The free market system works for American retail establishments. Consumers let companies know what they want when making their purchases.
Business stay open or close based on their abilities to make a profit.
Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner said on Wednesday that he could not support proposed legislation to privatize the state's liquor stores.
Wagner testified before the House Liquor Control Committee that the Department of the Auditor General's analysis concluded that privatization would lead to higher prices on many wine and spirits. Privatization would fall short of collecting the $470 million that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board transfers to the state's general fund every year.
Last month, Gov. Tom Corbett released the study conducted by Public Financial Management Inc. Based on its analysis, PFM recommended that a privatized system would afford the state the best opportunity to improve on the current system as well as provide the best financial benefits for citizens.
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny County, disagrees with Wagner. Turzai has proposed creating retail and wholesale liquor licenses and auctioning them to the highest bidders.
"The PFM study reinforces what the vast majority of Pennsylvanians already know to be true — government should not be in the business of selling alcohol," Turzai said in a written statement.
The study states that the state could reap between $1 billion and $2 billion by auctioning licenses.
"Under the current system and leadership, the PLCB is very successful at growing expenses much faster than taking in revenues," Turzai said.
Turzai is right. It's easier for a private company to make changes to stay profitable and meet the varying needs of its customer base.
House Bill 11, which Turzai introduced, will privatize wine and liquor sales and strengthen enforcement of liquor laws. Should the committee approve the bill, the House has nine voting session days in December to consider it before recessing until Jan. 17. Currently only two states, Pennsylvania and Utah, have complete control over wholesale and retail operations.
It's time to sell the stores to private entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania.