Thursday, December 18, 2014

One for the bats!

A few weeks ago I reported that here in the Hudson Valley, specifically in the wealthy area known as Tuxedo, residents were beating back plans for a casino, and using bats to do the beating---that is, the endangered Indiana Bat, whose bailiwick includes the Tuxedo area. Frankly, I don't know if the Tuxedoans give a hoot (to bring in other nocturnalia) about the Indiana bat, but whatever.

The update is, Orange County---in which Tuxedo proudly sits at the southern tip---has been denied any of the new casinos that the state ballot initiative permitted. According to the Times, three proposals were accepted, in Schenectady, the borscht belt, and the Finger Lakes. The story notes, and a friend of mine who is a local reporter confirmed, that because Orange County is close to the city, it was seen as a threat the existing and proposed gambling parlors of Yonkers and Sullivan County.

I think the state made the right call, and the Indiana bat didn't have much to do with the decision, although the threat of lawsuits over the little fellow likely made the prospect of a casino here more expensive.

As I wrote in that earlier entry, I dislike casinos and find they do nothing for the areas in which they are dumped; further, industry experts describe the Northeast as "saturated" (according to the Times story) with gambling already.

Hasn't proven great in Atlantic City lately.

The whole casino thing is a big stupid mistake, all ginned up to try to extract money from losers at the tables and slots, funnel it through the casinos by taxes, and give more money to the government of New York State, which, when it comes to money, cannot spend it slowly or wisely.

Whenever the state government does make a decent decision I have to assume it was pure luck. And luck is what we have had here in New York, for a long time. But that luck is running out. We've eaten the seed corn; we're licking the husks. Gambling does not bring in a single dollar to the community; it just expropriates it from one part and moves it to another (with a cut for the out-of-state casino operator, by the way) (in fact, I believe the main winner in the casino stakes in New York is an out-of-the-country operator).

In other news, New York just voted to outlaw fracking, meaning there's no chance we'll get in on all the petrodollars that are making other states the envy of the nation.

Good job, New York! Good-bye, wealth!

(Anyone know a good Realtor in North Dakota?)

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