The Post-Gazette's editorial ("Creeping Convenience: In a Bid to Survive, the LCB Offers More Hours," Aug. 29) again proves that the newspaper's misguided opinion on liquor privatization is driven by ideology, not facts.
The Post-Gazette roars that the people "want private enterprise." But a Franklin & Marshall College poll in May showed that 57 percent of Pennsylvanians want the wine and spirits system to be modernized or kept the same, rather than privatized. Another Franklin & Marshall poll Aug. 28 showed only 5 percent of voters view liquor privatization as a priority. Perhaps the Post-Gazette should listen to its readers.
It also should examine the facts. The expansion of hours at many Wine and Spirits shops is the latest in a long series of improvements to meet consumer demands. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board could implement even more reforms if the Legislature would allow it to do so. Proposed modernization legislation would allow more stores to open on Sunday, longer hours and flexible pricing. It also would enable the PLCB to put more stores in or next to supermarkets. These changes could generate from $75 million to $100 million more for Pennsylvania taxpayers.
Modernization has bipartisan support in the Legislature. Privatization is driven by ideological views and special interests who want to own this valuable asset.
The Post-Gazette should stop carrying the ideological torch for the reckless privatization plans of Gov. Tom Corbett and state Rep. Mike Turzai, and instead turn its attention to what Pennsylvanians care about -- more jobs and a stronger economy.
WENDELL W. YOUNG IV
Chair, United Food and Commercial Workers of Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits Council
President, UFCW Local 1776
Plymouth Meeting, Pa.