America has opened her arms to many legalization movements over the past 70 years. We embraced the legalization of adultery in the 1950s. We legalized divorce through no-fault laws in the 1970s. In the 1980s, we blessed the practice of loan-sharking, making high interest rates easy and legal. In the 1990s we removed restrictions on Indian reservation gambling. In the first two decades of the twenty-first century, we legalized medical marijuana and began to legalize recreational pot.
In 2018, sports gambling was legalized, and now states are rapidly climbing on board just like in all these other cases. This latest freedom we have granted ourselves combines two great national past-times, athletic competition and get-rich-quick.
I can’t help but wonder about legalized gambling’s explosive effect on today’s reluctant workforce. I suspect many people are unwilling to work because they would rather gratify their passion for sports, just like investors do by placing bets on the stock market. It’s not work. It’s fun, and it pays big!
I know it happens. My physician brother quit his Seattle practice to make it as a day trader in the stock market, and as a Vegas gambler too. His assets dwindled steadily until, in great poverty, he finally committed suicide. He anticipated today’s wild party by a couple of decades.
- Kimball Shinkoskey, Woods Cross, Utah