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Paradox25's avatar

Would privatizing liquor stores be a good idea?

Asked by Paradox25 (10053 points ) February 21st, 2013

Tom Corbett, the governor of Pennsylvania (my homestate) wants to privatize liquor stores. This would allow Pennsylvanians to buy beer at grocery stores rather than at a beer distributor, and so on. Corbett says this legislation would save the state money while giving alcohol consumers more freedom of choice. Is it a good idea to privatize liquor stores in your opinion?

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20 Answers

Seek's avatar

The hell?

I have never heard of such nonsense before. Of course people should be able to buy beer from anyone willing to sell beer.

I’m just mad that Florida doesn’t allow growlers, and here you are talking about not being able to get a six-pack at Kroger? Wow.

wundayatta's avatar

It would not save the state money. It would realize a one time payment for the sale of the liquor stores and after that, we’d have no control over anything, except liquor tax rates. We’d lose a stream of income, because we realize more income by owning and taxing liquor sales than by taxing them alone.

On the other hand, the State Stores in PA suck as far as selection is concerned. Service isn’t that great, either. I expect that would improve if liquor sales was privatized.

elbanditoroso's avatar

In the state of Georgia, they have been privatized for decades. We get just as drunk no matter who owns the store. One can buy booze of all sorts at stores, in groceries, at gas stations, you name it.

Actually, Georgia law used to say that you cannot call the store a “liquor store”. So most places cleverly call themselves “package stores” to skirt the law. How silly. (The law was changed a few years ago, but the tradition lives on)

jerv's avatar

Look at how it’s working out in WA.

ucme's avatar

I’d have thought so, beer can be bought over here in supermarkets/grocery stores/off-licences…almost anywhere in fact, save for Toys R Us, that would be silly.

Paradox25's avatar

@jerv Anything to add to that?

CWOTUS's avatar

I think most states already have private liquor sales. The sales themselves are more or less well regulated as to times and identification required, but I don’t recall any states that still have “State Stores”.

In fact, Washington was one of those states, when I lived there two decades ago.

rojo's avatar

In Texas beverages under a certain alcohol content can be sold in grocery stores and sac-n-pacs. Anything over this content can only be sold in liquor stores. We also have some fairly f*cked up laws, called “blue laws” which restrict what you can and cannot purchase on Sundays. They used to be fairly extensive but have mainly been gutted except for ones related to auto sales and alcohol.
According to said laws, I cannot buy liquor from a liquor store at all on Sunday but after noon I can go to any open bar and buy it.
Also, you cannot buy beer before noon on Sunday (some stores even block access to the beer aisle during this timeframe) but after that time can go to the grocery store and purchase all I want. This particular aspect of the law pisses me off since I grocery shop Sunday morning. Because of this I curse Southern Baptists each and every Sunday and ask that their God drown them in beer hell for eternity.

antimatter's avatar

Nope bad bad idea.

Ron_C's avatar

Corbett, that son of a bitch has a fire sell for gas drilling leases and is trying to gut every business that has union labor. It doesn’t make any sense, why should we give up a money making operation that provides good jobs to Pennsylvanians so that we can have corner liquor store run by minimum wage slaves that get robbed and killed on a regular basis?

Seek's avatar

@rojo We can’t buy alcohol until 11:00 am on Sunday. Fortunately, that’s way before I’m likely to come up for air from my Saturday night video-gaming. ^_^

laureth's avatar

They’re private in Michigan. It’s no big whoop.

jerv's avatar

Sorry; my breaks at work are too short for detailed answers.

Every place I have lived has allowed beer and wine sales at supermarkets and convenience stores. WA recently went to allowing hard liquor to be sold at supermarkets. It never caused a problem in places other than WA, and the only real problem with the way WA does it is massive confusion over price; the price you see on the shelf does not include the 20.5% Spirit ales tax or the $3.77/liter Spirits Liter tax, so many people get shocked by that fifth that is on sale for $15.99 costing $22.10.

Also note that many who oppose such privatization measures often oppose alcohol even existing, though they disguise that with economic arguments that hold no merit.

ETpro's avatar

I haven’t dealt with state stores in decades, but I did find this. Name you poison.

Ron_C's avatar

@ETpro and @jerv The state where I live, Pennsylvania, has had State Stores since the end of Prohibition. The stores are clean, well lighted, and comfortable. The staff is courteous and well informed and the prices are reasonable. The only reason to change this is because of Gov. Corbett’s advocacy for corporate takeovers. There is no doubt that there will be a big paycheck if he is successful. I notice that, in State and Federal government, legislators enter government as regular people, when they leave, they’re millionaires.

There is no doubt that the governor and his supporters are looking for big profits and the ability to grab a little more from taxpayers.

wundayatta's avatar

He tried to privatize the lottery and failed. Perhaps he will fail at privatizing the liquor stores.

But Pennsylvania is a Quaker state, and that history does make a difference. We are Friends here. Not the same as communists; perhaps more like communitarians. But it affects state politics and the ability of Right wingnuts like Corbett to do whatever they want.

In my personal opinion, he’s an asshole. I don’t understand how he got elected. But then, I can never understand how right wing nuts get elected.

Ron_C's avatar

@wundayatta We elected a new State Representative. He was a decent guy until he spent some time in Harrisburg. He is now an asshole like the rest of his republican compatriots.

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve been to Harrisburg. The best day of my life (although it didn’t seem it at the time) was the day they turned me down for the job I wanted there.

Ron_C's avatar

@wundayatta Harrisburg Pa. is a small town version of Washington D.C. except it doesn’t have the theaters or good restaurants.

Paradox25's avatar

@Ron_C Corbett is a piece of work, and in fact I fucking hate the guy. He’s also a typical right-wing hypocrite, wanting to make access to alcohol easier while openly admitting that he would oppose any legislation decriminalizing marijuana. I have other reasons to hate the guy as well, such as the comments he made about unemployed workers. There are other reasons too why I think he’s a pathetic dirtball, but now I’m getting fired up about the guy so I better back off, lol.

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