Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pork for Gulf Coast Casinos?

In general, I'm against using tax policy as a tool to give one sector of the economy or one type of business an advantage over other sectors or types.

I'm really against giving businesses an incentive to move into a certain area where business is slow. I say let the government make the playing field level for everyone everywhere, protect the innocent bystanders from being exploited against their will, and let the free market determine who sets up shop where.

The new Bush proposal to allow casinos to get tax breaks to rebuild in the Gulf Coast region, reported in the Washington Post, really gets my goat. Think about it: the government is subsidizing a type of business that produces nothing but a few rich people (usually the owners), a few dead-end jobs, and lots of misery. If people want to enter into that economic arrangement of their own free will, fine. I'm not an anti-gambling crusader. I've been known to buy a worthless lottery ticket from time to time. But don't give this sort of business a tax break so that other types of business will seem less attractive to enter into.

Casinos produce nothing of added value to the economy. They just redistribute wealth.



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