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In Good Conscience

AG candidate Maura Healey thinks Massachusetts should ditch its casino law.

Comments (15)
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Like a number of political figures in the state, Maura Healey acknowledges that she wouldn’t want to see a casino built in her neighborhood in Charlestown.

But unlike most of her fellow candidates for state office, she opposes a casino’s being built anywhere in Massachusetts.

Last week, Healey, a Democratic candidate for attorney general, announced via an op-ed on the political website BlueMassGroup that she supports repealing the 2011 law that legalized casinos in the commonwealth. “I oppose casinos because I believe they hurt people and they hurt communities, and they don’t yield what they purport to promise in terms of economic gains, in terms of families and communities,” she said in an interview with the Advocate.

“We’ve seen the impact on communities that have welcomed in casinos. We’ve seen the lost jobs, the lost homes, the lost livelihoods, bankruptcies, foreclosures, addictions, crime,” Healey said. “As somebody who has stood up against these issues, I think it’s important to stand up to them here.”

 

Healey comes to the AG’s race after six years working in that office, including time as head of its Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau. “I spent many years in the Attorney General’s Office fighting for people who were disempowered, who were vulnerable, who could be taken advantage of. … I fought off predatory lenders, unfair debt collection, foreclosures,” she said. And those are the very sorts of problems (along with gambling addiction and public safety woes) that experience in other states shows increase with casino development, she said.

“I can’t in good conscience support gambling here in the state as a way out, a way to economic opportunity,” she said. “The casino industry business model is based on profits over people, on taking advantage of those who can least afford it.”

Healey said she’s sympathetic to the argument that casinos would bring much-needed jobs to Massachusetts, particularly in hard-hit cities like Springfield, where voters last year approved a proposed MGM casino. But there are better, more innovative ways to create jobs and boost the economy, like building on existing industries such a technology and healthcare and investing in infrastructure, she said: “Gambling just isn’t the way out.”

As for people who say efforts to overturn the law come too late, Healey said, “I don’t come at this believing that it’s all a done deal. … We’re still at a point where the people can make a decision.”

 

In point of fact, it remains to be seen whether the people of Massachusetts will be able to make that decision. While casino opponents have worked to get a casino-repeal ballot initiative before voters this November, that effort was halted last fall when incumbent Attorney General Martha Coakley—Healey’s former boss and now a candidate for governor—ruled the question unconstitutional (“Do You Want Casinos?” Oct. 8, 2013, www.valleyadvocate.com). The repeal backers have appealed that decision; the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court is due to take up the case this spring.

That matter, Healey said, “will be up to the court to decide.”

For her part, she continued, “I wanted to be out front on this issue, because whether gambling comes into the state or not, the attorney general will have a big role. … A core part of your job is to protect consumers [from] predatory practices.” If she’s elected, Healey said, that work would start with putting together a strong state Gaming Division focused on “mak[ing] sure that we are taking actions to protect against predatory lending, loan sharking, unfair debt collection, that we’re fighting gambling addiction and organized crime.”

Healey’s rival for the Democratic nomination for AG, former state senator Warren Tolman, does not support repealing the casino law. In a statement sent by his campaign to the Advocate, Tolman noted that the fate of the proposed ballot question will be determined by the SJC, not the next attorney general.

“But if it is on the ballot I will vote against repeal,” Tolman said. “I support the Legislature’s decision to allow individual towns and cities like Springfield and Plainville to decide if they want a casino in their back yard. The people in these communities want the jobs and economic development that will be created.

“If casinos go forward in Massachusetts, the real issues for the next Attorney General are to enforce casino agreements and to be an advocate for consumers and taxpayers,” Tolman continued. “I will ensure that agreements with host communities and surrounding communities are strictly enforced. I will be the leader on whom Massachusetts residents can depend so that casino operators are adhering to their agreements with regards to traffic mitigation, compulsive gambling, work rules, the impact on local economies, consumer bankruptcy and other issues. Finally, I will continue to be a watchdog on ethics and political corruption.”•

Comments (15)
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How can you not be attracted to the colorful, musical, and action-packed screens on the slot machines? They’re magical and mesmerizing. “I’ll just try it once, or twice.” Three years later I was still trying and seven more years, my luck hadn’t changed. Perhaps I wasn’t trying hard enough.

