From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

We STILL Don’t Get It

The Post-Dispatch reported last Wednesday that:

Local casinos shook off the recession in January and had one of their best months of the last year. Gamblers spent $87.4 million in what is typically a slow month at St. Louis area gambling houses, according to new figures from Missouri and Illinois gambling regulators. That’s a 7.4 percent jump from the same period last year.

I did a little googling to see how $87.4 million a month compares to other expenditures in the city of St. Louis (click here for more info on STL city budget):

  • ANNUAL city budget for schools – $320 million ($26.7 million per month – what we gambled in January was comparable to 3 months of running STL schools)
  • ANNUAL city budget for streets – $38.7 million – yep, what we gambled in January would pay for over two YEARS of street cleaning and maintenance
  • ANNUAL city budget for Human Services – $22.6 million – what we gambled in January would pay for nearly 4 YEARS of human services
  • ANNUAL city budget total for 2009 – $961 million in round numbers, or $80 million a month.

What would you say to your neighbor, whose house was crumbling from neglect, whose kids didn’t bother with school, who was in bad health from not seeing the doctor for years, but sure as hell bought $87 a month in lottery tickets?

IMNSHO, I don’t care what’s in the bailout plan from Congress. It won’t matter if we keep allocating our resources in such a self-centered way. As I said earlier in these posts, we’ll deserve every economic spanking we get.

Any bets on when the next one will be??

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