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Should We Let Government Sell Us The Sickness And The Cure?

The PA Liquor Control Board has decided to play the very markets it regulates, selling it’s own brand of budget-wine they’ve labeled “Tableleaf”.  But do you trust the government to use your tax dollars for the “right” investments, with no consequences for failure? Are you alright with an agency with theoretically unlimited funding going up against the very private industries they regulate?

The wine is selling quite well, but I think that’s missing the point. The commonwealth foundation reported  that the LCB, while messing around in the private sector, is also spending your money on an ad campaign suggesting drinking is to blame for rape, and not rapists.

a recent Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board campaign sent just the opposite message to women across the state.  The PLCB launched an ad campaign and Web site called Control Tonight to warn of the dangers of binge drinking.  The ads show thin, bare legs on a bathroom floor, panties around the ankles, with the words, “She didn’t want to do it, but she couldn’t say no.”

At best, this ad campaign is in poor taste, but at worst, it tells girls that binge drinking, not rapists, is to blame for rape.  This is unacceptable.

An agency spokesperson says this campaign is “separate and distinct from LCB marketing and advertising efforts.”  But what is painfully obvious remains the egregious conflict of interest the PLCB operates under.  Not only does the PLCB spend taxpayer dollars for tone-deaf “dangers of drinking” ads, but this very same government entity designs and spends our money on advertising campaigns to encourage alcohol consumption.  In essence, they sell us the ailment and the solution, all on our dime.

The point is not whether the government can make it in the private sector. It’s whether or not they should. I mean, really? Selling the very thing you’re running ads against (and for)? This is the very thing that bothers me about the state-run lottery. They create the problem, and then they sell you the solution (or visa-versa).

And they’re usually bad at both.

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