In the past week, my mind has gotten a bit soggy with all the economic news. In the United States people think the lower oil prices is a great thing, but they seem to forget they are all small pawns in a big political game to hurt other countries economies and prop up their own as the reality of "who is going to pay?" comes home. The Swiss government stopped pegging the franc to the Euro.
I did tell some people,“Folks, you have a day or two to change from francs to Euros before the EU is going to make a move to bring the balance back in.
It appears to be a power the strange house of cards game where people all are looking to create the best image in a world that has quite a few houses of cards. Meanwhile for the moment, the USA had cheap gas. will it also parlay into cheaper airline fee's? the end of paying bag fee's? Why can't hope springs eternal! humor me!
In all this, for whatever reason, perhaps it is conversations of me trying to locate tech-labs and maker spaces in Colorado springs area, or friends asking, “where is there space? All that seems to be happening is people growing pot?”
“Yeah, we want to grow nutritious vegetables to provide healthy non fat laden food for people. Guess we are fools. The market doesn’t’ seem to want to get healthy, rather, get high.”
Then I thought about the day I went off and got all excited with the prospect of just having fun and making moonshine for my family and myself. The irony is I rarely drink – I just had some Swiss relatives that enjoyed it and I figured I could make some small jars for them with a cute label. If you want to have a fun read, here is that day:
Then when I was reading the new York times, I was caught be the speaker of the house arrested on corruption charges, and then in another article there was a bit of an economic development war happening in the state, not to create new factories or industries – but “who gets to build new casinos!”
In the past few months I am working out the new markets we want to take augmanity into. One of the markets is to see about what and how it can effect those suffering from addiction.
When I went through the crude analysis of alcohol, tobacco, illegal narcotics, and legally prescribed narcotics, there was a bit of a trend in how little of the overall market is affected, yet, the tremendous cost to the overall market that small percentage makes.
What was interesting is that many states got on the taxation bandwagon with fees and taxes per pack of cigarette or liter of libations. These weren’t’ a small percentage of the total cost of sale, but in some cases and states up to 50% of the revenue.
When I got to gambling and casinos. I had to make a comment a few days ago that the old Las Vegas was more fun than what has been created and monetized today. Then I think about the time I was in Macau and see where it is today – the worlds largest gambling Mecca and I think, “If china is a communist country, where is all this money coming from?”
What many states and governments are doing, instead of creating and innovating, is creating a section of society that simply gets taxed for doing something they deem “sin tax.”
The problem with the sin tax is that the billionaire hedge fund owner and wall street titans, really don’t care what any vice costs them. They have enough money to live in the vice until their body shuts down, or perhaps they have that genetic marker I call the ozzy osbourne/keith Richards genetic – where one wonders how they are still alive after what they ingested in their lives. This sector of the economy will not be affected.
What seems to be affected with the rollout of gambling and lotto is the ability for someone who doesn’t gamble to go into a 7-11 or any other convenience store to get a cup of coffee or a paper and have to stand in line when people line up for lottery tickets or scratch off games. I haven’t gotten into the economics of this area, all I know is that from the psychological profile of addiction, gambling goes one step beyond what normal addiction does. The perpetual gambler isn’t really into the game for the chemical change in the mind – their minds really are into it for more than the thrill or fix.
What does this all have to do? Well? It simply brings up the world where we have all spent too much, and our government got off the gold and silver standards – tools which were a bit dull and boring that didn’t’ provide out of control growth – but a more conservative path to the economics of a country
Instead, we just printed more money, printed more lottery tickets, taxed more whiskey bottles, legalized some illegal drugs, and we legalized a whole lot of new prescription drugs to make people feel like winners. I forget what happened to tobacco in the USA - a law firm made a fortune and the companies just exported smoking to the rest of the world to maintain the high profit margins?
Basically, we are paying for the debt by creating a subtle (ok, not so subtle) path for a few folks to get enormously wealthy, with sin or vice businesses and the partner is the government itself.
Do I call the Colonel Parker effect in government relations? It is the only analogy I can think of, “sure, go make this, I just want 50% of everything because I gave you the ok!”
What I see when I drive across the USA is that we have somehow created an income disparity as well as what is a really good idea that Franklin Roosevelt rolled out to get out of the great depression, and it has somehow been twisted and warped and even rationalized:
“We can create an economy that sells the idea to feel better and then tax the daylights out of it, enrich a few, and the best part is few will ever notice what is going on.”
Wow, that sounds like how the entertainment business works
I think I will call modern revenue generation and economic impact ideas I see happening in states where the industry has left and gone to another country, “Colonel Parker economics.”
My friend Russ and I have a strange game of “who is the bigger cynic?” One time we were discussing computer gambling while we stared off into the Arizona dessert where a tribe had an actual casino.
My creative brains said, “if the Indian lands are sovereign nation states, why can’t they start online gaming and then simply have people come to their casino to pick up their money? Make a casino bank? Then all that money can be invested into…”
I stopped myself, as I realized, much like the moonshine idea – it would work – but there is the other part of the idea analysis
“Is the idea really good for people? Humanity?”
Life was much easier when I didn’t ask that question.
I did have the chance to one day do a walk by meet and greet with fame. I was taking trash bins from my old partners house in Las Vegas to the curb for pickup. An elderly man was shuffling along the street. I said “hello” and waved. He waved back. I didn’t think much of it and went back inside to get ready for meetings in town.
“I met one of your neighbors, an old man.”
“Oh that is Colonel Parker, he was Elvis’s manager!”