Maybe we will be out of the dark ages?
Maybe we will be out of the dark ages?
If you live in Pennsylvania and support privatization, this is one of those times when you should let your legislators know where you stand. Do it today.
Email them and tell your friends.
Fingers crosses....although it was stated in previous plans that the Commonwealth would still have a hand (control?) in liquor sales even if they allow liberalization of beer and wine sales....this would leave us with the same bland selection we have now but without the PA website that allows for a fighting chance of getting the few goodies (BTAC and Van Winkle) that trickle into the system.
Rye whiskey makes the sun set faster.
Every state has a 'hand' in liquor sales in that state. Don't jump to conclusions. Most of the details probably aren't decided yet. The law has yet to be written, let alone adopted. You live in a democracy and have been given a chance to influence an important change. Don't dismiss that so easily.
Although he hasn't updated his "Why the PLCB Should Be Abolished" site since November, I'm sure Lew Bryson will have something up there soon. Lew is the Managing Editor of Whisky Advocate Magazine. He lives in Pennsylvania, as does the magazine's founder and publisher, John Hansell. Lew has been outfront on this subject for some time and his site is a good place for whiskey enthusiasts in Pennsylvania to focus their interests with a eye toward influencing this important piece of legislation.
This is your chance, Pennsylvanians. Don't squander it.
Last edited by cowdery; 01-31-2013 at 14:05.
Lew has been posting about this on his private facebook page.
I like the move toward privatization on a philosophical level, since I don't believe the government has any business being in the liquor business. However, pragmatically, I like parts of the system in place:
* As Soad mentioned, all the BTAC, 4Roses LE, PHC, VW, and other limited products are available online first come, first serve at a reasonable price. Without this, I'm not sure how most of us here would've been able to find BTAC stuff for a good price this fall. Also, they deliver which is huge bonus for people that don't have cars or live in cities.
* The prices are held steady without "gouging" and other dishonorable practices that many private owned stores employ. There's no putting stuff behind the counters for the best customers. Also, the prices for some things are far better in PA than pretty much anywhere else.
* The website, though hard to navigate at times gives a pretty accurate account of the number of bottles at each physical store so if I wanted to get a Baby Saz, I could find which store in my county has it and go there and get it.
* Unionized jobs for people working there. All the stores are staffed by mostly local, legally documented employees that are subject to fair rules and regulations.
I do acknowledge the inconvenience of limited store hours, relative lack of selection at my local store, lack of professional knowledge on some issues, and inconvenience of not being able to buy beer, wine and liquor at the same place or in a grocery store.
I think privatization is a good idea, but it has to be done right or we will end up worse off than we already are. Gov. Corbett announced some details of his privatization plan today, and part of it is keeping the 18% Johnstown flood tax. This has to be eliminated or we PA consumers will not win in this deal. For those that do not know what this is, it's a tax that is hidden in the price of every bottle of wine and liquor sold in the state. It is not itemized on receipts, so most people do not know they are even paying it. It was enacted as a temporary tax in 1936 to assist Johnstown, PA flood victims, and like most temporary taxes, has become permanent. Regular sales tax is charged on top is this, so when I buy a bottle of liquor here in Allegheny County my total tax on it is actually 25%. I can't take seriously any proposal that doesn't eliminate this tax.
I also share some of the same sentiments as soad. I at least know how to work this system, and get some of the allocated bourbon that we do get available here. What's better the devil you know or the devil you don't?
It would be amazing to have stores like Total Wine and Binny's here in PA, but I have very little faith in the politicians here to get us on the right path or to actually have our best interests in mind when crafting this legislation.
My sentiments and thoughts are pretty much the same as above, I do love the current system as I dont' have to suck up to anyone to get PVW, BTAC or any other "special" release I just need to be diligent with checking the website. But I would also love to not have to drive to another state to find something worthwhile on an actual store shelf. In my local LCB store, the white whiskeys with fruit in them out number the bourbons on the shelf. The biggest hope for me is that if they eliminate the current system, they will then open the state up to residents being able to receive liquor shipments. Currently that is the biggest obstacle in my eyes and a huge risk if you find that incredibly special bottle some where in cyberspace and just have to have it.
While no one should underestimate the ability of the government to fuck this up, I can say having lived in both control states and license states, that you'll be happier in the long run being in a license state.
How many years have I heard that the PALCB was going to privatize. Thornberg tried it. Others have tried it. It's all bullshit and we'll remain with what we have.
Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch
"Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"