Thursday, July 9, 2009

2 More Ways the LCB Is Wasting Your Money

Attempting to be more "customer friendly", the hated Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is unveiling more ways to waste taxpayer money. (As if giving away lucrative customer service contracts based on nepotism wasn't enough.)

1) Mechanized wine "kiosks". In a day and age when cigarette machines have been declared illegal in more states than not, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control board is patting itself on the back for being the first state to introduce wine kiosks. Oh, they say, you just swipe your license in to prove your 21, and breathe to prove your not drunk. Except without an actual person selling you things (or some pretty state-of-the-art-expensive cameras), there's no way to prove that the person swiping is the same as the person breathing is the same as the person buying. For decades college students have found ways around underage drinking laws. Now, the state wants to hand them the biggest loophole ever. I'll admit I originally thought wine kiosks were a great idea, but now I realize that it was just I'd been living in Pennsylvania too long.

2) Boutique wine stores.
"That has been done for decades in small groceries in Italy and is now being duplicated in states such as California and New York, said Mr. Stapleton and Joe Conti, a former state senator who is LCB chief executive officer."
Back up. No, states have not run boutique liquor stores in Italy, nor do they run them in California or New York. The reason that boutique stores thrive is because of the creativity and devotion of their owners who travel the world looking for special wines and cultivate relationships with small vineyards. Instead, we have stores like Palate Partners that are attempting to give customers the boutique experience while being repeatedly slapped in the face by the liquor control board. If I want a boutique store, I'll go to a state that doesn't shackle wine-lovers.

If the PLCB really wants to please customers, it should give us rock-bottom prices or a wider variety of wines. Or how about letting normal stores sell wine??? Why can you buy a six-pack at a bar but not a bottle of wine?

1 comment:

Tom Y said...

You are absolutely right, there's no reason that the State should be in the business of selling alcohol. The state should only be doing what the private sector can't do.