Monday, March 18, 2019

The PLCB has over $1.6 Billion in liabilities.....and wants to stay that way.

When your business has low debt, good cash flow, a decent profit margin, and service better than the competitors, you can expect somebody might want to buy it, so they can get the benefit of all those good things. And if you're in debt up to our eyes, have crappy management, legendarily bad customer service, your business doesn't look too good to the outside world, no matter how much demand there is for your product.

Yeah, we're talking about the PLCB. After 20+ years of "record profits," somehow they are more in debt now, than at any time in their history. Over $1.6 Billion in liabilities and a total position of $1.1 Billion in liabilities exceeding assets.

Why would any business want to be in that position? They wouldn't, unless they wanted to look like a bad investment to the outside world. If the PLCB was a real money making venture run by at least semi-competent people, then the private sector would have more interest because they know that:
  1. They can run a consumer industry far better than any bureaucrat.  
  2. They are inherently more efficient. 
  3. They wouldn't be saddled with over a billion dollars in debt right off the bat.
YEAH! My business model sucks!
But the PLCB doesn't really care how much or what kind of debt they have. There is no mandate that says they need to be current, no benefit for being efficient, no propaganda value in saying "Look, we decreased our debt!" instead of "We gave 30 million more to the General Fund!" Although this year the amount they "gave" to the General Fund actually decreased $30 million, but you aren't hearing them say anything about that.

Why aren't they worried about their debt? The PLCB has a backup plan and it is called the taxpayers. They can't default - we cover it. Have to pay out more than you take in? No problem, we got it. Can't raise those variable prices fast enough to keep up with rising admin costs? Just give less to the General Fund, the taxpayers will make up the difference!

Remember when the PLCB tried to leech itself onto the state debt with a bond against future earnings? (Don't worry: we do.) Make yourself as unattractive as possible by hanging a 20 year debt obligation to your nose, and the people in favor of privatization (i.e., the majority of the adult population) have one less tool to work with.

Giant leech.  Like the PLCB but more useful.
I'd ask you to stay alert for any hint of debt reduction from the PLCB. With all this money coming in from ACT 39 and variable pricing, it shouldn't be long before you'll hear it every day. That's right, and I have a bridge for sale too...


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