The Republican case against Issue 6

As I mentioned in the Democrat case against Issue 6, there are some Republican politicians pushing this ballot issue from the shadows.  Don’t be deceived by announcement that the Ohio Republican Party is officially against Issue 6.  There are a number of decent Republicans within the party, but there are those that have sold their soul as well.  Jill Miller Zimon of WLST outed one of the Republican backers: Jim Trakas.  There are others, I am sure, but they are engaged in a stealth campaign that, according to polls, seems to be working, as the poll numbers I’ve heard show 50% in favor of Issue 6, 41% against Issue 6, and 9% undecided.  The Ohio GOP is officially against Issue 6 largely due to the political clout of U.S. Senator George Voinovich (video link in this blog entry), who has never sold out or caved in on casino issues.

And why does a Republican who stands on a principle rather than takes bribes from a casino owner, like George Voinovich, oppose gambling?  There are many, many reasons, and Jill Miller Zimon, though a Democrat, has compiled many, many reasons that I’m sure Senator Voinovich would agree with.  Perhaps the best way to sum those reasons up is the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

There are tremendous costs associated with gambling.

I’ve already written at length about the opportunity costs of gambling and how it contracts the economy as money is siphoned out of it.  The cure for the souring economy becomes so much more expensive when you’ve got leaks in it.

As JMZ noted in this post, gambling is destructive of self, family, and community.  The cure for self and family is expensive when one considers the lack of mental health parity among health insurance policies, never mind the fact that health coverage is blasted expensive even if there was parity.  The cure for family and community is expensive, as government often feels compelled to institute programs to combat the fallout.  That means tax dollars.  The tax dollar revenues from casinos in no way compensate for families that have been stripped of their resources by gambling and communities of declining property values where gambling has eaten up money that could have been used to keep up with rent, mortgage, utility payments or home improvements.  School districts, like Detroit’s, who get an influx of money from casinos don’t get enough to improve the academic achievements of students who come from homes broken by gambling.  More money isn’t fixing the worsening problem.

So for fiscal conservatives, prevention is key because the cure is unaffordable.

For social conservatives, the damage inflicted upon oneself, one’s family, and the rest of society by gambling away scarce resources is evident.  Unlike the libertarian viewpoint that, in advocating for maximization of individual liberty, only the damage to self is fully recognized, social conservatives are aware that gambling has more victims than just those who chose to gamble.  Curtailing gambling curtails the number of gambling’s victims, whether direct or indirect.  For many social conservatives, religious convictions might also play a role in deciding against gambling.

Then there is the issue of law and order.  Casinos are situated on the borderline between the black market and the above-ground economy.  Transparency may exist in other economic sectors and in government, but casinos are perpetually shrouded in shadow.  Casinos are the perfect venues for laundering money.  Law enforcement officials recognize they just don’t have the tools to unlock the secrets of the illegal activities that take place in casinos.  Intuitively, they may sense that money is being laundered, but there’s little they can do to penetrate the darkness.  The Fraternal Order of Police and other law enforcement organizations have routinely opposed casino ballot issues, and Issue 6 is not an exception to that rule.  As the push for transparency in government and commerce heightens, the demand for casinos increases, as criminals have fewer and fewer options for laundering their money out of plain sight.  If casinos were illegal everywhere, more criminal activity would be forced out into the open where it could be interdicted more effectively.  The above-ground economy would benefit, too, as the underground economy has less power to erode the above-ground economy.  Combined with greater transparency, a stable environment for economic growth accompanies law and order.

Finally, there is the recognition that casinos do not create wealth.  There is no production of goods or exchange of goods that occurs at a casino.  There is only a redistribution of wealth from the many gamblers to the few casino owners, with the gambler having received no value whatsoever for the money lost.

HOPE ON Part 10: Obama will tax us

The State of Ohio Blogger Alliance has undertaken the task of highlighting criticisms of the Obama ticket that the in-the-tank MSM works hard to downplay or outright ignore.  The effort has been titled “Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now” (HOPE ON), and, in all, 13 installments will be rolled out for blog readers to peruse and reflect upon.

