Monday, August 28, 2006

Two Unrelated News Stories

This casino riverboat, on the Mississippi River across from downtown Saint Louis, Missouri, is for sale and will be replaced with a larger casino on land.

See the article: For sale: One boat. Casino not included. When casinos were reintroduced to the area (having been legal twice before in U.S. history), the idea of romantic riverboat casinos traveling up and down the river helped sell the idea. A casino in East Saint Louis, Illinois is selling its boat in favor of a much larger land-based casino.

I can think of at least two new additional casinos under construction in the area. It is a booming business.

In another story, Metro East cities see a rise in serious crime. The Metro-East is the eastern suburbs of Saint Louis, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. The crime rate is rising, especially in illegal drug sales. "State Police say the production and use of methamphetamine is the cause of much of the crime in Southern and central Illinois."

Actually, these two news stories are very related. Unlike Las Vegas, we don't have many tourists from far away gambling their livelihoods away, but instead it is our friends and neighbors who are losing everything on the boats. From what I've heard from prison ministers, much of the increase of crime is due to gambling losses. Drug sales are an easy way of making quick money to keep up the gambling habit or to pay off debts.

Get used to hearing stories like this. It may only get worse, until the United States is little different from Mexico. The lower class will become a vast, violent underclass, while the middle class will be sharply reduced in size. The economy will shrink, tax revenues will decline, and the wealthy will be the undisputed petty kings of the garbage dump that once was America.

One of the main results of the social revolution in the 1960s and 70s is a new system of government which does not legislate morality. Gambling is no longer seen as having severe moral problems, but indeed is encouraged by the government to increase revenue. This is taking the idea of liberality to extremes.

Perhaps there are some people who want this trouble, hoping to strengthen society by a Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest struggle: the strong will prosper, while the weak will be crushed and eliminated. If this seems shocking, please consider the daily struggles of competition on the pages of the Wall Street Journal and the constant class struggle waged by the socialist Left in this country, as well as the Darwinism taught to your children in the public schools. Americans, it seems, are more than happy to consign the Darwinian "unfit" to our large new prisons.

Gambling was twice before legal in American history: once starting in the colonial era to finance the Ivy League Puritan universities like Harvard and Yale, and after the Civil War to pay for Reconstruction. In both cases, as today, gambling was legalized by the government in order to increase taxation. But in the first two eras, gambling led to extreme impoverishment of our nation. The scourge of widespread legal gambling was both times stopped by Protestant revivals. Too many lives were ruined, and the social costs far exceeded the increase in government revenue.

It is time for a new revival. More money and comfort for all—rich, poor, or middle-class—can be had with a virtuous nation.

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