In the last week, I’ve had two wineries run ads that popped up for me on Facebook. Â Unfortunately, it’s another example of how government regulation leads to more waste in the economy. Â How is a Facebook ad an example of wasted money due to government intervention in the market? Â Stick with me here while I explain:
Victim 1: Elyse Winery
All wine sold in Pennsylvania is governed by bureaucrats at the PLCB. According to the law, we cannot even purchase it out-of-state and bring it back in. According to the PLCB’s website, there are exactly 3 bottles available to the entire state. Three freakin’ bottles for the entire state of Pennsylvania, and they are located about an hour from here. What are the chances I’m actually going to go try their product? I would have been open to trying a new wine if a liquor store near me carried it, or there were more than 3 bottles in the entire state. As it is, I just felt sorry for the winery owners who are wasting their precious cash advertising to Pennsylvania residents who can’t even buy their wines (unless they live near the store the bureaucrats have deemed “worthy” to carry the Elyse product).
Victim 2: Gracianna Winery
The bureaucrats at the PLCB have decided not to allow us taxpayers to sample any products made by Gracianna Winery. We cannot special order (at a minimum of 6 bottles, typically), nor can we find it for sale at any retail outlets.
Victim 3: Chambord Flavored Vodka
Black raspberry-flavored vodka sounds intriguing. I first heard about it via an advertisement on a SEPTA bus driving around this area. Unfortunately, none of state stores located near the bus route actually carry the product. Anyone driving behind it would need to travel to another town to actually purchase the product. What the hell is the use of advertising it if you can’t even buy it at any of the government-controlled stores near the bus route? It’s certainly a lot more waste for Chambord than the two winery ads.
We need state liquor/wine privatization now. I realize that these products aren’t likely to appear on the shelves of any stores that will open under a private system near me. However, with market forces, I can reward those private sellers who do carry an interesting variety of wines & liquors. I realize that technically I could special order more products through my local store, but since most of the state employees around here make it clear that you are unwelcome as a customer in their store, it’s not something I’m likely to try anytime soon. If a private store was run by a reasonably friendly staff, then I’d likely approach them with requests to try new products I see advertised. Then, those dollars wouldn’t be wasted.
In the meantime, the PLCB staffers have declared war on us. I look forward to even worse service and more obnoxious employees getting in the way of my attempts to buy wine & liquor. Fortunately, the GOP has indicated they will try to have a privatization bill passed in the House by Memorial Day. That will be something worth raising a glass to on the holiday weekend!