Fascinating points.
Ben Hines

That’s so funny, Ben, I know what you mean. But the author above did go straight from “casino” to how casino profits benefited the poor members of the Eastern Cherokee, that is, the owners of the casino.

So, is it a separate question, about the OTHER poor people lining up in front of the casino? As Gerard (I’m using computer names listed below) said to Jurgis, it is not the rich lining up at the casino to spend money to benefit the poor.

That is really the only reason my wife and I find it rather a tawdry, depressing experience going to Las Vegas, or into any casino. St. Louis, for example, where some of our relatives currently live, has at least 5 casinos; that’s just a guess. It started out a decade or two ago, that they must be on boats to gamble, so we got a boat in E. St. Louis, and another, the old, famous, stainless steel hulled dancing club, The Admiral became the Missouri side of the river’s gambling den. That was a slippery slope, and after a couple decades (I’m guessing — I’m in my fifties and I believe the first boats were when I was about 30 years old), now there is a large casino in downtown St. Louis which is built upon concrete like all buildings (please don’t call me out on building mistakes — I’ve never built a building so I don’t know what I’m talking about, admittedly).

What is depressing is that you see so many poor people in casinos, and others addicted to gambling who can be either rich or poor. I believe they all die poor. But gambling establishments cater to the poor. E. St. Louis, where they put the first Bi-State area casino had the highest concentration of poor people in Illinois, anywhere outside of Chicago, which is it’s own state, really. There are more lottery ticket sales outlets in poor neighborhoods than in rich neighborhoods, and poor people buy more lottery tickets.

In our experience, more of the people you meet in the casino are people who are smoking cigarettes, appearing to be saying…if I only wager my entire paycheck THIS Friday…I can pay the rent at the end of the month!

Once I worked at an outdoor landscaping job, as a young man, as well as greenhouses, and other low-paying, manual labor jobs. On a rainy day one week, we were called off work after arriving early, 6 am. One of my work friends took off (he told the story to me later) and went “to the boat”, as we called it, then. He stuck a quarter in a slot machine, and won $800.

The story he told me a year later was a cautionary tale. He was still working outdoors (I only lasted a year at that job), and we were talking after being called off for a rainy day full of lightning and thunderstorms. I was saying, see you later, getting ready to head back home for a nap and a smile after my busy morning routine of getting ready to start work at 6 am; I was happy. Then he told me about his winning day at the boat. He said it was the worst thing that ever happened to him. He was basically a young, honest, working man, with a wife and one young child. Both parents worked and tried to support the family. He said that after his “big win”, he had put 800 dollars back into those slot machines at least three times, trying to win again. Oh, man, I’m sorry to hear that, I said. I was not a gambling addict, but my wife and I had enjoyed walking onto a boat with about 20 dollars each and playing, winning, losing, a little here, a little there, just having fun for an hour or two, until MOST times, we walked out 40 dollars poorer. (But my wife is pretty good, if she wins 20, she cashes out and uses 10 to gamble more. If she loses that 10, she’s done. So we came out ahead A LITTLE BIT, several times.) And that’s what I told my friend — what he had already learned: you only “win” if you walk away with the money and never spend any more.

There are statistics that back up the fact that poor people go to casinos more often than rich people do, and that they buy more lottery tickets. It sounds like Rutger Bregman knows a lot more about this than I do. I’m going to read his book. First, I want to look up and see if there are any countries that already give each citizen a Universal Basic Income, or whatever it’s called. I know some place in Scandinavia pays everyone’s school expenses, including new clothes for every child, each school year. Maybe they do that. I think if America did that, we’d save billions of dollars, over time.

Obviously, when everybody in the country stops worrying about putting food on the table and paying the rent each month, it will enable higher creativity and production, work, and less healthcare costs, in the long term. I strongly believe that!

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