Friday, May 21, 2010

19,000+ jobs this month -- and not one slot machine

Of course, we know that casinos don't really create jobs (they just steal them from local businesses, by driving those local businesses under), but this past month proves that casinos will not be part of the recipe in getting ourselves out of a recession.

Take this for example.
Of the 16 regressions run in an Illinois study, only three municipalities showed a statistically significant increase in employment or decrease in unemployment. The same regressions indicated that for every job created, local businesses lost one or more jobs. Another study, conducted by the New York Times found that 27 out of 57 counties analyzed experienced a net job loss.
The fact of the matter is the only casino job growth comes from the initial construction, which won't really come at all at the state's race tracks, since they're not going to be real casinos. After the casinos are built, the jobs are -- at best -- a wash. Usually, it's a net loss across the wider region.

This, of course, makes logical sense: When you create one huge, homogeneous, all-encompassing source of entertainment for the wider area, you don't need thousands of small ones. When that one source can then sell an addictive product that's illegal elsewhere, and makes enough money from that one product that they can then give away other desired products for free to get people in the door -- like alcohol -- who on earth would think the local pub or bar down the street could compete? They can't, they don't, and when casinos are built, they go out of business.

We need jobs and we're getting them now, far sooner than a real casino could even be built. This state needs to say no to casinos and gimmicks and focus on real solutions. Those solutions are out there, we're already on the right path. We shouldn't be building something that could actually make the state less able to deal with future recessions, by creating a major taxable source of income (slots) that fluctuates greatly from one year to the next -- making it impossible for states to plan things -- robs the state of other, steadier taxable income (like income taxes from small businesses and the state lottery), and by creating an industry that literally sucks up Massachusetts dollars already going to our local economy -- the lifeblood of our entire state -- and shoots it off out of state and out of country, never to be seen again.


TruthtoPower said...


Great post! Rock-on.

Legalizing casinos in the Commonwealth is a bone-headed, backward, brain-dead, bad idea.

That's right, I said it.

Middleboro Remembers said...

Great post, Ryan!

Economic recovery will come from local small businesses creating 85% of the new jobs, not the giant sucking sound of slots.

The Commonwealth can and must do better, not just play copy cat.

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