Issue One: Privatization
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Keep the LCB
The Post-Gazette's push to dismantle the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, jeopardizing 5,000 family-sustaining jobs, ignores the facts ("Last Call: Now Is the Time to End the State Liquor Monopoly," Jan. 23.)
Recent privatization proposals were rejected by lawmakers in both parties. They called for a drink tax, raised prices on popular wines and spirits or made Pennsylvania's wine tax the highest in the nation.
You overlook serious concerns raised by public health professionals dedicated to reducing irresponsible drinking. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends against further privatization of retail sales of alcohol.
You did toss a bone to PLCB employees, but you should know better than to believe that a $1,000 tax credit -- proposed in one bill last year -- would entice Walmart to hire a single person or pay a living wage.
Finally, privatization has failed because its advocates can't replace the more than $500 million a year that Pennsylvania's Wine and Spirit stores create for all taxpayers. Testimony in Harrisburg and experience in states that have privatized shows that prices go up, while selection, service and revenues go down.
Perhaps the Post-Gazette should wait to read legislation before offering its blind support.
WENDELL W. YOUNG, IV
The writer chairs the United Food and Commercial Workers of PA Wine and Spirits Council and is president of UFCW Local 1776.
As a senior, I have seen many things come and go. Our mills were closed, along with churches and hospitals. Clothes and merchandise labels that read "Made in the U.S.A." are now made in China or some other foreign country. Now Gov. Tom Corbett wants to turn over our Pennsylvania Lottery and state liquor stores. He is certainly not thinking of us. Keep these profit-making sources as money in our pockets. Where are Mr. Corbett's priorities?
House and Senate Democratic leaders are urging Attorney General Kathleen Kane to reject the contract proposed by the governor with a British-based company to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery because the contract allows keno, a video-terminal game. They said this usurps the authority of the Legislature.
Outrageous! What moral authority does state government have to be involved in gambling at all? We created government to do only those things that cannot be done individually in the private market. We did not create government to protect us from losing all our money gambling.
First Published January 27, 2013 12:00 am