Thursday, January 15, 2009

to which forms of gambling are you opposed?

A nice effort by Marc Murphy in yesterday's C-J...

I wrote about this topic in my book on Christianity and public policy, since gambling is often a subject of political activism among those on the so-called Religious Right. Such activity is problematic on many levels-- chief of which are probably the difficulty in defining gambling and the incoherence in very selective approaches to its practice.


At January 15, 2009 at 8:12 AM , Blogger William Lang said...

I'm opposed to speculation on Wall Street. (But how to prevent the disasters we are going through now, from happening again? I don't know.)

At January 15, 2009 at 8:27 AM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

How do you define speculation?

Are you ok with speculation on real estate, allowing farmers and other investors to hedge using futures, the use of insurance, and so on?

At January 15, 2009 at 10:11 AM , Blogger William Lang said...

I can't offer a crisp definition of what investments are speculation. But it is clear that what has happened to our economy in the last year is the result of gambling on an incomprensible scale. And markets are not efficient: they are regularly and predictably subject to speculative bubbles followed by panics. Again, I don't know what the specific remedies should be.

At January 15, 2009 at 10:30 AM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Those are some of the problems if we try regulation as a "solution"...the proverbial devil is in those (and other political) details!

At January 18, 2009 at 4:07 PM , Blogger Bryce Raley said...


What would the federal reserve's role be in this recession?

How about Fannie and Freddie?

It's a rhetorical question.

The federal reserve has had irresponsible monetary policy- creating malinvestment through the manipulation of interest rates and through printing money out of thin air-creating inflation.

Fannie and Freddie have pushed policies which have forced some lenders to make loans (to unqualified borrowers) they otherwise might not make.

Are there issues with fraud, corruption and mismanagement in corporate America? Absolutely.

This problem doesn't have it's root in a lack of regulation or speculation in my opinion.

Trying to fix this by adding regulation reminds me of trying to eliminate all car accidents by mitigating them with barriers, speed limits, helmet and seat belt laws. In the end you cannot completely mitigate accidents unless you are in some sort of Utopia. Even though some of these regulations help, some of their costs to the public and our personal freedoms far outweigh the benefits of saving a couple lives.

I see this more and more- a mitigation by government intervention and regulation trying to control somewhat uncontrollable situations.


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