Tuesday, June 3, 2014

When Theory Doesn't Match Reality - Who Do You Believe?

Today we are going to look at some of the...um, what should I call it -- lies that the pro State Store community uses to try to show that science is on their side.

Remember things like Wendell Young telling us that privatization "...will put alcohol on every street corner and increase crime." (Watchdog.org May 2, 2013). Sounds pretty scary, but Pennsylvania alcohol consumption per capita is already about the same as New York, Ohio, and Maryland, higher than West Virginia and a little lower than New Jersey; Delaware is the highest.  In fact, PA consumption hasn't really changed that much over the years and is slightly higher now than in 1900. (NIAAA Surveillance Report #92 August 2011) Besides being a physical impossibility -- every corner? Really? Where do you put the gas stations and the Starbucks? -- there are local laws that would prevent it too. Still reality has never stopped Wendell before. Do we really need to talk about crime?  PA is dead in the middle for violent crime compared to the border states or the rest of the states for that matter, so it isn't like this is Eden to start with. (FBI UCR report 2012). If we are just average with all this supposed "control," why are all those other states doing better?

Wendell uses this made-up science again and again, but no one ever calls him on it: "The bottom line is we have the absolute lowest death rate associated with alcohol consumption of all 50 states."  Which I disproved not that long ago, so would some debater please call him out on it?

My favorite has to be that consumption will rise 48%.  We heard this in testimony from Dr. Stephen Herzenberg of Keystone Research.  All that effort only to be slammed for using bad science and then for having the gall to not follow his predictions.  It seems that Washington state consumption has only gone up about 9% when you include the increase in in-state sales and the increase in border bleed.  Gotta wonder where that other 39% went to.

Then there is organized labor's tame economist, Dr. Roland Zullo of the University of Michigan, who while working with the Keystone Research Center said that crime is lower in control states, which makes it hard to explain why PA is in the middle of the pack on crime, while being the most onerous control state. I wonder what his reasoning is that DUI fatalities (usually known as the felony of vehicular homicide) went down in Washington state since they privatized.

Both of the above declined to provide any new thoughts on this subject and didn't respond to my emails. Perhaps that was shrewd on their part in light of the fact they have been proven wrong.

Can't forget Dr. Mark Price, also of the Keystone Research Center (I'm beginning to see a pattern here), who agreed with Dr. Herzenberg by using the exact same bad science Dr Herzenberg used in his testimony. His bottom line was that "...privatization will increase negative social impacts, increasing excessive consumption of alcohol (hasn't happened) and traffic fatalities (they went down), alcohol-related violent crime (hasn't happened), and alcohol-related public health problems (the jury is still out on this since only preliminary date is available and mostly only for King County in Washington)

Now Oregon is next up for privatization by the ballot (which would have happened here decades ago if allowed) and their prohibitionists are  coming up with new science to further their cause. However, once again reality doesn't agree with the Power Point presentation (What?  You were expecting peer reviewed journals?) as the respected Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University pointed out.

They say the truth shall set you free so it seems you can pretty much ignore anything from the UFCW, Keystone Reasearch, or Wendel Young. whose only goal is to keep you enslaved to the state store system.


Geno Washington said...

Is it a fair assumption that most if not all zip codes without a PLCB store are opposed to having a store to sell alcohol? Or alcohol stronger than beer anyway? Also I wonder if most shopping centers with a supermarket in PA but no PLCB store are keeping one out on purpose.

Anonymous said...

PLCB can't locate in communities that are voted dry. PLCB likes to locate near grocery stores to attract customers. The problems with location is that they have a single product to sell and if there is not enough customers to make it profitable they won't locate there. High overhead and lack of diversity of products (food, health and beauty goods....) is why there are limited locations.

Anonymous said...

Tick tock. April came and went, no deal. May came and went, no deal. Now this may be it for years to come. If nothing is done in June then that is it for the year. Guess the owners of those NJ and DE stores will continue to get that border bleed.

Albert Brooks said...

That's true and PA will continue to lose out until next time. It gets closer every time and won't take much more. Tick tock state stores your time will come.

Geno Washington said...

Sorry to go into a sort of random subject, but who would be responsible for handling fire code violations at PLCB stores? I ask because at a number of them I have seen emergency exits that were very much blocked. The stores are all fairly small, but remember alcohol can be VERY flammable, sometimes explosive.

Albert Brooks said...

Codes are local enforcement. Call the codes enforcement officer of the town or township. Otherwise Store Operations I would think would be responsible for the stores except don't ask them how many stores they have because they don't know without a formal request in writing.

Anonymous said...

AS each week goes by we get closer to the end of June and no action on liquor. I expect nothing to get done then it will be at least 8 years with the same liquor code. My question is will the two of you stick with it through 2022? That is a long time to keep beating the drum. By then I will retire.