Friday, July 07, 2006

New Jersey Folds

Suppose you are a VP of a company and, unable to settle on a timely budget, the entire corporation shut down for several days, resulting in millions of unrealized gains. Now suppose all VPs pointed fingers at each other and nobody claimed fault. Would it not surprise you if stock holders demanded the lot of you to be fired? I wouldn't be.

After several days of debate and roughly 60 million dollars of lost revenue, the New Jersey government will finally allow Atlantic City casinos to do their business. When politics prevented the congress to pass a budget by July 1, the casino inspectors (who are strangely required by law to be on the floor) were forced to take several days off resulting in the complete shut down of all Garden State gambling.

Perversely, the inspectors, who seem to be nothing more than government-appointed auditors, are paid by the casinos. (I imagine the casinos pay the government who then pays the inspectors, which is why the budget problem still created this mess.) Like millions of other residents, the casinos paid for something the government then denied them, an injustice that could have been avoided if this invasive law were removed.

I'll be surprised if the law's dropped and I'll be even more stunned if all of congress steps down. For those of you who think government's more reliable and accountable than the private sector, take notes.


Jenna said...

One example of the government in a fiasco does not equal proof of a trend. Just as one instance of a similar word in two languages does not mean the languages are related. Come on, even "soft-science" sociologists and anthropologists know that. Not that I think government is great, or that this doesn't happen often. Just that saying it happened with government this time does not negate the fact that there are (arguably) far more of several such instances in the private sector.

David said...

I don't remember claiming this one instance proves a trend. It's just yet another piece of evidence. Do the "bad guys" get away in the private and public sector? Of course they do but the public sector is more prone to it and this instance is a particularly vivid example.

Jenny said...

What I don't get is why the government inspectors are directly paid by the casinos. Isn't that bribery...or, at least, promoting a conflict of interest?

Jenna said...

OK OK point taken. A good example. The "take notes" part at the end is what seemed to smack of "Look! See! Government sucks! I told you!"...semantics...blah. And yes, that is a huge conflict of interest. And a blatant one. One that I am surprised fewer folks in the media care to report on, except that maybe they've figured the public doesn't care.