The Question about Question 2
Now that the prez race seems to be all but shrunken up... it's time to turn our attention to the more pressing issue here in Baltimore. And btw - when they tell you that you have to go vote at a certain polling stationed in Baltimore - it's only because they want you to vote on your local issues as well - facts are - you can vote anywhere if you want.
So - question 2 = SLOTS! Most of you reading this are saying, "Bret must be in favor of slots." BZZZZ (That was the Family Feud buzzer sound).
The arguments in favor of slots are those of the Republicans and the heavy lobbyist. And they will want to turn your eyes towards the good that slots can bring. They'll say, "Oh slots will bring in over 650 million dollars of new tax funds.", "People are gambling anyway both here and in other states with Maryland money that isn't taxed so let's bring it in house.", "We already have gambling in the form of horse racing and lottery." All of these are valid reasons.
I however have my counterpoints.
The stats that we have received about the 650 million dollars we are proposed to get are skewed at best. The lobbyists who are not represented as a business in this state create this number. They are located in Connecticut and Mississippi (where they make slot machines). Hence, those tax dollars that we are creating are also going to bolster other economies and are not whole heartedly serving the good of our state.
Another observation that you can take is to look at states where slots have been allowed and to see how much they have "improved". West Wirgina according to the study in the City Paper was promised similar stats with different demographics and in their case, while the lobbyist of the race tracks and local bars seem to have loved it, I don't think you'll find many other local West Virginians falling over themselves to hold up the slots sign in honor. They have not seen an improvement in schools, roads, or the police force as they have promised. They have seen an improvement directly AROUND the racetrack - which compared to Pimlico and Ocean Downs, Charlestown is a relatively underdeveloped community.
The final argument that I have is basically a moral one. Let's face facts. Slots are a poor tax. Poor people play them in poor places with other poor people practicing poor habits and perpetuating poverty. Slots are an even worse idea in the city of Baltimore where we have a 40% unemployment rate and so many people living below the poverty line that it is amazing that this city hasn't self-destructed. The only thing that slots perpetuate in Baltimore is more poverty. The money spent on the slots will only cause more heartache and more problems within our community.
While I would love to see Maryland take better care of it's schools, roads, emergency resources such as fire and police, I have very little desire to do it on the backs of those that will suffer the most.
I believe every person has a choice in what they do in life. If you want to gamble, then gamble. But, our Government, and protectors or our welfare and the flag waivers of our what are supposed to be our highest common good, should not be the one's to provide us with more self-destructive measures in order to make their jobs easier when it comes to taking care of our city.
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In lighter news - Willie Don. S. is going to finally get a statue in Harbor Place - I hope he'll be alive to dedicate it. He deserves it.
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In crappier news - I hate wind. I can deal with snow, rain, heat, hail, falling puppies... but I refuse to deal with the wind. It's the worst weather.