Thursday, February 26, 2015

The UFCW 1776 thinks that PLCB profit is less than minimal - We knew it all along.

One of the more outrageous claims by the UFCW in the past week has been that border bleed is "minimal". From their "fact sheet" on Speaker Turzai's recent PCN interview:

"Fact:Turzai cites an unknown statistic, but in reality border bleed is minimal and there is reverse border bleed into Pennsylvania. (See No. 6 in outline)" (The outline mentioned is not provided or listed by the UFCW.)

How they know this isn't said, but let's look at the official PLCB report of 2011 done by the Neiman Group. The PLCB doesn't list this study on their website, which is why the link points elsewhere but they bought and paid for it nonetheless.

This report only used the Philadelphia area counties of  Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia, so I'll only be using sales from those counties myself.  The following is a list of how much PLCB sales were in each of the above counties for 2013, the latest available taken from the 2013-2014 Year In Review, page 13.

Bucks $135,700,317.31
Berks $52,109,662.18
Chester $120,388,495.05
Delaware $77,696,292.72
Lehigh $70,209,394.60
Montgomery $200,801,436.82
Northamton $41,606,625.89
Philadelphia $228,424,798.19

Total $926,937,022.76

That $927 million represents 42.6% of all PLCB sales. Using the Neiman report that says 5% of people only shop out of state (page 12) that would mean $46.3 million in lost sales by itself.  However, the Neiman report also says that 40% also shop in and out of state. Since people who buy out of state spend more (page 16) it would be safe to think that the total sales amount of those that shop in both would be greater out of state. I'm going to use half, just to err on the conservative side. That would meant that people spend at least 20% of total sales (half of the 40% who shop in and out of state) out of state. That number would be $185.4 million and that's almost certainly low.

So the total minimal border bleed is $46.3 million plus $185.4 million, or $231.7 million: about 11% of the entire state store sales. Or is it? As the Neiman report says, people spend more out of state to begin with, and then you have to look at when the report was made: 2011. Things weren't so good in 2011. Gas was higher, the economy was worse, people traveled less, all things mentioned in the report as potential reasons why people might be spending more in state in 2011. That isn't as true now and the border bleed number may be in the $300 million range -- which according to the UFCW is "minimal."

So if $300 million, or even $231 million, is "minimal," then the $124 million in non-tax contribution by the PLCB is less than "minimal," and shouldn't even be mentioned, based on that logic. There are very few things that the UFCW and I agree on, but it seems that this logical conclusion is one of them.

Maybe they are wrong and it isn't minimal. How many other things are they wrong about either on purpose (usually called lying) or from just not being able to read and research. I'm just one guy and can find and figure this out, they have thousands of members, entire staffs and apparently no fact checking. Why should we trust them?

Tell your legislator that you are in favor of HB 466 and get the state out of the liquor business.

HB 466 will allow 1800 liquor store licenses -- far more convenient than 600 state stores, no matter how many baskets and islands and palm trees they put in them. HB 466 will allow 825 grocery stores to sell wine, something the UFCW is dead set against (unless it involves more UFCW workers in a One Stop Shop; something that has failed for the 34 year existence of the program).

HB 466 will get the state out of telling you what you are allowed to buy -- no "modernization" plan does that.

HB 466 will give the freedom of choice found in other states -- modernization doesn't do that either.

HB 466 will benefit small business -- The PLCB modernization does not.

Modernization is a false choice because nothing changes.  Just because they paint your jail cell and allow longer visiting hours does not mean you are free.

Privatization is REAL moderniization

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