I have written two pieces recently about the immense degree of hypocrisy in liberalism today. Both of them focused on the concept of diversity and inclusiveness, something liberals love to preach, but hate to practice. Today’s flavor of hypocrisy has to do specifically with their treatment of those less fortunate folks in our society. Liberals love to think of themselves as the guardian of the poor and downtrodden while more often than not enacting laws and regulations and supporting policies that ensure their very downtroddeness. This is a rich and complex topic that probably deserves multiple entries. I could write about their long partnership with the teachers’ unions, which has valued votes over quality inner city public education for decades, to the point where now only half of black males who enter 9th grade actually graduate, compared to 78% of white males. Or, I could discuss the painful history of the liberal welfare state and what it did to keep so many poor families in poverty. But, instead, I am going to bite off a much smaller piece of this big problem.
Friday night, I ran into my buddy, Hal, at a bar. Hal is typical of my uber blue state (Maryland) in that he’s very liberal. But, this particular evening he came up to me all excited and said, “I’m pretty sure we’re going to vote the same way on something this fall.” I’ve always wanted to vote with Hal so my excitement was immediately peaked. He said, “You’re voting ‘Yes’ on Question 7, right?”
Shit! So much for voting with Hal this year.
Question 7 on the Maryland ballot, championed by our liberal Governor, Martin O’Malley, asks Maryland residents to decide whether we want to build a casino in our state. Their flimsy rationale is that it will bring $500 million and lots of jobs to Maryland. And, oh by the way, if we don’t build it, Maryland residents will just go blow their hard-earned money at the casinos in West Virginia.
I have no doubt that if we build it, Marylanders will come and will spend $500 million a year. I haven’t seen the numbers, but it seems reasonable. The problem is casinos and lotteries are a tax on the poor and uneducated – the very people liberals profess to want to help. Personally, I have no moral opposition to gambling. I studied just enough statistics to know that the purpose of a casino is to separate people from their money so I choose not to spend much time in them. But, more important, should we be solving our state’s fiscal woes by turning to the people who can least afford it and separating them from their cash with the hopes and dreams of getting rich quick at the roullette table? Sorry, but this feels like the absolute and final failure of government. This administration has done such a poor job of managing the budget that their only hope for balancing it is to take money from poor people at casinos by giving them some false hope of winning money.
Hal was pissed at me. I asked him why he was voting for it and he said it would be fun to go to the casino. And, he echoed the BS about people going to West Virginia anyway. Well, maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But the fact that West Virginia has decided to tax its poor with casinos doesn’t make it right that we do it here in Maryland. Shouldn’t we take the high road and make it that much more difficult for our residents to lose their hard earned money – money they cannot afford to lose, but by the laws of statistics most certainly will.
Sorry, Hal, but we’ll just have to keep looking to find something to agree on. This ain’t it.
Fellow Marylanders – when you go to the polls on Tuesday, I urge you to vote NO on Question 7. If you really want to gamble and you can afford it, go to Vegas. The weather is better and you can catch a show or two. But, let’s not let our liberals push through another tax on the poor.