Monday, November 5, 2018

What the PLCB does to Pennsylvania

Are we better off with the PLCB? Or is the PLCB causing active harm to Pennsylvania? It's not a set-up question, it deserves real consideration. When the PLCB claims credit, saying "We do all this good stuff," we should look at the claims and see if the "stuff" really is "good." Here are some of their top claims for good; see what you think.

1. PLCB prices are competitive.
In reality, this depends on what private store you compare them too but overall, according to the National Institute of Health, the average bottle of liquor cost just over $2.00 more in a control state than in a free state. And since this study was done before the PLCB started flexibly screwing us, it is probably more now. You don't wind up with real liquor superstores clustered on the border because they charge more.

2. The PLCB limits underage drinking.
When looking at the PLCB's own report (2017) Pennsylvania's underage drinking is at least 7% higher than the national average for grades 8, 10 and 12. What's worse, you can reasonably assume that the number is even higher since the two largest school districts did not participate - Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

3. The PLCB limits DUI's & DUI fatalities
Using information provided by Responsibility.Org we find that for:
Percent of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities of Total Fatalities - NJ, MD and WV are lower than PA. NY is tied and Ohio (a control state) and DE are worse.
12-20 Year Old Binge Drinking in Past 30-days : PA only beats WV of the border states.
12-20 Year Old Past Month Alcohol Consumption: PA is only better than WV (barely) and NY
Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities per 100K population: PA is in the middle with 3 better and 3 worse.
Under 21 Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities per 100K population: Again, PA is in the middle.
There is no clear benefit from the PLCB's "control." It appears to have no effect.

4. The PLCB limits sales to minors.
According to Stacey Witalec, then Director of External Affairs at the PLCB: "... because our stores are not licensed establishments, BLCE does not perform compliance checks in them." Since they are never checked by an independent group, then claiming they are made of green cheese has as much validity.

5. The PLCB turns in (cue Donald Trump voice) Huuuuuge amounts of money every year. 
Despite the appearance given by the taxes which pass through the stores, and the "contributions" that are required by the General Assembly, the PLCB had $1.8 BILLION in liabilities in January 2018. They owe well over $230 million in pension debt. In 84 years only 3 times did they contribute over 0.3% of the budget.

6. The PLCB provides 5,000 family sustaining jobs.  

About 40% of the store workforce are part-time. If those jobs are "family sustaining," then something isn't right.

7. The people that select wine and spirits are highly knowledgeable.
Except none have the highest regarded certificates of excellence in their profession. You never hear or see Pennsylvania leading the way in new trends, cocktails, or liquors. They always follow.

8. The "Chairman's" programs are great deals.
Until you realize that most of these didn't sell well in the free market, where there is strong competition, which is why they are cheap for the PLCB to buy.

The PLCB is just a way to take money from you the citizens to keep their bloated, inefficient jobs program alive. They do nothing for the state and everything for themselves.


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