Saturday, July 10, 2010
A Rant Against Beaurocracy in the American Wine Industry
Have been away for a break. It's good for every writer / wine advocate / person to take some time away from their passionate discipline. Refreshed and encouraged by the rain that we have needed, I find myself perplexed and somewhat enraged over recent government actions towards wine commerce in the U.S.
First there is this business with HR5034 and wholesalers attempt to re-write the U.S. Constitution to benefit their monopolies. Now the PA PLCB has introduced kiosks that sell wine in grocery stores. OK why don't these people "get it"? It is a tough economy and what little pleasure we can afford is being taxed and controlled to keep us safe? more like controlled.
In an article this week in the Orlando Sentinel, free market wine shops nation wide are slashing prices, offering coupons, becoming more accessible, offering classes, doing what it takes to encourage commerce. Independent producers as well are texting, facebooking, tweeting about specials, discounts, events all tied towards benefiting customers to encourage commerce.
BUT in Pennsylvania, the answer by political bureaucrats that are paid by taxes, is to raise taxes to get a pay raise? which in a bad economy is doing nothing but chasing commerce towards the open markets of New York, Delaware and New Jersey.
The PLCB introduced Kiosks that automatically dispense wine after scanning your drivers license and your breath, (because the government doesn't trust you to be sober). If this works then the next step is to add a $1 convenience fee to the already 30% to 50% higher bottle prices of "their" selection of wine in the machine. There are no wine stewards to discuss the wines, help with selection or offer food pairings so if these "Sentinels of fascism" grow, PLCB clerk jobs and possibly entire locations will be eliminated.
Let's see, machines and taxes to replace people and jobs to make the state more money and control the freedom of selection and competition.
What are they not getting? These things will chase me and an entire host of PA consumers to NY, NJ, and DE for our liquor supplies. We will gladly spend millions outside our commonwealth in deference to higher taxes, smaller selection and high market prices. This reaction will lead to more lay-offs, raising of prices and an anti-commerce posturing if left unchecked.
In a bad economy consumers shop price and availability. If you raise prices and lower selection then you chase away customers. Business 101 teaches this. Still our law makers are not stirred by these fundamental rules of trade because they are paid by the taxes we generate.
PA! If you want change, greater selection, lower taxes and a free form of commerce which will supply more jobs, increased industry, and prosperity then YOU will have to support a candidate that will change the system. You have to remove the Harrisburg politicians that are hurting our commerce and making us a laughing stock in a country that understands socialism doesn't work as well as a free market society.
OR keep spending your money in another state that "gets it".
Posted by George Parkinson at 8:20 AM