Dear Editor:

I take issue with Union President Wendell Young's letter (Jan. 24) that says Rep. Jerry Knowles' call to privatize the state liquor stores is "silly and irresponsible."

According to the Commonwealth Foundation, the government-run agency ended its fiscal year with negative $9.8 million in net assets. And that doesn't count the millions of dollars that PA residents spend each year going across the border to our neighboring states, where the product is often cheaper, with better selection.

As a taxpayer, I'd be far better off if free-enterprise was the "seller." Besides, selling wine and spirits is not the business of government! Otherwise what's next? Government agencies selling cigarettes, cars, groceries and everything else? Costs then go up and efficiency goes down. Witness the Post Office or any bureaucracy.

Contrary to Mr. Young's assertion that 5,000 jobs would be lost, we'd gain a lot more, once the government got its hands out of my freedom to choose where to buy alcohol! We'd have hundreds more stores involved. What would be lost, however, is Mr. Young's six-figure union salary. Also lost would be the drain of money that goes across our border, with our jobs and tax revenue!

Sincerely,

Rev. Christopher R. J. Smith

741 Old Philly Pike

Kempton, PA 19529