Wine Kiosks Closed: The First Shot?

Wine Vending MachinesSo, the Liquor Control Board has “temporarily” closed its grocery store wine kiosks, which exist as something of a loophole in Pennsylvania weird commonwealth Quaker laws. And they’ve done so in the shadow of Tom Corbett’s administration quickly eclipsing what hope they had left of keeping liquor stores closed on Sundays, not past a certain time, and allowing beer distributors to control the market (we want our 12-packs and we want to buy them at 24-hour Wawas!)

The official explanation for shutting down the New World Order’s most diabolically drunk-with-power attempt to keep your breath/photo on file for their murderous Endgame: Technical problems. Specifically, the wine dispensaries failed to, um, dispense wine. Ha! – a million times over. (For many reasons.)

Pennsylvania has had a monopoly on libations for the past 80 years and many-a-governor before our future hateful ruler have attempted to rip the Banker’s Club bucks away from the LCB. In spite of all the arguments in favor of privatization – the biggest has to do with the state budget, which is on a Hindenbergian course for 2011 – a Daily News article from just before the long weekend gave us a few worries.

Liquor stores make money for taxpayers . . . every year. The current system may not be perfect, but it’s a money-maker for the state. The LCB generates about $466 million in revenue annually; about $90 million is profit, the rest is sales tax. Right now, sales tax on liquor gets collected at a rate of 100 percent, which would be hard to achieve in a privatized system. The $90 million in profit would disappear entirely. Supporters of privatization argue that most of it would be replaced by license-renewal fees and increased liquor sales, but that’s far from certain. Any privatization plan would need to account for this loss of recurring revenue, not just the big upfront payment generated by the initial sale.

[…]

Privatizing would also throw 2,200 employees out of a job. The pay for this work isn’t lavish (the average salary of a clerk is $29,000, of a supervisor, $45,000), but state employment does provide health care and a small pension. Turzai has proposed offering tax credits to stores that hire former LCB employees – whose average age is 48 – but it’s unlikely private jobs would offer the kind of middle-class benefits they have now.

As is, State Auditor Jack Wagner plans a “special performance audit” of the wine kiosks because “the holiday shopping season has left customers high and dry, and we want to know why,” Wagner, poet-though-doesn’t-know-it, told the Inky.  Governor Ed Rendell’s pals currently own the wine kiosks and can’t be happy that their boy is leaving office to be the “moderate” voice on liberal news entertainment cable junk, MSNBC, maybe.

This could be the first step toward a low level of government backlash against the privatization of liquor stores, which would, again, stop this relatively popular process from going forward.

One Response to “ Wine Kiosks Closed: The First Shot? ”

  1. Part of the problem is that, as the writer said, or implied, most people use the technology to simulate an earlier one.The thinking is still in the last century, or even before that. Arthur C. Clarke; Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Similarly, what seems to be a nonsensical proposition today, could be ordinary practice in the future. If you could go back to say 1510 and show people a working laptop, you would be most likely burned at the stake for Satanism. Our understanding has progressed, but progression is perhaps not as fast as we would like it to be. The fact of the matter is that the foundations are being laid, right now, for a world that we, in turn would not recognise, were we to live to see it.If there is one single error I see in the use of computers today, it is where people apply old, paper, or manual techniques along with new ones. Use either, not both you are not doubling the workload, you are squaring it, otherwise..Computers cant help? Computers are tools, if people dont know how to use them correctly, there is no point blaming the tool. Large, complex problems will need powerful tools AND skilled users to solve them.And as for the Luddites? Let them be whatever they want to be; Chance favours the prepared mind. [Pasteur] They can discover what that means in relation to computing later on..

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