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It is Time to Retire Pennsylvania’s Antiquated Liquor Monopoly


Posted by Jorge Marin on Friday, May 30th, 2014, 4:59 PM PERMALINK


In Forbes today, ATR’s Patrick Gleason exposes the failings of Pennsylvania’s flawed liquor monopoly. The following is an excerpt from Patrick’s article:

“Pennsylvania is the only state, other than Utah, where the government has total control of liquor and wine wholesale and retail operations within its borders. The results of this system – which Reason Foundation Director of Government Reform Leonard Gilroy describes as a “Soviet liquor monopoly,” – are higher costs and reduced selection for consumers. According to price comparison research by the Harrisburg-based Commonwealth Foundation, ”Average wine prices were lower in all six border states.”

Convenience is also greatly reduced under Pennsylvania’s state-run liquor and wine monopoly. Pennsylvania has one spirits retail outlet per 10,000 adults, whereas the typical state has three outlets per 10,000 adults.

In Pennsylvania, as Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist recently explained in USA Today, “you have this Bulgaria 1956 retail system for liquor,” adding, “all they (the stores) lack is the picture of El Supremo.” A survey of Pennsylvanians commissioned by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board itself found that most are not happy with the arcane status quo. Seventy percent of those surveyed did not believe Pennsylvania’s government-run wine and spirits stores are competitive with privately operated stores in neighboring states. Over half of those surveyed did not believe prices were affordable at state-run stores.”

To read the piece in its entirety, click here.

Photo Credit: kimerydavis

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