If Pennsylvania’s anti-competitive regulations are any good at preventing alcohol abuse, how come states with more competitive retailing like New Jersey, New York, and Maryland all have lower rates of alcohol-attributable deaths?
The answer, of course, is that anti-competitive regulations are optimized to prevent competition between retailers. They are not optimized to reduce public health harms. These approaches are not substitutable. They don’t do the the same thing at all.
If we really cared about this problem, we would have very different public policies, like minimum drink pricing, advertising bans, and a statewide “Do Not Serve” list for people who have multiple alcohol-related arrests. Advertising remains the most important issue for problem drinkers, but our state regulator is inexplicably in the advertising business. Why does a monopoly advertise, anyway?