When I was a kid, public gambling was something done mostly in Vegas and Atlantic City. Today it is available everywhere from local convenience stores, to state run casinos and unlimited on line gaming sites. Gambling can be highly addictive of course, and like most addictions, is often socially and financially devastating for participants and their families. (Next time you approach the cash in a convenience store or gas station, take note of the people around you who are scratching and playing different lottery tickets. It is not a pretty sight.) But in present times, the officially sanctioned message is that gambling is ‘fun’ and a way to ‘give back’ to the community. What a mess.
State lotteries claim to be good for education and the general wellbeing of citizens. But are they? Here is a direct video link.
There is a connection between today’s gambling obsession as social pastime and the gambling mentality that also dominates financial market participants. Computers have enabled self-destructive financial bets on a scale never before possible in human history. I believe these trends will eventually be recognized as highly counter-productive and destabilizing for civil society and necessarily curtailed again.