Liquor polls vs. facts

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To suggest that any lawmaker would lose an election for blocking Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to lay off several thousand employees who work for the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits shops so the PG can sell more ads is absurd ("End the State Stores: Democratic Reps Must Listen to Their Party Members," Feb. 20 editorial).

Equally absurd is the notion that any lawmaker would lose an election for blocking the governor's plan to put 1,800 small-business beer distributors out of business and their 10,000 employees out of work.

Privatization makes sense for the big-box retailers who will buy the new licenses. It makes sense for your newspaper, as Gov. Corbett gleefully noted in a recent news conference.

It makes no sense for the rest of us. Polls come and go, but facts have a way of sticking around.

Prices will not go down under privatization because prices always go up. Right now, in Washington state, consumers are paying 10 percent to 30 percent more for various wine and spirits products because of last year's privatization.

Consumer selection and convenience will not improve and, again, we know this because of the experience of other states, including West Virginia and, again, Washington state.

It is regrettable that the Post-Gazette is relying on polling paid for by the Koch brothers, one of two of the largest contributors to the Commonwealth Foundation in recent years, to form the basis for your editorials.

You'd be wise to put aside your ideology and focus on facts.

JACK SHEA
President
Allegheny County Labor Council
Downtown


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