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Privatizing liquor: The ad is a lie

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

As Harrisburg once again turns its attention to liquor privatization — and hopefully gets it right this time — the state's liquor store clerks union is out with another outrageous ad premised on the assumption that more choice and convenience in the sale of liquor will kill children.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 reportedly has spent $300,000 on an ad buy denouncing privatization. Featuring two women talking on a park bench, the ad references the experience of North Carolina, where underage drinking-related accidents allegedly contribute to one child's death per week. (Never mind that the citation for this fact makes no link to privatization.)

“It's about greed, pure and simple,” one woman laments.

“Well, it only takes a little bit of greed to kill a child,” says the other.

Unmentioned is that Pennsylvania, despite its Prohibition-era liquor policies, has more alcohol-related traffic deaths involving underage drivers than North Carolina, which privatized its system for beer and wine, writes Bob Dick of the Commonwealth Foundation.

But why should facts get in the way of a union distortion? Or, as Philadelphia magazine opined, “It's the Reefer Madness of booze privatization in Pennsylvania!”

If store clerks are so concerned about the consequences of self-serving “greed,” they should address that which afflicts state unions, which insists that government (i.e., taxpayers) should foot the bill to collect members' dues — which pay for these laughable ads.

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