Friday, May 16, 2014

Lets Kill Another Privatization Myth IV

With all this "control", why isn't PA safer?

Converting PA to a private system will put a liquor store on every corner, have drunk drivers roaming the streets looking for victims and packs of wild drunken teens will trod over the desolate landscape. How do we know this?  The state store clerks union tells us in letters to the editor, on-line comments and even senior officials spouting it as gospel.

The truth is none of that has happened in Washington State.  Clerk representatives like to say that Washington State DUI citation data can't be believed because there were less troopers on the road to write tickets.  Never mind that local police write the most tickets since there are thousands more of them than State Police. Or they say that DUI fatalities are going down everywhere which to me means that their dire predictions didn't come about since Washington State did see a decline in DUI fatalities. However, the amount of troopers on the road has little to do with DUI fatalities. People do not die and then try to hide the fact like they do with crashes.

2013 national data has not been released yet so we have to look at 2012 data.  In 2012 17 states reported a decrease in DUI fatalities.  Pa was not one of them.  Pennsylvania's DUI fatalities increased 2,8% overall compared to 2011 and went up over 15% for under 21 drivers while Washington DUI fatalities decreased 7.6% overall and over 30% for under 21 drivers. Now an official representative of the UFCW has said that this represents "statistically insignificant numbers" so I have to wonder how many deaths it takes to be significant (statistically speaking) for him?

It is all because of beer the clerks say but beer is also private in Washington and since they had and continue to have the highest liquor taxes in the country that makes beer the choice for those on a teens. So since the PLCB is in charge of "control" via inspections, complaints, beer registration, and numerous other ways - are they not doing as good a job as the WSLCB? Would they do better if they only had to concentrate on regulation and not retail.  One would hope.

Statewide statistics are not yet available for Pennsylvania for 2013 but they just came out for Washington and the data shows that alcohol impaired driver fatalities have gone down again, this time over 18% for the year. For the past 24 months, 18 of them since privatization, Washington State has decreased DUI fatalities by over 25% and PA has not.

Wake up Legislators.  The PLCB is not the only, nor has it ever been, the best way to do things.

Privatization Is REAL Modernization.

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