The liquor bill: Disserving the public
What's worse than what the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed in the name of “liquor privatization”? What the Pennsylvania Senate likely will pass down the road. And it's yet another lesson in what you get when you mistake capitulation for compromise and common sense in pursuit of further disserving the best interests of the public.
There was all manner of back-slapping, high-fiving and kudos this and kudos that late Thursday as the Republican-controlled House passed the first post-Prohibition legislation to untangle the commonwealth's monopoly on beer, wine and liquor sales. But it's like a 7 and 7 with no Seagram's — a bit of carbonation but no kick.
Beer distributors are granted first crack at a new near monopoly and favored state financing terms for wine and spirits licences. Grocery stores can sell wine. But to sell beer, they have to also have a restaurant. Convenience stores can sell beer but have to have a seating area. State wine and spirits stores are phased out. But call a mathematician; you'll need one to figure out the algorithm.
The House measure now moves to the state Senate, also GOP-controlled. Its brain flatulation? It wants to “modernize” the existing Soviet system.
Good grief, are these cats for real? There's not one good reason to not have full and true privatization. Beer, wine and liquor licenses should be available to any businesses that can afford them. Period.
That the General Assembly refuses to endorse common sense, promote true competitive markets and represent the will of the people is unacceptable.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.