"Horsy Set" Rides Again!
Yeah…there will be some revenue as the state “empowers” the operators to make some bucks off the backs of the “gamers,” as Beshear would call the suckers, but make no mistake about it. The main objective is the protecting and enlarging of the horse industry, which, according to the horsy set, employs 100,000 people, as if anybody in his right mind actually believes that. These track folks couldn’t turn up 100,000 names – at least legal names – if they had to.
Most of those 100,000 folks would be employed in the Bluegrass and the so-called “Golden Triangle” bounded roughly by Lexington, Louisville and Covington/Newport. Somehow, one believes the economy in this area would be far different if those workers actually exist. In any case, they wouldn’t be doing much better than minimum wage, if that, so even if the numbers were true, they represent negligible amounts of income taxes to the state. Compare the average hourly wage at Georgetown Toyota – at least $30 plus perks that up it to about $48 – and see the difference. The UAW folks in Louisville come in at about $69 per hour total.
The proof that the horsy set has its collective mind on money for the horsy set is seen in the governor’s proposition for a Constitutional amendment as delivered through legislator Thayer – five casinos at the racetracks and two others not within 50 or so miles of a track. These two others, by virtue of cronyism, would likely belong to the horsy set, also, with the books out of sight, of course.
One presumes that even the horsy set must figure that casinos are not all that great since it recommends only seven for the WHOLE STATE! That’s only one casino for every 570,000 people or so. Even the horsy set would agree that alcoholic beverages cause more death and destruction than anything else in Kentucky but the group probably would not take issue with the fact that the stuff is sold in groceries and in establishments on virtually every street in much of Kentucky, with more localities legalizing booze practically every week. There are hundreds or thousands (who’s counting) of alcohol oases in the state.
So…why just seven casinos, which, of course, do no harm at all? After all, lottery tickets can be bought on every corner, so why not a casino on every corner. The “game” is the same and every sucker should be treated with respect. To disallow him the same privilege to lose his shirt as mostly just those who go watch the ponies while they lose their shirts is actually – DISCRIMINATORY, the vilest and most often used adjective in the lexicon these days.
The answer is obvious, of course, especially taking into account that graft and corruption are hallmarks of both the legislative and administrative branches these days. One has only to look at the redistricting fiascoes foisted upon the population recently to see just how crafty and cynical the solons are. Simply moving a legislator 200 miles from his district is not exactly what one considers copasetic, but then what does an average citizen know? Besides, that legislator’s former district included a (gasp) racetrack, though in fairness it must be said that his new district 200 miles removed (gasp) also includes a racetrack…such thoughtfulness!
This is not even to mention the shenanigans vis-à-vis the Congressional representation. That new map appears as what one would think a kindergarten finger-painter might deliver. It’s designed to keep a republican, at all costs, from getting his hands on the Sixth District…maybe even the Fourth, as well. The courts may be attacked by Truth and change things…but, who knows?
But one digresses! The horsy set knows that fairness would involve empowering all would-be casino-operators to have that privilege, about the same as the lottery folks. This means, of course, an inordinate, absolutely prohibitive diminution of racetrack proceeds since the vast majority of folks would not bother to drive out to racetracks when they could just truck on down to the nearest convenience store and play the slots or even get into an exciting game of blackjack that might amuse them for hours while they lose their shirts.
Just think what a mini-roulette operation might take in at a gas station while one’s car is being serviced. There’s much money in “them thar hills” just waiting to go to the operators…and the state, of course, to save the schools, or something like that…doesn’t really matter. The horsy set should get in line…or the guv and cronies should be forced to attempt putting on “straight faces,” though to do so might cause a massive number of jaw-breakers.
And so it goes.