So just what effects do monopolies have on markets? You need look no further than Philadelphia this morning for the answer.
An online Philadelphia Inquirer poll has found more than 81 percent of respondents would rather break the law and bootleg their wine and liquor across the borders than subject themselves to further price hikes made by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Wednesday. More than 10 percent said they would just buy less.
This, of course, just confirms what the PLCB already knows but never trumpets: That border bleed is costing Pennsylvanians millions in lost sales and tax revenues. And oh, yeah, by the way, jobs.
In a taxpayer-funded, PLCB-commissioned study, a Neiman Group survey showed that 45 percent of residents in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties purchase some or all of their alcohol outside of Pennsylvania, even though it is illegal to transport it back into the state.
Given the PLCB sales in these surveyed counties totaled $808 million in 2010, out-of-state purchases lost represented upwards of $180 million in sales, and more than $40 million in potential sales and alcohol tax revenue Pennsylvania did not collect. And that is just in eight counties!
But hey, let’s just keep it the same, right, Pennsylvania? It’s so much better to turn your citizens into Prohibition-era bootleggers in pursuit of an otherwise legal commodity than it is to embrace free markets, create new jobs and let freedom drink.
Stay thirsty my comrades.