Posts Filed Under PLCB

How to Solve PA’s $3.2B Budget Deficit – with Wine

Vinted on July 6, 2009 binned in pennsylvania, PLCB, wine shipping

There is, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a time-honored and long-standing tradition that takes place every year.

I’m not talking about the February 2nd ritual of watching expectantly to see if Punxsutawney Phil will glimpse his own shadow, heralding six additional weeks of Winter.

I’m not talking about the amazing July 4th event that takes place in downtown Philadelphia, drawing nearly one million people together to celebrate PA’s unique place and status in the history of the United States’ liberty-based government.

No, I’m talking about the annual Harrisburg tradition that comes around every Summer, in which the PA state senate and governor fail to pass a budget in time for the next fiscal year. PA governor Ed Rendell has the dubious distinction of being seemingly incapable of herding PA’s senate into signing any budget into law before the state teeters on the verge of government program funding meltdown.

To put it kindly, the PA state budget is in a state of total crisis.  The Commonwealth now faces a budget shortfall of $3.2 billion, or roughly the GDP of Mauritania. That kind of deficit is basically a guarantee of missing end of fiscal year targets, since it’s unlikely that any Senate would be happy with the level of cuts needed to reign in such a monstrous shortfall.  This situation has the ability to self-perpetuate: When the state budget is not positioned well to weather a poor economy, the budget deficit grows; it becomes harder and harder to pass a budget due to the pressures of cutting programs that will piss of the state Senate’s constituents; the next year’s budget is then passed late due to the in-fighting, and thus faces more pressures and a potentially greater deficit, which means the budget is poorly positioned for the next economic storm… and the cycle starts all over again.  Which is more-or-less what’s been happening in Harrisburg.

And yet, the PA state government is sitting on a goldmine that could – relatively quickly – halve that deficit.  It simply lacks the courage and will to act on it.

The goldmine?  Wine…

Read the rest of this stuff »

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Pennsylvania Repeals Prohibition!

Vinted on April 1, 2009 binned in best of, Inebriated Press, pennsylvania, PLCB

Associated Grape Press (ha-ha… get it?)

In a stunning and bizarre turn of events today, Pennsylvania has repealed Prohibition, thus ending years of tyrannical and strict governance over the sale and distribution of alcohol within the Commonwealth.

Upon reports of the repeal, elated Pennsylvanians stormed the Harrisburg, PA offices of the state-run monopoly Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), dismantling the building and retaining small pieces of its edifice to keep as mementos of the historic occasion.  A confused and inebriated State Governor Ed Rendell, believing the events to be related to an Eagles football pep rally, attempted to lead the crowd in a rendition of Eagles fight song “Fly Eagles Fly” before vomiting on himself, and then passing out.

At the state borders, heart-rending and tearful reunions between state residents and their beloved bottles of previously unavailable wine took place, as both were finally free to legally cross state lines without fear of incarceration or retribution.

The repeal was the result of a strange cascade of events in which the increasingly complicated rules and laws protecting the PLCB imploded in on themselves.

As former PLCB CEO Joe Conti explained, “Well, we thought that we’d try to continue our balladromic move towards making the PLCB and the state of Pennsylvania a Communist institution.  To that end, we realized that the PLCB actually belonged to the People of the Commonwealth, so naturally we turned control of the PLCB over to the People, in order to completely fulfill the Communist manifesto.  Quite simle, really.”

Once the Commonwealth’s citizens were informed that they now controlled the PLCB, they promptly disbanded the institution, thus ending nearly 90 years of monopolized alcohol control in the state.

When asked what he would do now that the PLCB had been disbanded, former CEO Conti replied, “Well, I guess I’ll have a drink.  There’s a sweet Oregon Pinot I’ve been dying to try, but until now the PLCB laws had made it too expensive for them to sell here…”

Govenor Ed Rendell was understandably unavailable for comment…

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I Hate The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Vinted on March 12, 2009 binned in commentary, PLCB

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An Abolitionist Movement: Down With Wine Monopolies!

Vinted on July 29, 2008 binned in commentary, pennsylvania, PLCB, wine shipping


As many of you already know, I am no friend of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

I suppose that is putting it a bit mildly, since I’ve likened their unconcstitutional state-run wine monopoly to Communism, publicly ridiculed the 40%+ premium that they add to state wine prices (while at the same time limiting selection, reducing service quality, and boating some of the worst storage conditions in the country), and accused them of engaging in fear-mongering and sycophantic lobbying to protect their monopoly position.

But who’s bitter? Me?!? I’m not bitter!!! Who you callin’ a PSYCHO!??!!!

Anyway, the good news is that I no longer have to utilize previous 1WineDude.com real estate to fight the good fight against the PLCB. I’ve found a blog dedicated to that purpose, and I’d argue that its author (Lew Bryson) does a better job of it than I’d ever do!

I give you noplcb.blogspot.com, a.k.a. “Why The PLCB Should Be Abolished“!

For PA wine lovers, this blog will be hilariously funny in the same “cuts-so-close to reality that it kinda makes you wanna cry” way that Dilbert is hilariously funny for cubicle workers…

While I will probably defer to Lew on all matters PLCB from now on, I should note that I’m not an advocate for abolishing the PLCB – or any state-run liqour monopoly, for that matter. I simply want those monopolies to adhere to the decisions of their state and federal constitutions, and to ammend existing laws to permit competition with those monopolies.

Let them have their fair shot in the real world, and not in the ‘fake’ marketplace set up under the protection of state governments. Personally, I don’t think their business plans stand a snowball’s chance in hell, but let’s leave that to the open market to decide – and not the lobbyists.

When you’re talking about a monopoly that brings billions of dollars to those states, it’s a Sisyphusian struggle to be sure, and I’m sure that some of my rants about this topic sound downright naive.

But… the way that these state wine monopolies run is appalling; the message it sends is that the government will protect businesses from having to adhere to the Constitution, so long as those businesses make enough revenue for the state.

And that’s just not the kind of world in which I want my daughter to grow up.

Cheers!


 

 

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