THE IRON PEN by Daniel Hite

September 28, 2010

Afterthoughts on a Public Hearing

Filed under: economics,gambling,politics — danielhite @ 5:01 pm
Tags: , , ,

The MO Gaming Commission held their back-to-back hearings this morning on the two St. Louis area casino possibilities. One half hour of testimony was allowed for each of the “pro and con” sides regarding each site–though all testimony was sadly devoid of any moral perspective on the gambling issue.  I suppose that is to be expected in a declining urban center dominated by old politics and multi-layered economic challenges–you know…the kind of place where money speaks louder than conscience. Everyone was polite even in an uncomfortably overflow crowd.  Here is my take on the pulse of the meeting:  Even though the “pros” were all business and professional, the “cons” had great momentum, rationale, and passion in laying out local resident opposition as well as environmental concerns regarding the plans.  I know I am stepping out on a limb here, but I think the “cons” will win the day and St. Louis will stay one casino lighter–but certainly not for any ethical reasons.  I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet (as the saying goes), but I predict that Cape Girardeau (a totally untouched casino market) will become the next battleground regardless of the outcome of their November initiative vote on the matter.  And the battle cries?…Ethics vs. Economics in this morally conservative part of our state. I wish I was more hopeful than I am. America and Missouri are in need of a spiritual awakening and a reinvigoration of  conscience.

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