Gov. Gifford Pinchot — who was a visionary in other respects — disagreed with Prohibition’s repeal in 1933. He devised a system making it difficult to buy alcoholic beverages, and the commonwealth has had a long, torturous journey toward consumer choice that characterizes the rest of the market economy.

Most Pennsylvanians affected by the state’s absurd booze rules are consumers, but the byzantine system is even harder on businesses. The state government itself is the monopoly wholesaler and principal retailer for wine and spirits and, like any monopoly, doesn’t much care about customer service. Retailers can’t take their business elsewhere.

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