Sunday, June 2, 2013

A detailed response to a comment opposing PLCB privatization

I received a comment on my post discussing some of the tactics of those who oppose PLCB.

I will not hide I am a PLCB employee an a ssistant manager.I do have an interest in the privatization.I do believe that we are about to be privatize a mistake we will live with some regret as PA home owners and tax payers.1st the governors own people have now come down from the oringinal figure of 2 billion over three years to now 800 milion over 3 years. Now where will the 1 billion dollar promised to education from the sale and other groups come from? PSEA saw through this vail promise and do not back privatization. Like I said I believe the governor is going to strong arm this through the senate. People on both sides of this issue need to remember on election day the people who are pushing this issue and vote out this anti union governor who also wishes to privatize PENNDOT, the welfare system,and other government programs,and has not done anything to save jobs in PA, proof GE moving to Texas,and the fact that we are no longer one of the friendliest states to industry to the worst for new industry. Let us remember this next election day. I know I will have plenty on time to see that Tom and his cronies should be ready to answer on election day. So folks we may disagree on should the LCB,PENNDOT,State lottery,and the wealfare system should be privatize or not just look on election day are we the people better off pre Corbetization or now. Remember and do not forget the anti PA governor who will have lots of backing from Walmart,CostCo, Rite Aid, and others that will continue to create low paying jobs without benefits. 

Because I think this comment is somewhat representative of some of the arguments made by those who oppose privatization, I thought I would respond.

1. I appreciate that you are honest about your employment, and I do sympathize with the position you're in.  It's not your fault that our state has this system.  You could be the world's greatest assistant manager and be doing everything you can to run your store well.  While I am for privatization, and I know in the long run that it won't cost jobs (see my oped), there will be short term pain by those who work for the PLCB.  

2. Let's be completely honest about PSEA's stance.  They don't want to lose union jobs.  That's it. View every argument they make in this context.  No union really advocates for what's best for the state/country - they want what's best for the union (or unions in general).  That's not criticizing them - that is their job.  Now let's get to those arguments ...

3. There won't be enough tax revenue from this.  I don't know how the final transactions will come down, but remember that if there is tax revenue, it is coming from Pennsylvania citizens.  If there is less revenue coming in, it means that Pennsylvanians are paying less.  Further, as Washington state showed, a scheme could be set up where tax revenue increases from privatization.  I really hope we don't do that - I hope that taxes would be such where they stay the same or decrease slightly, but it could easily increase.  Either way - remember that this money coming into the state coffers from state control of liquor is coming from Pennsylvanians, who are being financially punished (tax) by the current system.

4.  Governor has done nothing to save jobs in PA.  This is a bit off the topic of PLCB issues, but ...  I'll still respond. First, I'm not Corbett's biggest fan, by any means.  However, the top sector for creating jobs in the past four years has been ... fracking.  Who's been more supportive - Corbett or Democrats? Many would argue he has been too supportive.  In the long term, the best a lawmaker can really do to "create" jobs is to have good government policies and not screw things up.  (To see screwups, for example, look to Obamacare, federal tax rate uncertainty, uncertainty over targeting business on a national level.)  Corbett has done nothing to make Pennsylvania's business climate worse.

5.  People on both sides of this issue need to remember on election day the people who are pushing this issue.  This one seems obvious.  However, if people are able to buy a six pack of beer in a more convenient location (like their gas station/grocery store), I promise that anyone who dislikes Corbett will not want them to remember Corbett was "pushing this issue".  If people credit Corbett for making their lives a bit easier each week/month/whenever they buy beer/wine, Corbett might actually get reelected.

The government is inefficient when it runs the economy.  It doesn't work.  The state control of liquor is different other state controlled economies (like the former Soviet Union) only because it's just for one sector (alcohol).  Economic theory and experience shows us that state control is inefficient and our society will be much better off if government control is ended.

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