Sunday, December 07, 2008

They must be drunk ...

So, as many of you know, I live in the Philadelphia area - kind of a nice location - near the Poconos, the shore, New York, DC, Atlantic City ... kind of a cool central location. However, living in Pennsylvania has its head-scratching moments as well. One "issue" or "law" in general really confounds me (yeah, I used the word "confound").

PA has a state run wine and spirits system - which basically means that no other store or company in Pennsylvania is allowed to sell wine or liquor. This state-runned lunacy means that wine and liquor prices are not really competitive with other states that allow private companies to sell alcohol. So, why should I care about this?

Outside of the fact that most state-run organizations are run poorly (and in the case of these wine and liquor stores, very poorly), there's another issue. Because I live so close to Delaware and New Jersey, it is very easy for me to drive 20 minutes and stock up on much cheaper wine and liqour ... sounds good, right? Unfortunately, the numbskulls in PA "don't allow PA residents to purchase alcohol legally in other states." Now, people certainly do this - I do. But, PA police officers have the right to pull you over and fine you for buying liqour in another state. It's mind-boggling. They usually don't do this, and if you are a PA resident, drive a little deeper into Delaware instead of purchasing alcohol at the border, and you should be fine. But just the fact that this is a law is ridiculous.

On top of this, you are not allowed to "import" wine or liqour to your house. What do I mean by this? Last year, we went to Napa Valley in California on a wine tour. We found a few wineries we really enjoyed. These wineries ship their wine directly to your house in almost every state ... except for 1 ... yep, you guessed it. PA won't allow this, because they are afraid that it would take money away from their awful state-run wine and spirit monopoly. These wineries have to go into special agreements with PA to be able to sell their wine in said wine and spirits stores. What kind of collusion is this? How is this still allowed?

PA is pretty bass-ackwards about quite a few things, probably thanks to the strong "Quaker" influence. Hopefully someday this will change ...


Jeff said...

Competition = Competance.

At least we can go to DE. My father, who lives 2.5 hrs from any state border, has no choices.

It won't change. State store employees are unionized, and no PA elected official dare cross any union, ever.

Gov't thuggery isn't exactly new. When I lived in NY, then-Gov. Mario Cuomo sent the state police to shopping malls in NJ, PA, and CT to record NY license plates.

The Rev said...

And they have much better wine choices in DE too.

I found some of the Napa Valley wine I had on my trip at Total Wine in Claymont.

PA does royally suck.

El Padrino said...




Sandi said...

Holy Shit! I never knew this. I knew you had to go to a state store in PA and all that, but I had no idea you couldn't just buy alcohol in NJ and bring it to PA? What if you live in NJ and are attending a party in PA and bringing a bottle of wine as a hostess gift. Can you do that?

Anything run by the gov't is f-cked up.

Heff said...

Dude - that's insane. One of the craziest things I've ever heard.

Rainman said...

We did a white water raft trip like 3 summers in a row with a huge group of drunks. We would stock up on massive amounts of alcohol on the way through Ohio every year. Canada is the same way as PA except their beer is much better tasting so its worth the trip. For me its about 2 miles to the border.

So looks like we are both boot leggers!