by Whet Moser
Pockets that mark the diff'rence
Between a gentlemen and a bum,
With a capital "B,"
And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for video poker!
I don't know what to think about video poker - one one hand, it's an addictive and depressing way for people to spend money. On the other hand, so are a lot of other things (like the state-run lottery or space wine) that aren't illegal. Either way, this part of the Tribune's editorial on the subject, about counties and municipalities that have banned video poker, caught me off guard:
Inspect the lists: These communities tend to be populated by savvy and educated citizens — on average, their socioeconomic status is above the median — who recognize video gambling for just what it is: a fine way to pack low-rent bars and then separate moderate-income people from what limited resources their families still have.
My libertarian instincts aren't dead, but they're pretty wussy. Nonetheless, being hectored about how better communities like Naperville don't want or need video poker because they're smart and wealthy and know better, and not, perhaps, because communities with an above-median socioeconomic status come into a softer landing when the economy tanks... well, that makes me want to legalize the hell out of everything.