Gripped by Gambling is the story of my descent into the gambling addiction and Detour is my climb out of the pit I created. Sure, everyone loves to gamble . . . if they win. But, the person sitting next to you in church, the man in line at the grocery store, or one of your co-workers; any one of these could be involved with a gambling problem. Your grandmother or your grandson may be committing a crime to support their gambling addiction as you are reading this paragraph.

Detour leads the reader on my path of determination, discipline, and dedication to a new life of recovery. The challenges I faced after prison release led me to recovery and to unimaginable serenity and joy. These books would be valuable additions to everyone’s library.

I also publish a newsletter, Women Helping Women, which has been on-line for more than fourteen years and is read by thousands of women (and men) from around the world. (www.femalegamblers.info).

Sincerely,

Marilyn Lancelot

Posted by Marilyn Lancelot on 4.23.14 at 10:54

And do tell where Maura Healey gets her information from. Each statement is filled with the hysterics and nonsense of the anti-casino movement and has zero basis in reality or the facts on the ground. And what is this "committed stance" of hers in the current economic climate ? Does Maura Healey consider the hundreds of people who will be put out of work at Plainridge Racecourse with a hypotetical repeal ? Does Maura Healey consider the plight of the thousands of blue-collar workers in the trades and hospitality sector that will benefit in ways of employment with this law ? Does Maura Healey consider the destruction of the horse farms, open space, and the thousands that will be put out of work in the long standing horse racing industry in Massachusetts ? Maura Healey is just another run of the mill politician and hypocrite with an elitist agenda wrapped up in "caring" for those beneath her social station.

ALL activists and ploiticians who advocate for causes of working within the system of capitalism to try and "reform" or "regulate" it - to keep it alive and well in a different form - are the rankest of hypocrites. ALL activists and politicians who fight for causes, reforms, and bans, that mean absolutely NOTHING - while the capitalist system is still in place - are the rankest of hypocrites. Not only are these activists rank hypocrites, they are in all reality, the true gatekeepers of the status quo and the very system they claim to be trying to change. Most of the people who label themselves Liberal and Progressive activists are still devout believers in the creed of capitalism if only they could regulate, reform, and mold it into a more "gentle and caring variety" of capitalism that suits there lifestyle view.

Capitalism is oppressive and unsustainable in the long haul whether there are casinos are not in the picture. In the meantime people need work, they need jobs and they need a hell of lot more than that. Casinos do not pollute the enviroment, casinos do not outsource jobs, casinos are of minimal concern in the overall picture in the current state of capitalist society.

Anything that is required for survival or to keep people from having to go into survival mode such as food,housing,water,heat,health care,education, should be considered basic human rights and Maura Healey and her ilk should be fighting for a system that mandates those basics for all at the very least ,instead of focusing here misguided energies on something so irrelevent as casinos in her midst.

Posted by OrwellsGhost on 4.23.14 at 15:23

Which casino interest group do you work for? The overload and the evangelism of your many comments on the subject are kind of amazing. They don't really seem like the work of a disinterested party.

Posted by SDudgens on 4.24.14 at 8:25

It's not a matter of casino interests. It's a matter of debunking zealots,crusaders, and the spread of the insidious propaganda and lies of the anti-casino movement. They have made a mockery of the process. We are talking about people's jobs and lives in the horse racing industry and workers who have worked in the racing industry for years. People's lives are not a game. Ample protections were written into the law including referendums in all potential host communities. Some communities voted yes and some voted no. The process and the law has worked as planned. To continue this crusade and try and repeal a law that will bring thousands of jobs to this state and save the hundreds in the racing community is beyond the pale. Nobody is required to set foot in a casino or these facilities and that is the bottom line. The rest is hysteria, fear mongering, and nothing more than an attempt by elitists, hypocrites, and puritans to force their life view on others. In the current state of affairs, anything that brings large amounts of jobs, preserves jobs, and bring new revenue streams into this state is not something people should be fighting against.

Posted by OrwellsGhost on 4.24.14 at 16:55

Good for Ms. Healy. The more people learn about casinos, the less they like them. Government sponsored casinos are bad economic, fiscal, and social policy. We have a great chance to keep Mass Casino-free in November. Here's hoping the courts give the voters the chance to decide...

Posted by NoCasinoSpringfield on 4.25.14 at 3:03

for me, it all boils down to this: She is advocating for a decrease in our freedoms, and has no concrete replacement idea as an alternative for development and job growth in Springfield.

Empty promises abound in her platform

Posted by tiedyeguy on 4.25.14 at 5:41

OrwellsGhost, I get your passion on the issue. Just don't lose sight of the fact that there are a lot of people who are equally passionate and equally informed and equally backed up with research who believe that casinos do a lot of damage to the poorest people in the neighborhood. That is not puritan moralizing. It is legitimate concern.

Posted by SDudgens on 4.25.14 at 8:21
I disagree Sdudgens and in the strongest possible way. People who claim that casinos do a lot of damage to the poorest in society is an invalid argument that has no basis in reality. Further, it is a crutch and a fallback of elitists who would claim that poor people are too stupid to have self control and full knowledge of what excessive behavior in many many forms can result in. It is an elitist argument at its core. The utmost of hypocrisy. Of course I don't doubt that that are some among the anti-casino movement who genuinely care about the plight of the poorest among us and have noble intentions. It's just the wrong outlook in my opinion and it casts the poor in a very bad light - however noble the argument might be. It's as if the poor need guidance and to be led by those of a "higher social and monetary station". Poor people do not need the mighty hand of those supposedly more enlightened and more fortunate to tell them how to lead their lives. This is not about my personal situation or lifestyle view or yours or anybody else including Maura Healey. Working class struggle and being poor is not something people choose. Class struggle is human existence and has been throughout human history and casinos don't have a thing to do with it. A casino is simply another cog in the capitalist machine. Class struggle is a daily fact of life for a lot of people. Saying that it is defined by the personal life view of those more fortunate not only portrays an ignorance about that struggle, it portrays an ignorance about history. None of us have the power - individually to produce some alternative system that will break the chains of a system that caters to the upper 10 percent of society to the detriment of the rest. Politicians like Maura Healey center their politics around their own personal beliefs and social station, which has no effect whatsoever on changing oppressive social conditions and gaining the working class power that frees people from poverty and economic insecurity. Solidarity is gained by common purpose, not by individual lifestyle choices and views. It matters little if the seeds of working class power and better working conditions for blue collar workers and lower paid workers are planted on the floors of a casino, a Walmart, or a factory floor. You would be surprised at how many of these "caring agents of change" who pay compassionate lip service could actually care less about the unemployed, the poor, the elderly, and 'other people's rights' as long as they get to preserve their own economic interests and political comfort zone. It just becomes ridiculous with all the impotent misplaced activism that really solves nothing in the end. Many people don't have shelter or the bare minimum to survive, the poor don't have jobs, the cost of living and inflation is through the roof and what do activists respond with ....? Ok then, we will ban a bunch of stuff like casinos, smoking, and anything that might be addictive that doesn't fit into their personal life view. New age spirituality,cooperative capitalism, technocratic bio-tech post-blue collar jobs for all, go organic, and every other impotent movement and proposed solution. Seriously,what are these activists talking about besides controlling upscale professionals promising a new way forward for "caring local entrepreneurs and small business owners". Where can the poor find the phone number of the board of directors at the local capitalist co-op so they get retrained for the bio-tech, organic post-industrial age? Will there be a pamphlet available there describing the spiritual power behind the "Massachusetts Miracle" of high paying bio-tech and life science jobs for all that will free the masses from poverty and oppression? What's most amazing is the complete failure of the nanny state activism of progressive liberals and the moralist conservatives to bring about any kind of social change - outside of their upscale cocoon- while wrapping themselves in the flag of caring about the poor and disengaged. That's the way I see it SDudgens, you of course are more than entitled to your opinion and outlook on the issue as you stated. In the end, in the current state of affairs, I just don't see how stopping casinos from coming to this state does more good than harm. People already gamble and have been doing so for ages in many societies. Many many jobs in the harness racing and racing industry are at stake here along with the jobs of many who have been working at those facilities for years. I fully stand with them and the people who need jobs in this economy. It is a lot more than people think when you take into account all the horse farms and such that go with that. While I am certainly not enamored with rich 1 % casino owners, in the grand scheme of things, casinos are irrelevant. As I stated, they bring decent jobs for a lot of people in the trades and construction and can put a lot of people to work quickly in a bunch of different permanent jobs in the casino facility. Is it an be all end all or ideal solution ? Of course not, but say what you will, they don't outsource jobs, they don't pollute, and they operate under stringent regulation. A casino facility is neither the destruction or the savior of any community or state. They are what they are... another industry. One that happens to bring about large scale employment. It always amuses me when Liberal and Progressive activists claim that I work for casino interests, care little about the poor and elderly, low wage workers, or social and economic inequality. Nothing could be further from the truth. In all reality, for good or bad, depending on ones political views, I am probably to the left of Karl Marx when it comes to what needs to be done OVERALL to exact real social change and better conditions for the working class, workers, and the poor.That's the way I see it SDudgens, you of course are more than entitled to your opinion and outlook on the issue as you stated. It is after all not about you or me as individuals or individual lifestyle or political views in the grand scheme of things. If the anti-casino movement and other activists would spend even half the energy that they do fighting for irrelevant causes like stopping casinos and put that energy into actual working class solidarity movement for real social change and economic equality for all, then there activism would be a welcome sign. That's not what this is about and everyone knows it including them. I will leave you with these two quotes to sum up my position SDudgens. Cheers “What hypocrisy to forcibly close petty gambling houses, when our capitalist society cannot do without an immense gambling house, where millions after millions are lost and won, for its very centre!” ------ Friedrich Engels, “Social Classes – Necessary and Superfluous,” The Labour Standard, No. 14, August 1881. "When all the bricklayers, and all the machinists, and all the miners, and blacksmiths, and printers, and hod-carriers, and stevedores, and house-painters, and brakemen, and engineers, and conductors, and factory hands, and horse-car drivers, and all the shop-girls, and all the sewing-women, and all the telegraph operators; in a word all the myriads of toilers in whom is slumbering the reality of that thing which you call Power ... when these rise, call the vast spectacle by any deluding name that will please your ear, but the fact remains a Nation has risen." ------Mark Twain
Posted by OrwellsGhost on 4.25.14 at 18:14
Now that was ugly without paragraph breaks.
Posted by OrwellsGhost on 4.25.14 at 18:16
I disagree Sdudgens and in the strongest possible way. People who claim that casinos do a lot of damage to the poorest in society is an invalid argument that has no basis in reality. Further, it is a crutch and a fallback of elitists who would claim that poor people are too stupid to have self control and full knowledge of what excessive behavior in many many forms can result in. It is an elitist argument at its core. The utmost of hypocrisy. Of course I don't doubt that that are some among the anti-casino movement who genuinely care about the plight of the poorest among us and have noble intentions. It's just the wrong outlook in my opinion and it casts the poor in a very bad light - however noble the argument might be. It's as if the poor need guidance and to be led by those of a "higher social and monetary station". Poor people do not need the mighty hand of those supposedly more enlightened and more fortunate to tell them how to lead their lives. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is not about my personal situation or lifestyle view or yours or anybody else including Maura Healey. Working class struggle and being poor is not something people choose. Class struggle is human existence and has been throughout human history and casinos don't have a thing to do with it. A casino is simply another cog in the capitalist machine. Class struggle is a daily fact of life for a lot of people. Saying that it is defined by the personal life view of those more fortunate not only portrays an ignorance about that struggle, it portrays an ignorance about history. None of us have the power - individually to produce some alternative system that will break the chains of a system that caters to the upper 10 percent of society to the detriment of the rest. Politicians like Maura Healey center their politics around their own personal beliefs and social station, which has no effect whatsoever on changing oppressive social conditions and gaining the working class power that frees people from poverty and economic insecurity. Solidarity is gained by common purpose, not by individual lifestyle choices and views. It matters little if the seeds of working class power and better working conditions for blue collar workers and lower paid workers are planted on the floors of a casino, a Walmart, or a factory floor. You would be surprised at how many of these "caring agents of change" who pay compassionate lip service could actually care less about the unemployed, the poor, the elderly, and 'other people's rights' as long as they get to preserve their own economic interests and political comfort zone. It just becomes ridiculous with all the impotent misplaced activism that really solves nothing in the end. Many people don't have shelter or the bare minimum to survive, the poor don't have jobs, the cost of living and inflation is through the roof and what do activists respond with ....? Ok then, we will ban a bunch of stuff like casinos, smoking, and anything that might be addictive that doesn't fit into their personal life view. New age spirituality,cooperative capitalism, technocratic bio-tech post-blue collar jobs for all, go organic, and every other impotent movement and proposed solution. Seriously,what are these activists talking about besides controlling upscale professionals promising a new way forward for "caring local entrepreneurs and small business owners". Where can the poor find the phone number of the board of directors at the local capitalist co-op so they get retrained for the bio-tech, organic post-industrial age? Will there be a pamphlet available there describing the spiritual power behind the "Massachusetts Miracle" of high paying bio-tech and life science jobs for all that will free the masses from poverty and oppression? What's most amazing is the complete failure of the nanny state activism of progressive liberals and the moralist conservatives to bring about any kind of social change - outside of their upscale cocoon- while wrapping themselves in the flag of caring about the poor and disengaged. That's the way I see it SDudgens, you of course are more than entitled to your opinion and outlook on the issue as you stated. In the end, in the current state of affairs, I just don't see how stopping casinos from coming to this state does more good than harm. People already gamble and have been doing so for ages in many societies. Many many jobs in the harness racing and racing industry are at stake here along with the jobs of many who have been working at those facilities for years. I fully stand with them and the people who need jobs in this economy. It is a lot more than people think when you take into account all the horse farms and such that go with that. While I am certainly not enamored with rich 1 % casino owners, in the grand scheme of things, casinos are irrelevant. As I stated, they bring decent jobs for a lot of people in the trades and construction and can put a lot of people to work quickly in a bunch of different permanent jobs in the casino facility. Is it an be all end all or ideal solution ? Of course not, but say what you will, they don't outsource jobs, they don't pollute, and they operate under stringent regulation. A casino facility is neither the destruction or the savior of any community or state. They are what they are... another industry. One that happens to bring about large scale employment. It always amuses me when Liberal and Progressive activists claim that I work for casino interests, care little about the poor and elderly, low wage workers, or social and economic inequality. Nothing could be further from the truth. In all reality, for good or bad, depending on ones political views, I am probably to the left of Karl Marx when it comes to what needs to be done OVERALL to exact real social change and better conditions for the working class, workers, and the poor.That's the way I see it SDudgens, you of course are more than entitled to your opinion and outlook on the issue as you stated. It is after all not about you or me as individuals or individual lifestyle or political views in the grand scheme of things. If the anti-casino movement and other activists would spend even half the energy that they do fighting for irrelevant causes like stopping casinos and put that energy into actual working class solidarity movement for real social change and economic equality for all, then there activism would be a welcome sign. That's not what this is about and everyone knows it including them. I will leave you with these two quotes to sum up my position SDudgens. Cheers “What hypocrisy to forcibly close petty gambling houses, when our capitalist society cannot do without an immense gambling house, where millions after millions are lost and won, for its very centre!” ------ Friedrich Engels, “Social Classes – Necessary and Superfluous,” The Labour Standard, No. 14, August 1881. "When all the bricklayers, and all the machinists, and all the miners, and blacksmiths, and printers, and hod-carriers, and stevedores, and house-painters, and brakemen, and engineers, and conductors, and factory hands, and horse-car drivers, and all the shop-girls, and all the sewing-women, and all the telegraph operators; in a word all the myriads of toilers in whom is slumbering the reality of that thing which you call Power ... when these rise, call the vast spectacle by any deluding name that will please your ear, but the fact remains a Nation has risen." ------Mark Twain
Posted by OrwellsGhost on 4.25.14 at 18:19
I disagree Sdudgens and in the strongest possible way. People who claim that casinos do a lot of damage to the poorest in society is an invalid argument that has no basis in reality. Further, it is a crutch and a fallback of elitists who would claim that poor people are too stupid to have self control and full knowledge of what excessive behavior in many many forms can result in. It is an elitist argument at its core. The utmost of hypocrisy. Of course I don't doubt that that are some among the anti-casino movement who genuinely care about the plight of the poorest among us and have noble intentions. It's just the wrong outlook in my opinion and it casts the poor in a very bad light - however noble the argument might be. It's as if the poor need guidance and to be led by those of a "higher social and monetary station". Poor people do not need the mighty hand of those supposedly more enlightened and more fortunate to tell them how to lead their lives. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is not about my personal situation or lifestyle view or yours or anybody else including Maura Healey. Working class struggle and being poor is not something people choose. Class struggle is human existence and has been throughout human history and casinos don't have a thing to do with it. A casino is simply another cog in the capitalist machine. Class struggle is a daily fact of life for a lot of people. Saying that it is defined by the personal life view of those more fortunate not only portrays an ignorance about that struggle, it portrays an ignorance about history. None of us have the power - individually to produce some alternative system that will break the chains of a system that caters to the upper 10 percent of society to the detriment of the rest. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Politicians like Maura Healey center their politics around their own personal beliefs and social station, which has no effect whatsoever on changing oppressive social conditions and gaining the working class power that frees people from poverty and economic insecurity. Solidarity is gained by common purpose, not by individual lifestyle choices and views. It matters little if the seeds of working class power and better working conditions for blue collar workers and lower paid workers are planted on the floors of a casino, a Walmart, or a factory floor. You would be surprised at how many of these "caring agents of change" who pay compassionate lip service could actually care less about the unemployed, the poor, the elderly, and 'other people's rights' as long as they get to preserve their own economic interests and political comfort zone. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It just becomes ridiculous with all the impotent misplaced activism that really solves nothing in the end. Many people don't have shelter or the bare minimum to survive, the poor don't have jobs, the cost of living and inflation is through the roof and what do activists respond with ....? Ok then, we will ban a bunch of stuff like casinos, smoking, and anything that might be addictive that doesn't fit into their personal life view. New age spirituality,cooperative capitalism, technocratic bio-tech post-blue collar jobs for all, go organic, and every other impotent movement and proposed solution. Seriously,what are these activists talking about besides controlling upscale professionals promising a new way forward for "caring local entrepreneurs and small business owners". Where can the poor find the phone number of the board of directors at the local capitalist co-op so they get retrained for the bio-tech, organic post-industrial age? Will there be a pamphlet available there describing the spiritual power behind the "Massachusetts Miracle" of high paying bio-tech and life science jobs for all that will free the masses from poverty and oppression? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What's most amazing is the complete failure of the nanny state activism of progressive liberals and the moralist conservatives to bring about any kind of social change - outside of their upscale cocoon- while wrapping themselves in the flag of caring about the poor and disengaged. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- That's the way I see it SDudgens, you of course are more than entitled to your opinion and outlook on the issue as you stated. In the end, in the current state of affairs, I just don't see how stopping casinos from coming to this state does more good than harm. People already gamble and have been doing so for ages in many societies. Many many jobs in the harness racing and racing industry are at stake here along with the jobs of many who have been working at those facilities for years. I fully stand with them and the people who need jobs in this economy. It is a lot more than people think when you take into account all the horse farms and such that go with that. While I am certainly not enamored with rich 1 % casino owners, in the grand scheme of things, casinos are irrelevant. As I stated, they bring decent jobs for a lot of people in the trades and construction and can put a lot of people to work quickly in a bunch of different permanent jobs in the casino facility. Is it an be all end all or ideal solution ? Of course not, but say what you will, they don't outsource jobs, they don't pollute, and they operate under stringent regulation. A casino facility is neither the destruction or the savior of any community or state. They are what they are... another industry. One that happens to bring about large scale employment. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It always amuses me when Liberal and Progressive activists claim that I work for casino interests, care little about the poor and elderly, low wage workers, or social and economic inequality. Nothing could be further from the truth. In all reality, for good or bad, depending on ones political views, I am probably to the left of Karl Marx when it comes to what needs to be done OVERALL to exact real social change and better conditions for the working class, workers, and the poor.That's the way I see it SDudgens, you of course are more than entitled to your opinion and outlook on the issue as you stated. It is after all not about you or me as individuals or individual lifestyle or political views in the grand scheme of things. If the anti-casino movement and other activists would spend even half the energy that they do fighting for irrelevant causes like stopping casinos and put that energy into actual working class solidarity movement for real social change and economic equality for all, then there activism would be a welcome sign. That's not what this is about and everyone knows it including them. I will leave you with these two quotes to sum up my position SDudgens. Cheers -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “What hypocrisy to forcibly close petty gambling houses, when our capitalist society cannot do without an immense gambling house, where millions after millions are lost and won, for its very centre!” ------ Friedrich Engels, “Social Classes – Necessary and Superfluous,” The Labour Standard, No. 14, August 1881. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "When all the bricklayers, and all the machinists, and all the miners, and blacksmiths, and printers, and hod-carriers, and stevedores, and house-painters, and brakemen, and engineers, and conductors, and factory hands, and horse-car drivers, and all the shop-girls, and all the sewing-women, and all the telegraph operators; in a word all the myriads of toilers in whom is slumbering the reality of that thing which you call Power ... when these rise, call the vast spectacle by any deluding name that will please your ear, but the fact remains a Nation has risen." ------Mark Twain
Posted by OrwellsGhost on 4.25.14 at 18:23
Well Sdugens, that's about the best I could do. Not sure why that mess came up as one whole wall of text like that the first two tries. In any event, I wanted to respond to your post in a more in depth way because you didn't resort to the usual hostility and vindictive emotion of a lot of casino opponents. Of course my posting style and views on this issue tend to draw that hostility out. So it is what it is. It's not personal and never has been, although it gets very heated at other outlets. On another note. Valley Advocate seems like a pretty decent outlet. Surprised it doesn't get more comments on some issues and articles they post.
Posted by OrwellsGhost on 4.25.14 at 18:33

