Make Believe

Local anti-gaming zealot, Ben Forsyth, had a letter to the editor in today's paper. It was a typcial Forsyth rant, including all kinds of made up statistics, including:

*Cascade County Tavern Association statistics indicate casino jobs average well below the federal poverty line.

*The Great Falls Rescue Mis­sion has determined that 37 per­cent of its clients are poor, and 18 percent have lost their homes because of gambling addiction.

I have drafted a response to Mr. Forsyth. I wonder if the Tribune will print it:

Mr. Ben Forsyth, ever competent to spin a yarn, recently published a letter to the editor in which he included several "facts" about gambling in Montana. I, too, have done some research on this topic, and I have learned the following:

*Studies have shown that the average gambler in Great Falls wins, on average, 7.4 times the amount bet in each outing.

*Individuals who sell paint for a living are 17 times more likely to commit crimes than average citizens.

*People who gamble regularly are healthier, better looking, and have whiter teeth than those who merely complain about gambling.

*When Montana communties were compared with similar U.S. communities without gambling, almost three-quarters of the specific comparisons carried out demonstrated that crime rates rose more (or decreased less) in the matched
cities than in the Montana cities that have gambling.

*Gambling results in a 57.6% income increase for gamblers, and makes Chinook Winds twice as prevelent.

So, maybe Mr. Forsyth needs to go back to the books, and do a little more research

Wow, it's much easier to be persuasive when you get to make up your own facts. (Oh wait, the crime-rate one's true!)

In all seriousness, though, is it ok for Mr. Forsyth to simply make things up because he is opposed to gaming?

For example, he says "casino jobs average well below the federal poverty line." Ben, that old canard of yours, well, it just ain't true. The poverty line for one person is $9,800.00. Yet, according to the study Forsyth cites, 8 years ago the average casino worker worked 30 hours per week and made $9,600.00, before tips and benefits. So, based on the wages of 8 years ago (they're higher now), two casino workers could make $19,200.00, annually, plus tips and benefits. This is not even full time.

Great money? Perhaps not. But don't lie, Mr. Forsyth.

And, I have one other problem with Mr. Forsyth's statistics. He claims that 37% of the clients at the Rescue Mission are poor. WHAT? What the hell are they doing feeding the other 63%?

No comments: