On the surface you would think there is nothing in common between Las Vegas and Washington DC, other than sharing a Nation where The Jersey Shore is a top rated TV show. One city was built on the profits of lawlessness, the other from the profits of law. But the recently proposed $50 Billion dollar stimulus plan suggests they are more similar than Kardashian sisters.
Las Vegas has always astounded me. While I understand the allure of the big shows, bright lights, and wandering Elvis impersonators; I don’t understand the people who actually believe they’ll return from a Vegas vacation richer than they left.
Unfortunately, some look at Las Vegas as a career rather than a diversion; the ones who believe they have stumbled upon a system that will skew the odds in their favor. In turn they become unwilling contributors to an ever-growing spectacle of neon and debauchery.
The entire town was built on a foundation of these “systems.” All the marble waterfalls, the replicas of other cities, and the glass monoliths and pyramids; were financed by people who think they’re smarter than those who own the casinos.
Most of these systems are based on a nonsensical notion of justice in the cosmos. There is a belief in a mystical power that watches over us all, insuring that not everyone has a bad day. For every flat tire there is someone who was driving behind an armored car that forgot to shut it’s back door. For every roasted dung beetle, there is an ice cream cone. For every Paris Hilton there is a Stephen Hawking.
The premise is, that nobody can be a loser every single time. So if you lose one bet, all you have to do is double it on the next game, and eventually, when the cosmos shift, you’ll win everything back and more.
In theory it is possible, since you cannot expect a coin to land on heads forever. There is a chance it will work, but only as long as you have an infinite amount of cash. The spectacular attractions and architecture of Las Vegas stand testament to the amount of times the system has failed
Washington DC is a similar city. (In fact , it kind of looks like a Las Vegas replica of Greece.) All the marble temples of Bureaucracy, were built by delusional Autocrats, who consider themselves smarter, than the entrepreneurs who actually built this nation. There is also a notion, that the Federal Government has an infinite amount of cash.
The original stimulus failed, as did all the bailouts, TARP, and the public seizure of the auto and banking industry. We’ve lost so much money on Hope and Change, that it’s unlikely even our great-grandchildren will ever pay it back. If Washington was our friend, we’d suggest he put the cards down now, push himself away from the table, and maybe catch a stage show. But like compulsive gamblers denying their disease, this administration wants to double down on a “system” they should have realized was a failure long ago.
We the People are like the delusional lovers of a compulsive gambler, content to imagine a prosperous reality just around the next corner, and deny that the odds are stacked against us. It all sounds so plausible on paper that it just has to work eventually.
The problem that Washington doesn’t seem to grasp: there isn’t an infinite amount of cash. Why would they think that, when they literally have a license to print money? There is no reason to assume there is a bottom to the bank account; it’s like the joke about the guy who thinks he must have money, because he still has a box full of blank checks.
It’s why every round of stimulus has made the economy worse. The laws of economics are as inflexible as the laws of gravity, and just as fatal. They are enforced by powers greater than Hope, and I suggest any person who thinks he will not fall every time he steps off the top of a building, to attempt that experiment repeatedly.
And maybe when you start walking on air, I’ll support your latest round of stimulus.