Letter to the editor | Rethink privatization

September 19, 2013 

The liquor privatization that went into effect last year in the state of Washington is a recent example of the failure of privatization in other states.

Despite the promises of cheaper prices and increased selection, the opposite has occurred.

Reports on Washington’s privatization show that consumers are paying much more at private retailers for many types of wine and liquor.

According to media reports, residents are crossing the borders to neighboring states with state-run liquor stores for cheaper prices.

In Washington, selection has diminished.

In Pennsylvania, the average state liquor store stocks more than 2,500 items. And the specialty stores stock 4,000 to 5000 items.

Small, independently owned liquor stores in Washington are forced to compete in a market dominated by corporate-owned stores and retailers such as Costco. I expect the same corporations will dominate the market in Pennsylvania under a privatized system, with similar results.

Washington consumers were promised more and expected better under privatization.

The more people learn about privatization, it seems, the less they like it.

I hope Pennsylvanians will not accept the same empty promises and similar results.

Paul Croak


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