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6/25/01

STRAPPADO WRACK

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Government Sponsored Gambling

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Few examples of the moral decay within our society are as obvious as the Lotto mania. Not the activity of gambling, but the coercive monopoly that the State imposes upon the public. Is there anyone who would argue that wagering is a unique public function that only the government can be expected to conduct? Not exactly a matter of national security, is it? So what gives the government the claim to retain the exclusive rights to this activity?

Judging the morality of betting is not the issue. The oldest profession may predate this pastime, but that depends if the first John got lucky with his trick, or just paid while getting short changed. We all are indirectly involved in the risk management business. It may take many shapes and forms but very few among us are out of this loop.

If you have any monies invested, (what an oxymoron if there ever was one) you are walking into the big casino every day. When you get beyond the wheel of your car and venture onto the public roads in our major cities, you make some of the most daring wagers in your life. So what makes gambling so unique that the State should restrict the public from becoming mini entrepreneur's? Yes, we all know the funds go to education. All that 'for the children' again. But just look at the job those education departments are doing with the end results of their massive budgets!

Every government policy needs to be founded upon a sound public principle or it just becomes brute force imposed upon the citizen. The only organized crime syndicate at play here is the State legislature who created the bureaucracy that administers this slide of hand empire. The governors who sign these bills are the godfathers to these schemes and the female clerks that are tabbed to run the operations are the molls that are the hangers on looking for the crumbs. And who could absolve the lawyers who wrote the laws and plan the details who are the consigliere for the family.

Preventing Tony Sopranos from running numbers, while you promote power ball on the tub is like providing drinks to the voter at the polling booth. Let's just get real about this one! This is a fraud to common sense and an embarrassment to the public integrity. Since the license is the government tool used so often to control, why isn't there a lobby federation for the independent policy stakes professional? Of course we know the answer to be its all about the money. So let's start and be honest for once and deal with the very nature of raising government revenue.

Is it really necessary to create more departments and additional layers of bureaucracies, just to collect taxes? How inane that the public accept the scam that more state employees, with retirement and benefits, are necessary to skim a few dollars off the top yep, 'for them children'. Government is about control; period! The added beholding serfs that are under the command of the feudal lord, the greater the sway over the society.

Back in the era when the tithe and a portion of your crop to the crown was your greatest expenditure from your labor, the poorest of beggars retained a greater percentage of their earning. With the enormous bounty of material abundance today, people have fallen asleep at the switch, just because there is enough left over to pay the electric company and buy a Big Mac. But just look at the delusion that the buyer of lottery tickets put upon themselves. Remember this 'so called' disposable income comes out of after tax cash. Surely every citizen has an absolute right to make a fool out of themselves, but at what point is it acceptable, for society, to encourage an entire class of hooked losers to become state sanctioned habitual addicts?

Now add the preview of the Indian tribes to the mix and you have the makings of a real comedy of errors. Is it guilt that fosters the trend to approve tribal pleasure palaces or is it the avarice of the silent government partner that champions the Native American indoor hippodromes? Once the proud admirer of nature, our honored inhabitant of the chaste landscape has become drunk on the riches of a quick buck. The deer of the field has lost its place to the tax shelter and the deferred annuity. All as the government agent get his cut of the pioneer's wampum.

As we accept this Faustian bargain to satisfy our thrills to be entertained and dream of fantasies of the big score, we all lose another piece of our own dignity. At this point in the rush to wager, we have all created a monster that demands massive feeding. When governments; budget, on the speculations of the public, what would happen when the bettor taps out? Surely, we could not expect a downsizing of the agency? Wager if you must, but please limit your choice to the game that pays the State the smallest cut.

The predicament we are in resembles that which Michael Corleone was in when he said; "All my life I kept trying to go up in society. Where everything higher up was legal. But the higher I go, the crookeder it becomes. Where the hell does it end?" It is about time that you accept that the buck stops with the State; the biggest crook of them all . . .

SARTRE - June 25, 2001

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