Sunday, August 07, 2005

An impressive display of expertise

The introduction of high-stakes video bingo machines at Greenetrack last year has added 300 jobs in Greene County, a rural area that desperately needs employment opportunities. Not everyone is pleased that the gains have resulted from the expansion of gambling, however, and one of the chief critics is John Giles, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama.

Giles, as you'd expect, asserts that gambling is wrong because he thinks it disproportionately hurts the poor and the elderly. Then he delves into economic analysis. See, gambling is an uncertain employment source that could pull out of town at any time; manufacturing jobs are far stabler. And that would be a wonderfully persuasive argument, except that the state has lost 100,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 10 years even when you factor in the explosive growth of automobile production.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Giles also offers the answer to all of the Black Belt's economic worries: "[T]he long-term economic development fix for any county is good clean industry."

Finally, bold leadership in the fight against pollution! Unchecked video gambling machines have contaminated our air and water with noxious emissions for far too long. The sooner we end their reign of terror, the healthier and more prosperous we'll all be.


Blogger Susan of LocalTint said...

"[T]he long-term economic development fix for any county is good clean industry."

This is coming from a man whose "industry" involves trafficking in bigotry, misogyny, regressive taxation, and retrograde ideas in general. Also nice work if you can get it, I guess.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On this issue of the environment:

In all honesty, if I or my family don't have jobs, I don't give a rat's butt about the environment.

If an industry comes into the state that can give jobs, the lives of the people of this state matter a little more than the environment. Selfish, yes. But it's the truth.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

Anonymous, business and the environment don't have to engage in an all-or-nothing battle. Nothing requires economic development and environmental protection to be mutually exclusive; indeed, they can complement each other. A healthy environment often leads to healthier workers, and healthier workers often lead to increased productivity. The environment isn't just for animals.

Heavy industry has to occur somewhere, of course, and with good planning, it can produce lots of jobs and cause minimal environmental impact. But it's just as wrong-headed to assert that any proposed industrial project always should trump environmental concerns as it is to assert that environmental concerns always should trump proposed industrial projects. There's a happy medium.

12:45 AM  

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