Jan 23, 2019
As more and more states turn to casinos and lotteries to ‘fill the gap” in 'falling' state budgets, the predatory and regressive nature of gambling as an alternative to increasing taxes on the rich avoids nearly any media scrutiny among centrists and liberals. Even the Left has mostly ignored the issue––ceding criticism of our most regressive tax to the Christian Right, who largely oppose gambling for all the wrong reasons.
In this episode, we explore how lotteries and casinos have come to represent the last throes of the false neoliberal promise of "jobs” and “growth.” Throughout much of the United States, specifically the Rust Belt and Midwest, casinos and prisons are increasingly the only growth industries, entrenching the shift from an industrial economy to one that exclusively preys on the poor and desperate in a never-ending race to the bottom. Beyond the glitz and easy “tax revenue” lies a massive transfer of wealth from the poor, black and elderly to the super wealthy - achieved, slowly over decades, with zero sustained criticism from the media.
We are joined by two guests: John Balzarini, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice at Delaware State University, and Les Bernal, National Director of Stop Predatory Gambling.