Friday, January 9, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Freedom: it's a tough sell, unless it's your own. "

-Steve Newton of Delaware Libertarian in an excellent post about sports betting, online poker, and the nanny state that must "protect us from ourselves."

As someone who played quite a few real money tourneys on Pokerstars and dabbled in a bit of online sports betting I fully support such "vices." I'll also support freedom of choice in other activities some may consider vices, because when you cut away all the bullshit rationalizations you're really left with only one central issue. Should people be able to do as they wish with their own money? (their own bodies etc. etc.?) The answer of course is yes.

Just because it may not be my cup of tea doesn't mean I should wish to prevent them from doing as they please.

On another note, I find Jason's assertion that sports betting and the lotto are a "regressive tax" on the poor to be baffling. Sports betting and lottery tickets are 100% voluntary expenditures, thus they cannot be considered a tax. Taxation carries with it the implicit threat of force as a means to compel payment. Using your money for entertainment does not have any coercive government force attached. It may be true that the poor spend a disproportionate amount of their earning on sports betting or the lotto, but that's their choice. Freedom of choice means that rich or poor, we're all free to make choices about how to spend our money. That means you're free to lose money at poker, I'm free to lose money at the strip joint, and Bob's free to lose money playing the Powerball.


Michael W. said...

By god sir,

With that kind of attitude you could be a *gasp* founding father.

Today, if a kid pulls a piece of furniture over on him/her self the very first thing that mom or dad does is try to figure out a way to sue the furniture maker, since it was their fault the furniture was defective.

When I was coming up, if I did that, my folks would check me to see if I was o.k. if so, then they would proceed to tear my a** up for playing on the furniture.

Go figure....

The other Mike W.

lordjim said...

The feds and what not are irritated at the online gaming phenomenon because they aren't getting their cut. I'm sure if they got their appropriate percentage of an establishments profits they wouldn't give a crap about it.

WV:relit, the second day of a bender?

Anonymous said...

Bah. You never "lose" money at a strip joint!

That is, indeed, an outstanding quote, but something tells me the deeper meaning of it will be lost on the vast majority of the readers at that particular weblog. Some of the people there are those who sincerely believe that people are too stupid/ignorant/childish/unequipped to run or manage their own lives, so the government should do it for them - and, while I guess the consistency is admirable, they would be ok with that happening to their lives as well. Like I said, at least it is consistent, but it is still disappointing as hell.