Facts say state liquor store system is no safety net

One of the arguments of naysayers to liquor privatization in Pennsylvania is that state control of the system creates a safety net against alcohol-related dangers and addiction.

The facts don’t support that argument.

According to an independent study commission by the Center for Disease Control, Pennsylvania ranks higher than five of six bordering states and is near the national average in alcohol-attributable deaths per 1,000 residents.

The commonwealth has more alcohol-related traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents than four of six bordering states and ranks slightly higher than the national average.

Pennsylvania ranks higher than five of six bordering states in the percentage of traffic fatalities related to alcohol-related, at 33 percent slightly higher than the national average.

Mothers Against Drunken Driving ranks Pennsylvania 35th in DUI safety, worse than all bordering states but Delaware.

A survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ranks Pennsylvania higher than the national average in underage drinking, binge drinking, and underage binge drinking.

What’s more, according to the same survey data, only 5 percent of those participating in underage drinking are getting their alcohol from liquor stores.

They are, it turns out, getting the alcohol from someone else.

Count this as yet another instance of privatization opponents throwing out generalizations that aren’t supported by facts.

When the big government apologists get desperate to protect a fiefdom, they roll out the scare card.

There’s no reason to accept the Chicken Little agenda when the facts don’t support it.