To the editor: Currently, there are approximately 4,500 people being employed through the state as liquor store employees, each having a family-sustaining job with benefits.

The fact that these employees have to lose their jobs over the ideological notion that government shouldn't be in the business is not only sheer madness but complete absurdity, especially at a time when the unemployment rate in the state is higher than what the national rate is. And all for what? To get beer at Turkey Hill? For Walmart to have a liquor aisle?

Even the local state representative who has a restaurant and liquor license would benefit greatly from this bill being passed, while the closure of the liquor stores would not only greatly affect the communities in which they reside, but it would also affect residents statewide with a devastating $530 million-plus blow that the state's general fund would suffer each year.

Meanwhile, the ones who are supposed to be greatly excited about this (the beer distributors) believe they are being forced into something they don't really want. Not to mention, there is the added pressure of paying off within four years the "low-interest loans" that the state would offer the distributors in order to take on such a task. Funny how the state government could come up with the cash and allow such a thing, yet refuse the same offer to flood victims two years ago.

The House of Representatives is all for dumping the current system, while the senators are all for improving the system that already exists. It truly goes to show what a difference a position makes.

Pete Madison

Kulpmont