Huffington Post: Opinion: Robert Reich: Turning America Into a Giant Casino
If you believe in things like individual liberty, freedom of choice and even property rights, that people not only own their material property, but themselves as well their lives and how they live their lives, then you shouldn’t have a problem with organized gambling at least as far allowing individuals to make the decision whether or not to gamble their money on their own or not.
Now if you don’t believe in things like personal liberty and freedom of choice, that people are generally stupid and can’t be trusted to make their own decision especially with their own money, then you sure as hell will have a huge problem with legalized organized gambling. And perhaps are in favor of setting up some federal agency of babysitters that will decide what we can and can’t do with our own earned money that we get paid working for a living.
But again if you believe in personal liberty and believe that individuals should be able to make the personal decision of whether or not to gamble or not, you believe it should be legal. Whether you personally believe in gambling or not. But that you don’t believe people should be arrested or prosecuted, because of what they did with their money. As long as they are not hurting others with what they are spending their money on.
Big winners when it comes to organized gambling, are of course the casinos. They wouldn’t be in business otherwise, I mean seriously who goes in business to lose money. I’ll tell you who, the people who go bankrupt and out of business as fast as a fat person cleans their plate at an all you can eat buffet. And perhaps are so stupid that they weren’t even aware that they went into business to lose money.
Just like the big winner in the War on Drugs are drug dealers. Just because people make a lot of money running a business, doesn’t mean that’s bad. Something that today’s so-called Progressives perhaps including Robert Reich doesn’t seem to understand and believe anyone who profits off of services that they provide for the public are somehow immoral or something. And just because you make things illegal, doesn’t mean it goes away.
Again take the War on Drugs and I would add prostitution, the oldest profession in the world legal or otherwise to use as examples. Organize gambling should be treated like any other business. Subjected to regulation and taxation, to make it as safe as possible. Instead of Uncle Sam putting his big fat foot on the ground, assuming he can get it out of his mouth and saying, “no! You can’t do that and if you do it, we’ll arrest you for your own good”. Again similar to the War on Drugs.
Big Government Progressives and Neoconservatives have this notion that government has to be strong, in order to protect the people from themselves. And that certain things that they don’t like have to be illegal. To protect us, so we don’t make bad decisions with our own money and lives.
A couple problems with that, both of them are practical. One they don’t seem to realize that these activities are going to go on regardless of whether they are legal or not. The other being that they don’t tend to be very good at spending other people’s money. As Libertarian Professor Milton Friedman argued and make mistakes on their own. The Progressive War on Gambling, is similar to the Progressive War on Corporate America. That if these activities are legal, then certain people will make a lot of money.
Again if you’re going to live in a liberal democracy, then you need to be able to admit some facts. That you’re going to live with a lot of people who are different from you. And who look at life and live life different from you. And for us to survive as a liberal democracy, with individual liberty, we need to accept these facts, to be able to live with each other as best as we can. Not try to force our values onto others and try to play Uncle Sam for the whole country and Uncle Sam knows best. Because a lot of times he simply doesn’t.