Don’t buy the hype: privatization just doesn’t deliver

Here we go again: Let’s privatize our liquor stores. Surely, it’s our governor’s desire to increase convenience for the liquor-buying public and not to satisfy the private sector’s desire to grab earnings like the $2.1 billion (Harrisburg Patriot, Aug. 30, 2012) the PLCB earned this fiscal year. I’m equally confident that no retailers’ or retail organizations’ campaign contributions have anything to do with Corbett’s motivation. I’m positive it’s his wish to invest the one-time windfall ($1 billion) in our schools, which he’s seen fit otherwise to shortchange.

I wonder, if the governor’s plan goes through, what the effect will be on the state budget when we lose the annual profits and tax revenue that state liquor stores ($494 million this fiscal year) bring in. From where will come the dollars to fund state activities and services now supported by current and future liquor store revenues and taxes paid by current liquor store employees when that revenue, including the “estimated” $1 billion windfall generated by the liquor store sell-off, disappears. Will those activities and services likewise disappear?

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