Gov. Tom Corbett announced his support for full liquor store privatization today on Dom Giordano’s radio show. Now it’s the legislature’s turn to develop a plan that will free Pennsylvanians from the PLCB’s dysfunctional liquor monopoly.
We applaud the governor for getting out in front of the effort to free Pennsylvanians from a monopoly of mediocrity, mismanagement and manipulation. No half measures will suffice here, and he clearly reocgnizes that more jobs, better prices and greater personal freedom come from the full divestiture of this draconian dinosaur.
Any proposal to privatize liquor should embrace the following four principles:
- Privatization, not modernization. It is time for Pennsylvania to join 48 other states and dissolve the state-run monopoly. When private businesses compete, consumers benefit from better prices and convenience.
Full privatization means the commonwealth should stop competing with private operators; government in the booze business is a lose business.
- Avoid arbitrary caps on the number of liquor stores. Limiting licenses prevents a truly competitive market from emerging. More licenses generate more competition, better selection and lower prices for consumers. Increasing the number of retail stores means more jobs for Pennsylvanians and more revenue, as the state would recapture the tens of millions of dollars it loses each year to border bleed.
- Remove unnecessary barriers to entry and anti-competitive protections. Mandating separate self-contained areas solely for wine and liquor sales could create logistical problems and additional costs for stores seeking licenses, while denying consumers real convenience.
Private operators should not be protected against competitors—lawmakers should not replace a government monopoly with a private one.
- Taxes do not need to replace current revenue levels. Every dollar the PLCB generates comes from taxpayers and consumers. Rather than demanding a “revenue neutral” plan, lawmakers should consider lowering the taxes paid by consumers. Alcohol taxes should generate the revenue needed to regulate and oversee the industry, not to subsidize additional government spending.
Nearly 70 percent of Pennsylvanians support liquor store privatization, now is the time to liberate our liquor!
For more on the failure of government-run liquor stores, visit FreeMyDrink.com.