Sunday, January 15, 2012

Good morning to you all.  Still dark here at about 6:30 though that won't be when this is actually published.  It takes me most of the morning to go through my e-mail, news sites, google alerts, and blog roll.  Let's see what I find today.

MSNBC reports this morning that the State of New York is partnering with a Malaysian company to build a resort casino/convention center on the outskirts of New York City.  New York's plans are, evidently, a response to recently passed legislation passed in Massachusetts which would allow as many as three casinos to be built.  I have watched similar measures working through the Illinois legislature.  Chicago badly wants its own casino to alleviate severe budgetary problems.  I view these efforts with a skeptical and, some might say, cynical eye.  The article mentions that the casinos may not generate as much revenue as the politicians hope as gamblers shift their expenditures from other consumption and the associated taxes drop.  I am also not a great fan of the state profiting off of vice.  Over the last several years we have watched the so-called 'sin taxes' go up as cities and states struggled to rake in more revenue.  And with each increase in the tax the revenue from tobacco and alcohol actually declined.  I remember reading a history on late Czarist Russia which described the social and economic problems stemming from rampant alcoholism.  But the government wouldn't seriously address the problem because vodka taxes provided a very large part of the government's income.  Evidently the fiscal needs of the state trump the good of its people.

Good to see you are back on, Lois.  I agree with you about Mittens and the rest of the Repthuglican pack. They are all bad news.  We have become a big dysfunctional family.  I noticed that the McConnell et at. are making nice noises over Obama's proposal they give him the power to consolidate departments and get rid of the Commerce Dept.  Let's see how long it lasts.

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