Here are my recaps of Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9.

The Boring Made Dull has the scoop on Part 10.  You can check out the video there or here.  Obama claims there will be those in the middle class who get tax breaks, but he’s never actually voted that way in the U.S. Senate.  Obama talk of federal initiatives and taxes make it sound as if the government creates wealth, but the government doesn’t.  The people create the wealth of the nation, and tax policy must reflect that, but Obama’s principles don’t even acknowledge that.

From the Buckeye RINO standpoint:

John McCain has said that he will not raise taxes because he knows that it would hurt the economy’s recovery hopes.  I have not dwelt too much the tax proposals of the presidential candidates, as I’m sure you’ve heard the talking points many times over.  I have, however, said a few things about taxes relative to ethically challenged sub-prime lenders playing shell games in order to avoid paying taxes.  I’ve also made some down-ticket endorsements based partly upon candidate platforms relating to taxes, like Nick Brusky for Lorain County Commissioner, Larry Silcox for Huron County Commissioner, Dave Potter for Congress from Ohio’s 13th, and Jeff Wagner for state rep from the Ohio House 81st District.  I’ve also noted that the Democrat machine in Lorain County uses some strong-arm tactics to intimidate residents from trying to interfere with hiking taxes.

Carnival of Ohio Politics #140 posted

It’s getting close to crunch time, and that’s what’s reflected in the blog entries gathered from all over Ohio about politics.  Editor Jill Miller Zimon of Writes Like She Talks has unveiled the 140th installment of the Carnival of Ohio Politics.  The next edition is likely to be posted AFTER election day.  Check it out.

The Libertarian case against Issue 6

Libertarians, in general, feel that individual liberties should not be restricted unless they interfere with the liberties exercised by others.  Along that vein, Libertarians feel that those who choose to gamble ought to be able to do so without government stopping them from doing so.

However, Libertarians are not supporting Issue 6, which would grant a casino monopoly in Ohio.

Libertarians also feel that those who choose to own and operate casinos ought to be able to do so without government stopping them from doing so.  Issue 6 stops everyone from owning and operating a casino except for the MyOhioNow group.

I’ve touched on this in prior posts.  In my blog entry titled “Deep-six Issue 6,” I wrote:

“For those who are Libertarian who think that Ohio ought to allow casinos, let me assure you that Issue 6 is no Libertarian proposal.  If it were a Libertarian proposal, then we wouldn’t be talking about legalizing a casino monopoly within the state.  If it were a Libertarian proposal, it would simply be a blank check allowing anyone to open a casino in any community in the state without any barriers to competition, much like anyone can open a restaurant or a convenience store in any community in the state.  Issue 6 still makes it illegal for the ordinary person to open a casino.  Only one entity will be permitted to open a casino . . .”

In my blog entry titled “Video and audio against issue 6,” I included a link to an audio clip from WSPD radio featuring an interviewee from the Buckeye Institute, who shared some Libertarian arguments against Issue 6.

In my blog entry titled “Kalin Stipe at Word of Mouth presents the state ballot issues,” I included this quote from Kalin Stipe, who contributes to Word of Mouth blog:

“Why would we change our constitution to allow a monopoly when there are plenty of investors who would open up around Ohio. If you are going to change the law (especially the constitution) for one, then change it for all.

“The worst number of casinos to have in Ohio is ONE. Either keep it at zero or make it fair for more than one.”

Libertarians strongly believe in unfettered commerce and free enterprise.  The provisions of Issue 6 that bar any Ohio-based competition to the proposed casino violates fundamental principles of American free enterprise.  If MyOhioNow wants to build, own, and operate a casino, then you, or I, or the person down the street, or the person in the next county, or whoever, ought to also have the ability to build, own, and operate a casino.  That’s why Libertarians should oppose Issue 6.