Monday, October 16, 2006

Online Gambling

I am a little upset by James Martin from Virginia Progressive. He writes some great posts, keeps the blogosphere informed upon the political races, but sometimes I believe he takes a step into the wrong side.
On Saturday, James commented upon a new law, which supposedly "cripples online gambling". Why was the bill proposed for the law in the first place, well taking from the Virginia Progressive website:

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.), said he opposes all gambling, citing its “ill effects on society,” but particularly Internet gambling, which led him to draft the legislation in the summer.
All the problems that manifest themselves with gambling, even in heavily regulated states, are even worse on the Internet,” Goodlatte said yesterday. “There are family problems, bankruptcy problems, gambling addiction, gambling by minors, using gambling to launder money for criminal and terrorist organizations and organized crime. It does not help our society.

A law imposed on the rest of the American society because someone believed it to cause damage. He does not note the happiness people receive from gambling only the negative points against the action. Have we not heard this before, say with alcohol? People will gamble. They enjoy it. The internet does not have boundaries nor see national borders.

I do not gamble. I do not even smoke, but I am for smoking. Why not, if there is a call for a nonsmoking bar I am sure someone will open a bar that they do not allow smoking; no need for regulation. The point is if I did smoke or gamble, I would want to be allowed the opportunity to. It is my earnings, who is a congressman to tell me what I can do with my own self gain?

Let us note that just because a law is passed does not mean the action will stop. During prohibition the alcoholics still found ways to drink. The cost had rose to drink, but as they did enjoy the alcohol they did pay the high price. For gambling, I'd expect the same turn of events. A high price causes more gains giving gamblers a larger incentive. Once again the government attacks supply believing if they attack the suppliers they can halt the demand.


Melissa said...

Couldn't agree with you more! This is NOT progressive legislation, this is nanny state legislation. James is allowing his own personal biases against online gambling to take priority over what is good or bad government.

Melissa said...

PS: Here are some old posts from Cafe Hayek and Austrian Economists regarding minimum wage and referring, although unintentionally, to what Josh was talking about last Wednesday- how some economists say we should raise minimum wage.

They propose starting SORE- Society of Real Economists, where you have to sign a petition stating that demand curves slope downward, prices respond to market forces and that actions and results matter more than motivation and intent. Heh.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the types of thinking that keep me from calling myself a Democrat; the belief in social policy that takes away freedoms.

I'm for drinking, pot, gambling, whores, and whatever else people want to do (I am also for laws against drunk driving and stuff like that, though). And I don't partake in any of these, really.

Idunois said...

Anon 9:52
Laws for drunk driving have liability as drunk driving is a cost on society. But I completely agree with you. I can not call myself a democrat for the same reason. Of course, I can't call myself a republican neither since I disagree with many of their policies.

Idunois said...

OOoo if I were an economist I would definitely be signing up for the SORE. Thanks for the note Melissa. Definitely two great blog posts to read.