Friday, February 04, 2005

Know When To Fold 'Em, Know When to Run

Gambling is fun. The president is gambling with social security. The Mayor is gambling on his convention center plan (and on the protection of the ghost of the Machine). The Governor? He's The Gambler! He's got a new plan to fix the state's problems (e.g over $45 billion in debt). The proposal is to pay some Wisconsin Indian tribes for land in Sullivan county so we can open more casinos. Turns out the state could get roughly $1 billion a year from the deal. Of course that would be $1 billion in money that people in NY state lost. Is this part of the new ownership society that will save us all? The weird part of his proposal is that there is $10 million that will be set aside for "compulsive gambling". I'm not sure that will be enough. We've got a lot of politicians here. And they like to live really well. They will burn through $10 million pretty quickly. Consider this:

The average compulsive gambler has debts exceeding $80,000 (Dallas Morning News, 1/4/84)

Pataki's exceed $45 billion!

Crime rates in casino communities are 84% higher than the national average. (U.S. News & World Report, 1/15/96)

"Gaming corrupts our dispositions, and teaches us a habit of hostility against all mankind."Thomas Jefferson

And I'm thinking of breaking this one out at the Pataki prayer Breakfast this year.

"But ye who have forsaken the Eternal, ye who ignore his sacred hill, spreading tables to Good Luck, pouring libations to Fate, I make the sword your fate."
Isaiah 65:11