Sunday, December 02, 2018

Racino shouldn't be up to majority

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 31, 2018)

Come election day, those who play politics are asking people to vote for or against the "racino". Some say it will help the economy. Others say it will bankrupt people, both morally and financially. I say such things should never be up to government control.

Nor should it be subject to majority opinion. People need to grow beyond this notion that they have a right to control what other people do on their own property with their own money. They don't, even though politics gives them the illusion that they do

This venture shouldn't be subject to a license or any other kind of government regulation. It shouldn't be rationed by a "racing commission". These matters should be left up to those who have the only possible right to decide: the property owners and those who want to build the racino.

Admittedly, this wouldn't please governments or the people who feel powerful because they are on the racing commission, nor those who want to use politics to control other people and stop them from doing something they enjoy. Getting government out of it would please me.

I'm not in favor of gambling, nor am I against it. I simply understand it is none of my business what other people choose to do with their time and money. I see plenty of people doing things I think are a waste of time and money, but I don't imagine it's any of my business, and I would never use the power of government to force my will on them. I'm not that antisocial.

There are many vices out there. Not one of them is legitimately subject to majority opinion nor should a single one of them be subject to laws and punishment. If the vice is really bad it will bring its own punishment. If you don't like it, don't participate. Yes, you really do have a choice.

The only reason for an election would be as feedback to measure whether there are enough potential customers in the area to make it worthwhile. A vote should never be binding on whether someone is allowed to open a business of any kind, or do anything else.

The only other time a vote on something of this sort could possibly be legitimate is when tax money will be used. In such cases, those who vote in favor should be the only ones who pay any additional tax. Those who vote "no" should be completely off the hook.

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Scars of statism

Everyone has some kind of scars. I have a scar on my shoulder from an encounter with an armadillo, and many scars on my left hand due to knives held in my right hand.

I would imagine everyone also has psychological scars. Including scars from statism in our pasts.

Most of us were statist to some degree at some time in our lives. Some more than others. And everyone has been exposed to statism. Like any trauma, this leaves scars which are sometimes noticeable to observers.

You can't be involved in a cult, or exposed to it continually, without taking some damage to your psyche.

I can sometimes notice my own scars of statism, and it's even easier to see them in others.

Mine show up in kneejerk emotional reactions. I recently felt one scar when I went into the library and was once again overcome with the desire to wrap my hands around the throat of the evil little loser who shot it up last year, killing one of my friends. I'm opposed to imprisonment, but I still feel the desire to make that little vermin suffer. Even if it's in a way I oppose but can't abolish. I realize that's one of my statist scars showing up.

Of course, I'd rather they set him free and let everyone know who he is, what he did, and let nature take its course-- I wouldn't participate, but I wouldn't help him. But it is what it is, and none of it is in my control, anyway. Other than my reaction, which isn't good.

I do my best to not focus on the scars, mine or other peoples', but to see how the person has managed to overcome and grow, in spite of the scars. Everyone is scarred; no one has to spend their life dwelling on it.


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