Opponents of Private Liquor Sales Claim State Monopolies Serve Customers Better

Pennsylvania's governor and his allies say privatization would raise prices and reduce selection.


Office of the Governor

Last week Pennsylvania's  governor vetoed a bill that would have abolished the Keystone State's liquor monopoly, saying privatization would raise prices and reduce selection. In my latest Forbes column, I examine his twisted logic:

Growing up in Pennsylvania, I became accustomed to a system for distributing alcoholic beverages that struck people from most other states as bizarre. Beer could be purchased only from bars, restaurants, or, if you were willing to buy a case at a time, state-approved distributors. Wine and distilled spirits were available only from drab state-run outlets with inconvenient hours, limited options, indifferent service, and prices higher than those charged by private liquor stores in neighboring states. I was therefore surprised to read Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's explanation of his decision to veto a bill that would have privatized the liquor business in his state. According to Wolf, the current system is better for consumers.

Read the whole thing.