Monday, August 04, 2008

THIS IS WHAT 40 YEARS OF POORLY THOUGHT OUT CAPITALISM HAS TO OFFER DOWN-and-OUT AMERICA in 2008: An Oklahoma County with 14 Casinos!!!?

THIS IS WHAT 40 YEARS OF POORLY THOUGHT OUT CAPITALISM HAS TO OFFER DOWN-and-OUT AMERICA in 2008: An Oklahoma County with 14 Casinos!!!?

By Kevin A. Stoda, back in the USA


I returned from working overseas for the past 6 years to find a strange phenomena in tiny Ottawa County, Oklahoma—i.e. near the four states area of Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. I found 14 casinos in one litte county!

Ten of these casinos are run by 8 Indian tribes. http://www.indianz.com/IndianGaming/2007/002790.asp

These tribes include the Quapaw, Shawnee, and the Wyandotte. Newer ones have been opening up over the past year, and the state of Kansas is planning to run a state-owned casino across the border.

Can we call this development? (i.e. Let alone—try and call it a good or great development in a time of high joblessness and an overall unhealthy U.S. economy?)


AMERICA’S NEED TO MONITOR THIS PHENOMENON


Here is just one website that monitors the rising phenomena of gambling in the U.S., especially in here-to-for virgin or formerly gambling-free territories. http://casinowatch.org/quick_overview/quick_overview.html

According to one of the analysts quoted by this CASINO WATCH website, the rise of gambling addictions is currently one of the biggest mental health problems in the world. Moreover, gambling already affects anywhere from 2 to 5% of the population in the USA alone. http://www.ksproblemgambling.org/

GAMBLING WATCH GLOBAL is another site that observes with alarm the rise of gambling fever world wide-- http://www.gamblingwatchglobal.com/ --even as housing and economic issues continue unabated in many lands, especially here in the USA.

There are currently already several major research libraries at universities around the country studying this phenomena and how it adversely affects health and economies in the short and long term. http://gaming.unlv.edu/reading/published_diss.html

Various articles deal specifically with problems that native tribesmen in the USA are facing as the number of casinos on reservations rises—and rises: http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=LW5dwl0TvmshRWQh3hhn9rLJD3q2GKrRzGn8CHCJnQy4Bhgkvhpv!-887735472?docId=5002458511
The author, Maria Napoli, writing in the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare states unequivocally that gambling is apparently bad, but turns around and argues the opposite.

Pardon me—I have to ask: Who pays for such research and such findings?


WHAT ECONOMISTS SAY

Ask economists who compare crime rate rise to the rise in casinos and rise in the number of problem gamblers in a community! http://www.casinowatchfoundation.org/information/quick_overview.html
Economists David B. Mustard and Earl L. Grinols find that crime rises almost exponentially with the rise in problem gamblers and access to gambling. http://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwple/0501001.html

After studying the issue over a 20-year period, Mustard and Grinols discovered, “Casinos were non-existent outside Nevada before 1978, and expanded to many other states during our sample period. Most factors that reduce crime occur before or shortly after a casino opens, while those that increase crime, including problem and pathological gambling, occur over time. The results suggest that the effect on crime is low shortly after a casino opens, and grows over time. Roughly 8 percent of crime in casino counties in 1996 was attributable to casinos, costing the average adult $75 per adult per year.”


WHAT ARE THE GAMBLING PROMOTERS UP TO?

Is the four-state area of Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma really prepared to pay for the increase in crime?

i.e.. Will the intermediate and long-term goal for the county and region actually be to then (1) build more prisons in order to (2) handle the rise in crime by hiring more law and order personnel and thus (3) provide more jobs to under-employed locals in the 4-State area who will be subcontracted out to service the growing prison or police population?

Another worrisome trend is this report which claims that evidence from around the USA has shown that in recent years the number of children’s games that promote gambling has increased in the USA as well. http://www.ncalg.org/Library/Bulletins/BOB%20V3N1%20Jan%2005%20.pdf

Is America trying to raise (1) not only a nation of capitalist risk takers but(2) a nation of gambling addicts as well?


INDEBTEDNESS GROWS, TOO

Let us not forget that indebtedness grows with casinos, too.

Nichols, Stitt and Giacopassi (1999) have shown in their report, “Casino Gambling and Bankruptcies in new United States Gambling Jurisdictions” that bankruptcies certainly increased in 7 out 8 counties studied, i.e. in counties where gambling had been recently introduced.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6W5H-40PXNX0-6&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=513e932e7033a22bba0be5a0876c443e

Let me guess—there is also likely negative backwash on the housing market and banking industry when bankruptcies are seen to increase in any region—right?

I’ll bet on it!


ONE MORE THOUGHT

LET’S PUT OUR HEADS TOGETHER and THINK UP WAYS TO MAKE positive CHANGES away from the current saddening trends in our regional, state and county economic planning and practices, OK?

I will also bet that most of us would like to have and build a better economy than legislators and politicians have left us with as of August 2008.

LET’S CONSIDER TAKING RESPONSIBILITY AND CLEARING the senates and houses across America of bad candidates by the end of this physical year. (Look for candidates that don’t depend on prisons, gambling, or raising children to be gamblers and potential criminals or bankrupted Americans.)

--KAS

Check out just a few of the articles on this topic of the relationship of bankruptcies to the housing and banking sector.
http://129.3.20.41/eps/mac/papers/0209/0209010.pdf
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=510602
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/05/california-leads-way-to-consumer-bust.html




NOTES

Christiansen, Eugene Martin, Gambling and the American Economy Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 556, Gambling: Socioeconomic Impacts and Public Policy (Mar., 1998), pp. 36-52

Marks, Alexandria, “Youth Gambling on the Rise”, http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/sections/health_family/family/article_479947.php

Kearny, Melissa, “Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling”, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=693095

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