Thursday, September 07, 2006

Royal Flush

Joe Sharpnack ( nicely captured gambling in his editorial cartoon this morning in The Gazette. With a sign above a toilet reading "The Casino is Open," the instructions involve a two step process: (1) shows a picture of paper money with an arrow pointing into the bowl, and (2) pointing to the flushing handle, on which is hanging a card reading "Thank you! Come again!" The Gazette, September 7, 2006, p. 6A.

Also see, Jim Walters, "Casinos Are for Losers," September 1, 2006, who concludes his column:

"Can you personally afford to gamble? Got enough in the bank to put your kids through college and retire? Paid off that mortgage? Got enough socked away for this winter's heating bills? Ready for the threatened dismemberment of Social Security, Medicare and your pension plan?

"If you're really hard up for casino-style entertainment, here's an idea. Put up some flashing lights in your bathroom. Put on the music of your choice. Get some really nice hors d'oeuvres and mix your own drinks. Now start flushing $20 bills down the toilet. When you've finally had enough "entertainment," at least you can remind yourself that you saved on gas and didn't pollute the environment.

"Casinos are for losers."

Of course, none of this addresses the issues discussed in Nicholas Johnson," Gambling and Paternalism," September 4, 2006: Why should it be anyone's concern (beyond the gambler him or herself) that someone else is flushing $20 bills down the toilet (or down a slot machine)? What is the rationale for public policy concerns about gambling? (This is not to suggest that no such rationale exists, only that the question is one that needs to be addressed.)


Anonymous said...

The are foreign policy aspects to the problem as well. My impression is that Chinese government can do just as they please (exception Taiwan) and the reaction by the Bush administration is pretty feeble. Perhaps they don't want to annoy their biggest creditor.

Nick said...

(For my response to this item from John Neff see the comments to "Balance and the Balance of Trade," September 9, 2006, above, at