Anyone who’s ever had the distinct pleasure of buying booze in Pennsylvania knows that the current system is, uh, let’s say lacking. Prices are higher than those offered by retailers out-of-state, and the selection of wine an liquor offered could certainly use some improvement. That’s been the crux of most of the arguments for breaking up the state-owned booze monopoly. But could privatization actually make things worse? That’s what the LCB’s CEO Joe Conti is saying. According to the Daily News, Conti told the House Liquor Control Committee yesterday that the deregulation proposal currently being considered would in fact raise prices and limit availability of products in some parts of the state.
Conti testified that under State House Rep. Mike Turzai’s plan, the price of a five liter box of Franzia Blush wine would jump from $12.49 to $25.38. Of course the pro-privatization peanut gallery fired back, charging that Conti will say anything in order to save his job, which would likely wind up on the chopping block if efforts to dismantle the LCB move forward. Honestly we don’t know which is more alarming: the possibility that booze prices could get any higher, or the fact that the state’s elected officials are arguing with the head of the LCB over crappy boxed wine.
LCB boss rips sale idea [Daily News]
Earlier: Can You Say ‘Kiosk-Gate?’