To the Editor:
Having lived for years on the wrong end of The Inquirer's long-running support for dismantling the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), I was fascinated by your take on the Corbett administration's proposal to privatize PA's lottery (Privatize the lottery? No sure bet private manager would be better, April 6, 2012).
The Inquirer has endorsed every proposal to privatize our Wine and Spirits shops since William Penn parked his ship. It even endorsed Rep. Mike Turzai's scheme, although every reporter and independent expert who's taken the time to study the bill concludes that prices and taxes would increase for most popular brands.
When it comes to the lottery, however, The Inquirer counsels the governor to proceed with caution.
What gives? Could it be that the paper is eyeing the tens of millions of dollars it stands to earn in liquor ads should the Wine and Spirits stores be privatized?
Last year the stores generated record sales and record profits - more than $530 million in taxes and profits for all Pennsylvanians. The agency employs 5,000 Pennsylvanians and helps keep our communities safe. How can The Inquirer call the PLCB "troubled?" Sorry, this agency isn't broke.
After a lengthy, peer-reviewed study, experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommended against privatization of retail sale of alcohol due to increased risks to public health.
The PLCB is a valuable public asset and, no matter how many times The Inquirer jumps on board the privatization train, this isn't going to change.