Those who profit from Pennsylvania’s current liquor distribution monopoly have an ongoing campaign to stop liquor store privatization. One ad shows a man at a gas pump looking at cases of beer – with the implication that drinking and driving will increase without government-run liquor stores. The other, my favorite, shows a toddler, still sucking on his pacifier, dragging along a six-pack of beer in a grocery store.
Of course, the fears perpetrated by these special interests have no basis in reality. Research shows no difference between liquor control and license states in terms of underage drinking, DUIs, or other social measure. Nor have states that privatized alcohol sales experienced any increase in these social concerns.
Privatization of Pennsylvania’s state liquor stores will be the topic of our next Policies & Principles luncheon on June 21 – Rep. Mike Turzai will be on hand to talk about his proposal to license out management of state stores and distribution of wine and spirits.