Monday, September 17, 2007

Deval Patrick Supports the Beeping and the Flashing

Amazingly, I received the first photos of the proposed Middleboro casino. Rumor has it the Wampanoags will call it the Luxor Deval.

Casinos in Massachusetts - Governor Patrick thinks it's a good idea. Of course, there's merit to both sides. That's why there's the good, the bad and the ugly.

Let's start in reverse order: The Ugly. Deval Patrick has decided to support the construction of not one, not two - but three mega resort casinos all in Massachusetts. You know, the one's that kill local businesses and keep the poor, well, poor. Go read Governor Patrick's statement on why he's going to support the last thing Massachusetts really needs. I think he's read a lot of the same data and came to a very, very different - and unnerving - conclusion. For starters:

These three destinations would generate more than 20,000 permanent and diverse jobs throughout the state with good wages and benefits


Since when did casino jobs come with good wages? Many in Nevada do offer benefits, but they're the same minimum-wage type jobs you could get at McDonalds, cleaning the bathrooms. Except you get overly expensive HMOs. Hooray! Knowing how to play poker is a skill, for sure, but one that looks a little more flashy when the celebrities dish it out on TV than it does in real life. It won't put your kid through college. Furthermore, many - if not most - of these regional casino jobs are shipped into the state and few forever stay.

The Bad: The biggest reason why Governor Patrick seems to be supporting casinos is because of added revenue, but at what cost is that revenue worth? Of course, cost - in this case - has several meanings. There's the social costs and economic ones. We can all guess at the social costs: casinos do make money, but they're making it off the people who can least afford to give it up. Keeping the poor perpetually poor is usually a play in the Republican handbook. Furthermore, all of these casinos are going to want state money to build roads, pay for police and do all sorts of things. And you know what? We're going to give it to them. It'll take years and years for all of these "added revenues" to really amount to anything.

Casino revenue in Massachusetts will be dwarfed by our entire budget; it's truly a pittance. It's always been true that people - and, in this case, states - should focus on what they're good at. If we want to create revenue, we need to focus on research and development, education and maintaining our edge in being an international financial headquarters. Massachusetts has a history of labor and intel, not cheap light slows and casino madness. Casino revenue won't build a new Storrow Drive Tunnel or rail to New Bedford, but creating stem cells that will cure paralysis just could.

This is one of the few decisions Governor Deval Patrick has made in his office that truly disappoints me; we're better than this. We can solve our own problems without any easy fixes. Sometimes taking the easier path isn't the best path - and, if casinos are allowed in this state, the Massachusetts pathway will be changed forever. The change, sadly, won't be for the better: it'll be trodden, broken and completely unrepairable.

Yet, that brings us all to... The Good. There's one shining hope: Not a single casino has been built in Massachusetts. It's not too late. The FBI is currently investigating the first potential casino - and the legislature still can prevent them. Lastly, while Deval Patrick has made a tremendous, egregious and horrible mistake, he's still a good Governor. Yet, unlike drapery, cars and phone calls - this is a real mistake. This decision could effect everyone in Massachusetts, if he's allowed to have his way. His goals and vision are still correct, which is a great thing - but allowing casinos in the state won't bring us there. Thankfully, the Democratic Process was established because even talented leaders can be wrong sometimes. Now, it's just a matter of our checks and balances kicking into gear. Yo, DiMasi, what have you done for me lately?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, so you like the democratic process again. You didn't like it a couple months ago when it meant marriage might go on the ballot. You like it when it could benefit you, don't like it when it goes against you. Hmmm....

joe said...

lawl

Ryan Adams said...

Anon,

I like the democratic process. Part of today's democracies, however, includes protecting the rights of a minority against that of a majority. Marriage is a civil right, but even in that case we went through the Democratic process and won anyway.

Joe,

Was that for my animation? I thought it was great myself =p I still love me some Deval Patrick, but he deserved a silly Ryan's Take photo shoot for today's decision LOL.

Anonymous said...

The democratic process means following the process, even if you dont like it. I think the electoral college is stupid and infringes on my rights, but I'm not willing to ignore it. If I did then what is to stop someone else from ignoring the parts they don't like and I do?

Ryan Adams said...

Thankfully, we don't live in a democracy. We live in a Representative Democracy, which is different in many ways. Furthermore, as a population, we've voted to protect the rights of minorities - so, you're point is moot, anyway. After all, no one just installed the Massachusetts Constitution, which gave people in this state equal rights. The population voted through it, using our Democratic Process.

Anonymous said...

We actually live in a republic. And that's why it's important to maintain "States Rights".

Anonymous said...

Yes, we did vote to protect the rights of minorities. Yes, we voted on it. We also voted on a provision that says if x number of signatures are gathered, and y number of reps and senators agree to it, then it goes on the ballot. You had no problem ignoring that part of the Constitution which you rightly point out was voted on.

Ryan Adams said...

Anon 5:24:

That's completely innaccurate. I was never saying on this blog or any other that people didn't have the right to attempt to change the constitution. What I said all along was that the process was too easy and we ought to fix it. Many conservatives have agreed with me on that issue, as well as liberals. Assumptions, my friend, are a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

You said the process was to easy and so we should ignore it because you might not like the outcome of the current process. I too agree that its too easy, but I wasn't willing to ignore the current process.

Anonymous said...

Bully for you, let's give you a Cookie of Righteousness. But only if you're not willing to ignore the process even though it would deprive YOU of YOUR civil rights. Because it's easy to be all righteous when only other people's rights are impacted. And if that's the case your cookie goes away, because that's obnoxious behavior. Oh, and scolding people whose civil rights are at stake for not wanting to throw a parade for their rights being on the line? yeah, that would make you even more of an obnoxious jerk.

Anonymous said...

I consider it my civil right to have firearms. Yet that right is being chipped away at all the time.

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