Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Shortly after turning 18 I made my first trip into a casino. I remember being overwhelmed when I walked through the doors to find all the bright flashing lights, all around be were the sounds of gamblers winning at the machines. Interesting isn't it that when the machines give you a little more than you put it, the bells begin to sound, the lights flash and you envy the person whose machine is announcing their big win.

I remember sheepishly asking my brother, "How do these things work?", a little embarrassed that I didn't know how to use the machine instinctively. "Easy", he said, "put your money in here", I did, "and pull the lever". I did. Soon what appeared to me to be a random group of pictures appeared on the machine, the bells flashed and 20 dollars in quarters came spilling out of the machine. My first quarter and I was a winner. If this is what gambling is all about, I like it.

It didn't take long, however, to discover that my first experience was not the norm. Shortly thereafter I had extinguished the 20 dollars I had won and was just enjoying the free pepsi. Can you imagine? All the soda you want.. for free. This place is great.

A friend of mine had a little bit different story. You see he had an endowment. So instead of 20 dollars, he put in 100. Hey, I guess if you can afford it, good for you. Then after that he went to the ATM and took out another hundred, followed by another hundred. All to chase after that original hundred dollars the house now owned in addition to the extra money he sent in after it. My friend had a gambling problem. The only way to stop him was to keep him away from the casino, AND the ATM.

My friends we, the United States of America have become that man. We have lost our tail in risky ventures in the financial industry and now we are going back to the ATM making a withdrawl of almost a trillion dollars more, hoping a fools hope that we can recover what we have lost.

If we are to save this country we love lets admit we have a problem, accept the loss, and tackle congress before they make it to ATM. After all, it is not only our money on the other side of that ATM it is also our kids and grand kids.


Anonymous said...


Mookie said...

You know, my first time gambling was in MN. On $20 borrowed from my bro-in-law, I won $50, so I left the state with an extra $30 (minus the McD's on the way out of town)
Then a second trip to minnesota yielded me $180
Then I went 2 times to a local Iowa casino...I think they are definitely in cahoots with the gov't here...I lost $20 bill after $20 bill....and nothing to show for it, but some stupid lousy free t-shirt that advertises the casino. Hmmm..kind of like the government!

Anonymous said...

Great Analogy!