January 31, 2013

It just makes sense

Pennsylvania is gonna try again -- to privatize its "state stores," the only places where wine and hard liquor can be purchased throughout the entire state. PA is the only state besides Utah (no surprise there) with such an antiquated set-up. Many past attempts at privatization have failed, in big part due to the influence of the unions that represent state store employees.

Not being a resident of the state but living nearby, I find PA's set-up bewildering, and, frankly, stupid. Wine and hard liquor must be purchased at these state stores, and beer can be found only at beverage distributor outlets. Contrast that to Delaware where [privately run] liquor stores sell all three items in one place. Many other states allow beer to be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores like 7-11.

I didn't realize just how stupid PA's system was until I traveled out to the western part of the state, specifically the little mining town of Clymer. Its state store hours were absolutely ridiculous -- no evening hours at all, and it is open about five hours per day. This ridiculousness would drastically change under Gov. Tom Corbett's plan:

Under the plan, retail beer distributors, who now can only sell by the case or keg, could apply for a license to sell the alcohol trifecta: beer, wine, and liquor. Supermarkets could sell a customer up to two six-packs of beer, and up to six bottles of wine. Convenience stores? A six-pack to go, no wine. Restaurants and taverns, which can now sell a customer no more than two six-packs of beer, could sell up to six bottles of wine.

Corbett says the privatization plan will generate approximately $1 billion in four years, the funds to go towards public education. Sounds like a double win to me.

Posted by Hube at January 31, 2013 05:18 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

No evening hours for a liquor store? That's ridiculous. I've been to that area of PA before but had no idea that those were how the state stores were run. Talk about a stupid system!

Posted by: Carl at January 31, 2013 05:59 PM

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