Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gamblers Pick Winners

The hallmark of success for a gambler is their ability to  pick winners. I'm talking about the true professional gamblers that are able to make a good living riding the odds. The people in Las Vegas that study sports teams, schmooze with their inside contacts, and weekly, produce spreads that are amazingly accurate. They are pros. They have to be or they would be out of business in a short time.

The professional poker player that survives on top year after year and becomes a TV star doing it, is a gambler. But like the sports books he is a technician and a psychologist. He can calculate odds and possible combinations in his head at blinding speed while watching his opponents for tells that will give the true pro the needed edge.

Gambling for a living is a rough life. It is not for most people. It takes a certain toughness to grind away day after day and hour after hour working your trade. It is harder and more exacting work than most people realize.

Politicians like to pick winners too. That is an activity that is supposed to be forbidden them. The are supposed to treat all equally. But they can't help themselves. Somehow, miraculously, when they invest our money in their ongoing quest to pick winners, their campaign coffers fill up with dollars, dollars, and more dollars. So everybody gains but us.

I think many politicians would like to be gamblers because they would make more money and get to hang around with a better class of people. But they would have to use their own money to be real gamblers. Really, who needs that when you can play with other peoples money? The big problem is that pols do not do the "due diligence" that should be done before they put our bucks on the line. That would be too much like real work. It is far easier and more profitable to take the leap on the advice of a friend, or even a friend of a friend. After all it's not important to win. What is important is convincing the rubes back home that you are trying to win.

This, of course, is why we have debacles like Solyndra and Tesla and all of those other green energy companies that never had a business plan that ended in success but did end up in bankruptcy after getting our millions. That is why you have banks that were near failing sitting on tons of public money shoring  up their cash position without improving their bottom line. That is why you have a stock market that is riding high in a down economy based solely on quantitative easing.

The government has not been a true and honest guardian of our country's wealth, public or private. The end will be ugly. It will not be the politicians that pay. It will be us. And the less you have, the harsher the price tag will be. In coming elections, we must be like professional gamblers. We must do our homework and pick winners not phonies.

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