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Mark McCaw ~ twitter's @bigpicguy

Author of "Insights Inside a Mind" ~ blogging the big picture

Friday, 17 June 2011

Legalized Gambling: You're for it, even if you think you're against it.

     I admit, the title of the post might be a little confusing at first. By the end of this blog, you'll completely agree it makes perfect sense.

     One thing about humans, we can be fairly clever. Most of us know at least a little bit about an awesome array of things. If you stop to ponder, the human mind is mind blowing. We have the capacity to soak up an immense amount of knowledge, unfortunately, we are also using our brains differently just because of the vast amount of input coming in from a wide variety of sources. When we attempt to keep up with the highly charged world we live in, our minds compensate by trying to keep things simple in order to retain as much of the stimuli coming in. We're also a lazy bunch, often making decisions and judgments based on  too little information, not taking time to look deeper into anything that does not intensely interest us. This is the greatest danger to the human condition, the reason we rationalize irrational situations, create and pass on stereotypical views, and often subscribe to spin, and to be perfectly clear, by spin I mean cleverly crafted lies designed specifically to make you believe even the most implausible notions are true. We really aren't as smart as we think we are.

     All of that brings me back to my original statement. You are for legalized gambling, now matter how much you pretend to oppose it. It makes perfect sense to me, and here's why:

     Sure, you may oppose VLT's or betting on poker or perhaps, if you're really radical, those evil Tuesday night bingo games. This may lead you to believe you're doing the right thing, perhaps even that you are a heck of a good person wanting to stomp this evil from our society. You'd go to great lengths to oppose building a casino in or near your community because you're convinced all manner of evil will beset your neighbourhood, even though it's been proven untrue, we don't like to let facts get in the way. We love the moral high ground.

     I hate to burst your bubble (well, not really, but it's polite to say) but even if the person in the previous paragraph is you, you are in favour of, and participate in, the biggest legalized gambling scheme ever run. How do I know your secret? Actually it was pretty easy, I didn't have to peek in your window, hack your computer or steal your garbage to find out. I know you happily gamble day and night, because we all do.

     Now, just when you think I've completely lost my mind, let me draw your attention to how you gamble daily. Simple actually, you participate in the economy. We have to do a little bit of dot connecting here, since what I'm saying seemingly makes no sense, until you think about the underpinnings of the world we know. In our system, the capitalist western-style democracy, most everything we do is driven by the stock market, commodities markets, futures and such. If you don't think you're participating in gambling every moment of every day, I submit you must be a hunter-gatherer living in the cliffs of an undiscovered island and it would be impossible to read this.

     The stock market is legit you say. It's all honest and open and you can see what's going on every minute of every day you say. Really? You sure have a lot of faith, perhaps you've been blinded by the light. Trillions of dollars are gained and lost routinely ever day on the markets of the world. If you take more than a glance at how things work on a deeper lever, you'll realize unless you are against these markets it makes you very hypocritical to say you are anti-gambling.

     I like to use examples that are fairly fresh in the public eye, topical topics as it were. The example I'd like to start with to convince you I am telling the truth and it will all make a lot more sense when you finish reading is the fate of Research in Motion (RIM) makes of the Blackberry line of communications tools. If this isn't a good example of how our economy is a sham, I'm not sure I can find many better ones. Today, in a single day, RIM lost 22% of its market value. That means a lot of people lost a lot of money today. So, one would tend to think some kind of disaster happened to the company. What triggered such a substantial loss? Why is RIM talking about shedding jobs? Exactly how much money are they losing to be in this horrible position? One-fifth of the value of the company in a single day. WHAM!

     So why the huge drop? Here's some truth. RIM lost all that value today because they announced their earnings. Always an anticipated event in the gambling industry, oops, stock market. How big were their losses? $0. When RIM revealed they only made about 695 million in profits for the quarter (yes, for 3 months), and were downgrading their forecasts for the rest of the year. Because greed is the number one driving factor in all things monetary, so-called analysts will make "forecasts" (these are as reliable as weather forecasting, maybe bordering on earthquake predicting) of how much money they think a company will make, if the company does not do as well as their crystal ball said a few months ago, it triggers a selloff by traders who realize they might be able to make more money with their money buying part of some other company (until they miss the forecast). So the reason RIM lost so much value today is due to not being able to satisfy the greed of the money traders. The idea a profit of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars in a three month period is just not good enough was all it took to cause RIM to haul out the typical answer to this type of market action, they are going to make a few thousand people unemployed in the hope that the market will see this as a positive way to increase those quarterly profits so the selloff will stop and RIM will not be another coming of Nortel.

     What makes it even more sickening is the unpalatable thought it can easily be manipulated. The authorities will tell you no, just like the housing and financial markets in the USA that caused the horrific economic situation the world is in, everything is regulated. Sure. It's easy to buy that. Easier than thinking about the alternative, that everything we base our every waking moment on is bogus. False. A gigantic ponzi scheme designed to keep the rich richer, and the poor out on their ass. All it took today to trigger a 22% loss of value in RIM was one shareholder, who held 2% of the stock in the entire company, selling off half of their holdings. If you've ever paid attention to stocks, you'll know a simple move like that will be noticed quickly and the knee jerk reaction is for others to get out before they lose all their money. This put everything at a tipping point for RIM. If they don't act to meet the whims of the traders, RIM will cease to exist. This means a company that could easily earn a couple of billion dollars in profit this year will have to put thousands of people out of work, a sacrifice to the Gods of the almighty dollar.

     People who have retirement savings should know exactly what I say when I point out the fact we are all dependent on legalized gambling. The recent economic turmoil meant your 50 thousand dollar retirement savings lost most of its value in a very short period of time. If you don't think that's gambling, I'd be interested to hear what you think gambling is. In fact, if you held 10 thousand dollars in RIM stock today, you only have 7800 dollars tonight, all because they announced a quarterly profit of only 695 million dollars. This is they reason why so many unions are fighting to keep their DB pension plans because their value is not tied to the stock market. Companies want to replace those benfits with the DC pension plan where all of your money is at the mercy of the stock market. Imagine being a couple of months away from retirement when the economy hits a slump. Suddenly you are facing the rest of your life, which you thought would be at least somewhat comfortable, living in poverty.

     This is what the rich want for you. This is what corporations want for you. This is what your government wants for you. All because we live our lives based on a huge lie. Because our future rests on the shoulders of the biggest legalized gambling scheme of all. The "free market" economy.

     Legalized gambling. No matter how much you oppose it, you're for it. Now my headline makes sense.

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