Well I don't think it's about poverty stricken people not controlling themselves, it's just that when you don't have an easy way out of poverty, there's the opportunity to hit it big right there in your own backyard. Anecdotally, you don't see lawyers and executives dropping 20 dollar bills on sxcratch tickets, you see working joes doing it.

Here are two experts who boost my opinion-

A study conducted by professor Robert Goodman of Hampshire College, “Legalized Gambling as a Strategy for Economic Development,” shows how when gambling operations are inserted into local communities, the effects are more harmful than helpful to an economy.

In South Dakota, when they legalized video gambling, the state saw a decrease in consumer activity at clothing stores, auto dealers, recreational services and business services; in New Orleans, casinos directed $62 million away from local business, going to the casino instead; in Atlantic City, there has been consistent economic disintegration as its economy centers around gambling.

Goodman notes how homelessness increased after the introduction of casinos, and how clothing stories and restaurants saw a decrease in activity. There was also a substantial increase in crime.

The great irony of the arguments that proponents of casino measures make is that gambling kills jobs more than it does create them. A study conducted by professor John Kindt at the University of Illinois says, “The field research indicates that nationwide you stand to lose 1.5 jobs for every job the casinos create. In Chicago the field research indicated that 2 to 2.75 jobs would be lost if a land-based casino were built.”

He also added that, “for every dollar legalized gambling interests indicate is contributed in taxes, it really costs the taxpayer $3.00 to address the increased socio-economic costs to society.”

Posted by SDudgens on 4.28.14 at 11:38

Well, I think I can speak freely here SDudgens because we will probably never agree on casinos being irrelevant in the big picture of systematic change. Kindt is truly a zealot in every sense of the word in the mold of Earl Grinols. They are right-wing evangelical moralists who believe all economy should be molded on biblical morality. Goodman on the other hand has some Socialist leanings but he speaks in a forked tongue from a capitalist perch. The anti-casino movement does have some strange alliances in the their quest. The 3-1 ratio bit has been pretty much discredited by Professor Doug Walker and other academics. I really don't feel like posting a bunch of rebuttal studies and links tonight but Kindt is way out there on a limb and has been discredited by his own peers for making outrageous statements all over the country. Grinols and Mustard somewhat less so but their findings have been also debunked by several studies. Everything from a harmless game of online poker to slot machines and everything in between has been labeled the crack cocaine of gambling by Kindt.

Always the anti-casino activist claims of "we can do better, the poor will suffer and we must protect people from themselves'" are cloaked in a veil of hypocrisy if one just looks under the surface. If there is one thing and one thing only that Libertarians, Real Leftists and Marxists agree on - it's the fact that almost all of the nanny state Liberal Progessive and moralist Conservative activism within the current system is useless and solves nothing. The most obvious problem is that with all of their activism, all of their proposed prohibitions, all of their vanilla reforms and schemes, and of their so called concerns, poor people and the jobless keep showing up in droves. Nothing they propose works and the blue collar working class, the jobless, and the poor are always end up worse off than before. They hang up a sign on the door saying - we are here to help protect the poor people, help the blue collar people, and the disengaged, we have a plan but when those people actually show up looking for answers, the plan has disappeared and the upscale "we can do better" crowd is complaining bitterly about mud being dragged on their beautiful imported carpets. Either take down the damn sign or get rid of the carpet. Hypocrisy

Posted by OrwellsGhost on 4.28.14 at 23:08

Hmm. So should that be chalked up to ad hominem or to 'my study authors are better than your study authors'? Seems like the word 'evangelical' is operative in more than one direction.

No matter what I think about the morality of gambling, it's a really stupid thing to do with your money. Casinos are in the business of taking money, not giving it away. They don't give a tinker's damn about the community around them unless it is more profitable to 'care', and why should they?

Over and out. Been fun.

Posted by SDudgens on 4.29.14 at 10:14
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