Enough with the gadgets; Privatize liquor store system

One day the Legislature is approving changes in  beer packaging by allowing different configurations such as six packs and growlers at distributors.

In the next breath, the expansion of wine sales in grocery stores is being approved, including some locally.

These nips and tucks to the state’s system of selling alcohol come in such drips and drabs that it creates a crazy quilt of sales and purchasing policy in every hamlet of Pennsylvania.

The nips and tucks also mask the larger, practical, revenue-producing revision that should have happened long ago – sale of licenses to privatize liquor sales.

For the protectors of the state-run liquor store system, the tweaks are a concession to reality but camouflage against the better solution of licenses to private managers of liquor sales, a move that could generate millions in much-needed state revenue.

It also would improve consumer choice and pricing through the oldest form of successful economy – competition.

If all these little tweaks are possible, it should be clear that only politicized protectionism is preventing Pennsylvania from joining 48 other states in completely privatizing liquor sales.

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