I don’t think that legalized casino gambling should be allowed to exist in the United States. The morality of such an enterprise is, at very best, mixed. The great majority of the time, they teach lessons that no one needs to learn.
That being said, casinos are big money makers for the city/counties/state governments where they are located. Gambling is heavily taxed and the profits are high. So the venal and shortsighted politicians in the aforementioned governments see the dollar signs and let the poison in.
Now, let us speak of the commodities options market. This is gambling pure and simple. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I have heard the crap about farmers using the options market to hedge the chances of price rises etc., etc., etc. Well, it is still gambling. If you gamble as part and parcel of your business, you are no better than the goddamn banks who got us into the pickle we are in.
But most options traders aren’t farmers. I would even venture a guess that farmers constitute <10% of the overall option trades. My guess is that it is a lot lower than that. I would even venture to say that if, as a country, we had and agricultural policy that didn’t consist of shoveling money into big agribusinesses pockets as fast as the politicians can shovel, we might even find a better way to stabilize seed and crop pricing.
So what we have is a bunch of well connected white boys in Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and New York trading on the goodwill that the rest of the country lavishes on an image of a farmer that has long since departed. These are Ivy-league MBAs with a greedy streak as wide as any investment banker you have ever met.
So I say that we oughta tax the bastards. Oh I am not proposing anything big. I really like what Peter DeFazio ((D) Oregon), has proposed for the oil/transportation complex. I think that he is proposing too small a tax on these greedy bastards, he only wants 0.5% on the option for a futures contract, 0.002% on a futures contract. I think that we could do a lot better than that.
Now I can just hear some of you squealing about how this is a new tax, yada, yada, yada, new taxes are all bad, yada yada yada. Well, piss off. We are in debt up to our eyeballs as a country. We gotta pay it off.
I say let the rich pukes who are making money gambling on our food and heat and shelter pay more than their fair share.