border bleed will go down and everybody, especially the citizens, will be much happier that they don’t have to deal with the state store system. At least the union didn’t come up with “Privatization killed my daddy” in 1973 like they did this year although it was Wendell Young’s father in charge of the union back then.  Some things never change.
(*) For more information on outlet stores read this article

This quote is from the PLCB about the history of the PLCB. "June 3, 2003 - The PLCB opens its first PA Wine & Spirits outlet stores in Gettysburg (now closed), Hermitage and Franklin Mills. The stores, aimed at preventing customers from going out of state to buy alcohol, offer a large selection of products at discounted prices."  

Of course, this begs the question that if PA prices, selection, and service are better than surrounding states as the PLCB and Union claim…….why do we have to prevent people from going out of state?  The parenthetical information is mine.

Do you really want them in charge of "modernization" with a record like this?

Privatization IS modernization. Accept nothing less.


Albert Brooks said...

In somewhat related news a new study in Utah calls for them to increase the amount of state stores by 27%. I wonder if it will take 40+ years?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the governors staff use these articles ,or any other study to down play the state store system,plus the fact that no body has spoken about is the cost of the new stores and equipment,which cost the tax payers millions of dollars, and now the state is saying they are in the hole for money in this next budget, somebody should investigate about the spending the plcb is doing and the waste..

Anonymous said...

I wish the state took credit for lottery. Can't play my numbers till I get my check.