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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Monday, April 02, 2012

Gambling on more than a Few in Prince George's County

               Prince George's County is all a-buzz with interest on gambling,on gaming and in casinos as a quick fix for its budget problems.  The basic idea is that lots people like to play slots or take their chances at gaming tables. The incoming from lotteries and the high tax rates on casinos are revenue sources for government. And management and ownership team of a casino stand to make considerable money too. So there is a common interest between government and casinos to see the establishment of gaming especially in down turns in the economy . All of this benefits in the near-term, the powerful political elite's ability to distribute the resources of government and a small cadre of their development partners to support their profit statements. It doesn't do much for the public at large, outside of creating a low paying part time jobs and putting a few older hotel and eateries out of business.

               In addition to visiting gaming tables, the lottery is another form of payment by individuals to the government. The average American household spends $500 per year on lottery rather than inverting in a personal savings account. This brings me to the idea of a savings lottery, an idea that this county would never support because it would benefit the many and not necessarily the few. A savings lottery, already in place in other jurisdictions around the world, is a way to feed the desire to win without producing anything and at the same tome bolster personal savings. 

               A savings lottery would appear to be a lottery ticket to its buyer with the same feeling of a sure thing bet on tomorrow, while in actuality being a deposit into a special savings account.  The player actually keeps, instead of loses, the entirety of his or her discretionary bet. Prize money comes by aggregating the interest from all the deposits.  Just like lotteries there could be daily, weekly or even monthly drawings; there would be prizes worth dreaming about: $1000, $10,000, even $1 million.  The system would attract people because more they bought, the more chances they would get. 

               This is such an intriguing idea that Prince George's County would never even dream of considering it, because it has little to offer the elite and powerful and much to benefit the rest of us. Our county is so busy dreaming of things that once were, that we miss things that could be. Imagine playing a game of chance to win $10,000 and saving the hard-earned price of the ticket at the same time. That is what the Michigan Save To Win program does, and what we cannot see because it would be too obvious a benefit for many and of little use to the established powerful Prince Georgian few.

               Michigan's  Save to Win touts that with "every $25 you put into a share certificate at a participating credit union is another chance to win and save. In the end, you’ll at the very least walk away with your savings, plus interest. If you have not saved before, you are not alone -- more than half of all Save to Win accountholders did not have a regular savings plan before Save to Win."  Rather than Win and save, Prince George's is trying hard to start the Give, Grow and Groan  - you give your money and the rich grow richer while you groan at the cost of your support for their endeavors. 

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