There are many murmurings of how bad October’s casino gaming financial reports will be. Boston Herald Business reports:
Consider: September saw the greatest monthly decline in revenues in the 30-year history of legalized gambling, down more than 15 percent.
And that was before the financial meltdown hit with full force, and before a smoking ban on the casino floor took effect; it’s not due to expire until Nov. 16.
That ban chased away some of the city’s most prolific gamblers, who went to slots parlors in Pennsylvania and New York, and Indian-run casinos in Connecticut, where they can still smoke.
All told, it was a most unwelcome October surprise.
There has been such poor economic analysis conducted this year. No distinction is drawn between the proper realm of action for business and the proper realm for government. The pattern has been that profits decrease (auto industry), capital freezes (Revel and Pinnacle Entertainments), or economic stability is compromised (AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac) and people clamor for government to step in and salvage the situation.
Government’s proper role is not to save businesses. Government should not offer loans to fledgling industries that are better than the loans available from private lenders, e.g. the proposed loans to the auto industry. Government should not provide capital, or the tools to obtain capital, to a company that cannot obtain the tools and the capital on their own, in the free market, e.g. Atlantic City Government giving a preferential bond rating to Revel Entertainment. Government should not prop-up imploding businesses (bail them out) with tax dollars, i.e. the financial bailout. When a company lies about its balance sheet, or purchases bad assets from a business with a phony balance sheet, they must feel the consequences for their decisions. That is the fundamentals of a sounds economic system, and a sound existence, as well.
There are several dangerous things going on simultaneously. One, people’s conception of government is warped. Americans rely on government for more and more. We are relying on ourselves and our associations, churches, families, and clubs less and less. Two, the climate of opinion has accepted the theory that man can be infinitely perfected. We have lost our sense of sin. We have lost the idea of Original Sin and man’s fallenness. Three, Americans have joined the religion of progress. Too many of us think that things will only get better and better. Too many of us forget that life is specifically life, in large part, due to the fact that there are ups and down. “You win some, and you lose some,” teaches the old adage.
A blog will neither solve, nor comment on all of the above. I want you to think about these three problems and tell me why you agree or disagree with my analysis. I am going to say the following about the above items, in relation to October’s economic report.
Government cannot and should not “fix” Atlantic City’s economic downturn. It is going to take innovative marketing of existing attractions. It will also take new innovations from entrepreneurs to attract consumers. Private citizens in private businesses need to practice innovation. Government bureaucrats and elected officials need to get out of the way.
Government assists people by providing a solid foundation for people to build their proverbial houses. The foundation given by government is composed of clear, solid, rational, and just laws, which are enforced vigorously – while respecting our rights and freedoms – and applied equally to all.
City Council can assist casino gaming by providing smooth roads, clean streets, and safe neighborhoods. City Council can assist by removing their smoking restrictions on casino floors, which would allow casino operators to make the decisions themselves, as to how much – up to 50% – of their gaming floors will permit smoking. If an employee does not like the smoke, be a man and either get another job, or demand that you work in a non-smoking section. But City-Council, UAW (which after ruining the auto industry has set its destructive sights on casino gaming), and anti-smoking groups, do not destroy the industry and jobs within the industry in your attempts to “fix” public health. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, government is not the solution. Government is the problem.