HARRISBURG, PA – The Commonwealth Foundation launched today www.LetFreedomDrink.com, a Web site dedicated to removing state government and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board from its monopoly stranglehold over retail and wholesale wine and spirits sales.
“Pennsylvania consumers and taxpayers not only thirst for liquor liberty, but for the truth in how government in the booze business is a lose business,” said President Matthew J. Brouillette, president of the free-market think tank Commonwealth Foundation. “This Web site not only issues a ‘last call’ for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board as the sole proprietor, but serves as a one-stop shop for the facts.”
The interactive site offers downloadable fact sheets that include 13 reasons why the current PLCB sales system is irrevocably broken, including:
- common sense realties that the PLCB is not the unique cash cow it claims to be;
- PLCB internal studies show border bleed and bootlegging costs millions in lost tax revenue;
- documented failures by PLCB executives to follow common business practices resulting in millions of wasted tax dollars; and
- an institutionalized conflict of interest within its mission that finds the agency at war with itself.
“At a time when governments struggle to make ends meet, we can ill afford to protect a failed system that stifles job growth, hemorrhages revenue and blocks the freedom of Pennsylvania adults to choose for themselves a legal product at a fair price,” said Brouillette. “It’s long past time to divest this dilapidated dinosaur and invest in free markets like 48 other states have had the sense to do.”
Currently, Pennsylvania remains one of only two states (the other is Utah) with full-government control of both retail and wholesale sales of both wine and spirits. The current system dates back to 1933 when Pennsylvania’s Gov. Gifford Pinchot sought to create a bureaucracy to “discourage the purchase of alcoholic beverages by making it as inconvenient and expensive as possible.”
“While the Prohibition-era mission of the PLCB has been fully accomplished, it hardly serves the needs of today’s consumers and taxpayers,” said Brouillette. “It’s time we move Pennsylvania into the 21st century and let freedom drink.”
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The Commonwealth Foundation (CommonwealthFoundation.org) is Pennsylvania’s free-market think tank. The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.