There is no such thing as a magical public fund from which political gifts spontaneously generate. No matter how noble the intention or the cause, the benevolent politician is not Santa Claus. All goods distributed by government must first be created or produced by somebody. Whatever is given must first be taken. This is true for corporate subsidies and bank bailouts, just as it is true for transfer payments made to the very poorest members of society.
People by and large accept such a system because they believe they will be able to draw more in political advantage than they lose by way of political plunder. This mentality keeps the population playing the game, and like the casino, if enough people play the game, it is the political class and the politically connected that always win.
In fact the odds of winning in the casino are actually better than the odds of coming out ahead in the political game. In Vegas the house has an advantage of about 3-10 percent on most table games. Currently, U.S. government takes a 32.6 percent rake to serve as the proverbial dealer, cashier, and pit boss. The government spends more, regulates more, and interferes more in our lives each year – and the economy barely grows. Even with the odds stacked against the average person, people still seem eager to place their bets on the system by looking for political solutions. In Vegas they would call this a “sucker bet.”
Jason Riddle, over at the Foundation for Economic Freedom's site, compares politics with casino gambling and concludes convincingly that the latter is a better bet.
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