On PennLive.com, Wendell W. Young IV writes, "Despite the rhetoric from the privateers, and their media champions, consumers enjoy competitive pricing and a selection of wine and spirits that rivals any private retailer out there."

By Wendell Young IV

Is it time for PennLive to perhaps take a different tack on the long-running battle over dismantling the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) by, perhaps giving it a rest already (Editorial: Lawmakers need to go back and include liquor in 'liquor reform,' Oct. 19, 2016)?

The fact is that the PLCB generates significant revenues for every taxpayer and it provides 5,000 jobs for Pennsylvanians, including 3,500 men and women I am proud to represent who work in the wine and spirits shops. 

The PLCB last year generated more than $584 million in taxes, profits and other transfers to taxpayers.

Despite the rhetoric from the privateers, and their media champions, consumers enjoy competitive pricing and a selection of wine and spirits that rivals any private retailer out there. 

Lawmakers have already done enough damage to this valuable asset by passing a law to allow more than 10,000 private retail establishments to sell wine to go. We opposed this law, Act 39, will cost taxpayers millions in lost revenue.

These new licensees will not match the selection or the prices now available. These establishments will not hire any new staff and there will be no tidal wave of new jobs as some have promised.

Lawmakers should focus their energies on improving this asset and not rush into dangerous changes more than they already have.

Wendell Young IV is president of Local 1776 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents Pennsylvania state liquor store employees.

Read the oped on PennLive.com

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Albert Brooks
  October 25, 2016 8:07am

Wendell needs to get out more. Hard to stand in a Super Buy Rite that stocks more than the entire state carries and say that the state system rivals any private one. Or go to the Philly Whiskey Fest that has 156 whiskeys while smaller San Francisco has almost 400. Maybe you should back off and let the state move into this century.