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Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Better Pander

One of Shawn Macomber’s recent posts about the Nevada caucus explores Hillary’s pandering to the casino workers--and actually manages to make her look a little better in the process.

If she’s on-board with the casinos, though, pander or not, I’m not going to criticize. I can only hope her claim that she now accepts “any human activity” has some social cost that does not necessarily override someone’s right to engage in it to heart. I would love to see some of that logic creep into the village she’s building for us.

What is even more interesting (because presidential election politics are only allowed to take up so much of my days--right now it’s capped at 15% which is still seeing to be too much) is the fact that Shawn worked in casinos for a time and makes this statement: “I have no doubt whatsoever gambling is a net positive. None.”

I’ve never given much thought to whether gambling was a positive or not; I’ve just always believed that free people can be as stupid with their money as they want--they don’t need my approval or disapproval. And, for the record, I’m occasionally one of the stupid people. I love the craps table and deuces wild video poker and I’ve never needed anyone to tell me whether or not I have the right to play. This isn’t a criticism of what Shawn wrote, it’s just that I’ve never spent much time thinking about whether gambling was a net positive or negative for anyone other than myself.

The Shawn-eye view of the world of Vegas is a different one from my own. Vegas isn’t a place where I’ve ever lived; it’s just a place that I’ve played. I love Vegas by night, but Vegas by day is ugly and dirty. Vegas is great for two or three days; four days later, the noise, the sidewalk porn, and the glitz are just tedious and oppressive. Shawn’s view is of the part of Vegas the most of us have never experienced.

Good stuff.

Read the rest. Then go read about his experience at an Intelligence Squared debate at the Asia Society in New York--which sounds like an incredible way to spend an evening. I’m jealous.

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