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    With proposed sale of state liquor stores, do consumer interests outweigh worker interests?

    There has been a lot of discussion on NewsWorks about the proposal to privatize Pennsylvania’s wine and spirits stores. What is your best argument for or against privatization?

    There has been a lot of discussion on NewsWorks about the proposal to privatize Pennsylvania’s wine and spirits stores. Share with other readers in the comments below your best argument for or against privatization.

    Most Pennsylvanians like the idea of selling liquor stores. There is the shot in the arm to the state budget to consider, but also people tend to think privatization will increase selection and availability, and lower prices.

    However, after reading a report ordered by Gov. Corbett to analyze the question, Dave Davies offers a case for leaving the state stores alone—at least with the plan currently under consideration. First, only a limited number of licenses would be auctioned to the highest-bidding retailers, and we’d be stuck with a similar monopoly situation. Second, selling off state stores would eliminate 3,200 state jobs. New private sector jobs would replace them, but they’d almost certainly pay less and come with fewer benefits.

    The authors of Corbett’s study suggest that consumer interests like more stores and lower prices might be better served with a less limited licensing approach. Take a look at the report and tell us what you think.

    Does the proposed cost of liquor licenses unfairly disadvantage small businesses?

    There are also some philosophical questions at play here. Should benefits to consumers come at the expense of workers?

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