On Wednesday, Harrisburg was graced with a visit from Hip Hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, hawking premium Cîroc vodka to Pennsylvania entrepreneurs business owners trade associations government bureaucrats who monopolize liquor sales in the state.
A remarkably productive entrepreneur himself, Diddy made good use of time by talking with the one organization that can assure his new vodka appears on the shelves of every liquor store in the state—or on none at all.
Believe it or not, one 3-member liquor control board has the ultimate say on what kinds of vodka are available to all Pennsylvania residents. Have a taste for something other than Diddy’s particular premium vodka brand? The PLCB can say U Can't Touch This in Pennsylvania.
Sound a little anti-competitive? No surprise: The PLCB has plenty of experience crowding out private sector brands with its very own TableLeaf line of wines that are actually made in California—"It's All About the Benjamins" for the PLCB.
And for those who erroneously think the current state-run system decreases alcohol-related social ills, how do you feel about the government using your tax dollars in partnership with a dubious pop culture icon to promote alcohol consumption?
The fact is the PLCB should be educating the public on responsible and safe alcohol use, not using the power of government to tempt Diddy’s young audience with a glamorous line of vodka.