The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 19, 2013

No bargain

Daily Item

---- — There has been a good deal of controversy over the proposed privatization of the state's liquor stores in Pennsylvania.

Let me relate an experience in that area. We visited friends in Maryland and stopped along the way to purchase wine for the visit. We discovered an exceptional bottle of Cabernet at a very good price that we really enjoyed and wished to purchase regularly when we returned home.

When we returned to Pennsylvania, I asked the local state store manager if I could purchase a half case of this wine. Of course, the state store selection was very limited, so they had to order it and have it shipped to the store. The final cost was $7 higher on a $12 bottle of wine plus an additional $5 per bottle for shipping. The wine was no longer a bargain.

I think we all agree that when and where it is feasible, lesser government is better.

Government has never been better than the private sector in terms of efficiency and profits. If you have traveled, you have noticed that most other states have large selections of beers, wines and liquors at prices that are always lower than in Pennsylvania. In addition, these states are just as strict in their ID policies as our state stores and there are no sustainable statistics that indicate alcohol violations are higher where alcohol sales have been privatized.

I don't wish to see any state employee lose his or her job. Surely, the same jobs, or more, will be available when more private liquor stores are opened. These employees can compete for these jobs in the open market as do the rest of us. The time has come to emerge out of the 19th century and join the rest of the country in entering a competitive market with these products.

Vincent De Cerchio,