Tag Archives: wine

Privatize the PLCB

Sad looking liquor store

Sad looking liquor store, originally uploaded by camera_obscura.

Two weeks ago, Steve Twedt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette authored a series of articles on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board: what it is, why this state says it needs to hold a monopoly on wine and liquor sales (but not beer sales), alternative reasons why it does this, and how the system affects businesses and individuals. The series starts with this article, and there you can find links to the rest of the coverage.

Pennsylvania’s liquor laws drive me absolutely mad, both because they make it impossible to find wines and liquors I want and because they’re clearly inefficient from a market standpoint.

I’d planned to write a rant about this, but I get so angry even thinking about it that I can’t write straight.

Fortunately, John McIntyre wrote a perfect column on this very subject, "Hitting the Bottle," in the Feb. 7 issue of City Paper.

Last Tuesday, a state Senator introduced a bill to privatize liquor sales. No word yet on the PCLB’s response. I suspect that bill will receive hard opposition.

In the past, state lawmakers have said there’s no reason to change the system because no one complains about it. The letters to the Post-Gazette seem to indicate there’s an unheard majority who want the state to get out of the business of selling wine and liquor. Let’s make our voices heard in Harrisburg.