New Prohibitionists: CDC moves to block liquor store privatization in Pennsylvania

The Weekly Standard reports:

But as the state’s liquor privatization plan continued to wend its way through the legislature, a powerful and well-funded opponent emerged earlier this year—the federal Centers for Disease Control. The fact that federal tax dollars are being used to lobby for state regulations is problematic to begin with. Even more troubling is that the CDC’s public health warnings about privatizing liquor sales are knowingly based on junk science. The agency is also underwriting the forces of neo-prohibitionism by doling out grants from a $12.5 billion slush fund created by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

In April, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a story with the headline, “If Pennsylvania privatizes alcohol, will drinking increase?” The article reported on “strong evidence” from the CDC’s Community Preventive Services Task Force—described as “an independent group appointed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”—that privatization of liquor sales would cause consumption to skyrocket.

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7 responses to “New Prohibitionists: CDC moves to block liquor store privatization in Pennsylvania

  1. Coach Springer

    They’d be wise to worry about federal publicization of medicine causing increased prescription drug abuse, not state privatization of alcohol.

    Also, someone please explain Pennsylvania privatization to me. I’m from Illinois where it’s privatized and I am too drunk day and night to figure it out. Every democrat voted against it? Sounds more like control issues to me. Government control issues.

    • Same here in SC; liquor stores (Red Dots, as they are called) have been private for the over 50 years I’ve paid attention.

  2. It’s possible that privatizing liquor sales will increase consumption of liquor. In most cases, though, I think it would increase at the low end — my end, in fact, since I might have a four-pack of Bartles & Jaymes every six weeks instead of every six months, or try to make mulled wine again (it turned out badly on the first try). Serious alcohol abusers will buy and misuse liquor from state or private sources. The likely health affects of privatization vs state liquor sales are probably nil.
    Let me add that I am perfectly happy that people can buy and use liquor as they choose. There are just very few kinds I like to use myself.

  3. It is not a surprise that the federal government would try to protect a state government monopoly. And with this administration, using federal funds illegally is par for the course.
    The surprise is that they haven’t gone into the states which have private sellers and try to get a government monopoly in all 50 states.

  4. The point of blocking privatization is that state Democrats will a) lose union members to help their reelections and b) lose all of those nice patronage jobs for loyal followers. The recurring theme here has been that the state will lose revenue, drinking will increase, etc. They never take into consideration the overhead for all of those workers. And people in Philadelphia skirt the law by going to NJ and DE for liquor – cheaper in both states.

  5. The majority of Americans learned from Prohibition that people *will* drink alcohol, legal or not, public or private. That will not stop the ‘social engineer’s who believe that, because they think they know what is best for everybody, that everybody else agrees with them, or because they think that what they believe is best for everbody else actually *IS* the best for anybody else.

  6. No $$ for White House tours or 4th of July celebrations but lots of $$ to lobby state governments? I’ve lived in two states that are in the retail liquor business (NC and VA) and two states that weren’t (LA and MI). I doubt that any problems with over consumptions of alcohol are all that different. I have no data for that or the observation that alcohol consumption in New Orleans was probably higher than any other place I’ve lived, but likely that’s just New Orleans. What the heck is the CDC doing meddling in whether PA wants to be in the liquor business or, more properly, hand it over to private enterprise?

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