One of the more way-out there articles spotted on the Internet this week came from Softpedia, which reported on the somewhat reaching theories of an Illinois academic in a three part publication entitled ‘The United States International Gambling Report Series'.
Apparently the latest in the series contains an article by University of Illinois professor and editor of the series, John W. Kindt, who is of the view that the surge in legalised gambling that the country has registered over the past two decades is posing an increased risk to the nation's security.
Kindt makes the connection between gambling and the national security of the United States by claiming that monies that would have otherwise gone to strengthen the economy and to consumer services are now diverted to private interests, and that this state of events ultimately reduces the amount spent from federal funds for the military sector.
“We cannot maintain a strong military presence with a weak economy. Widespread gambling gambles with our national security by dragging down our national economic security,” Kindt, who is a professor of business and public policy at the University of Illinois, writes. He goes on to say that the influence of gambling extends far beyond the bank accounts of those who actually lose money in casinos, to the overall state of the national economy.
The three books are the first academic collection to look on how gambling affects the United States on a large scale, reports Softpedia. Some economists theorise that, if no casinos or other gambling establishments existed in the USA, then every dollar earned and spent would, in turn, generate three times its value, by supplying demand and thus forcing an increase in production. Such an increase would mean that more and more people would be needed in factories and that employment rates would increase in a short amount of time.
However, they claim that gambling ensures that this doesn't happen, by channeling the money that would have otherwise been spent on consumer products and services into private bank accounts. Under these circumstances, people who lose their money cannot invest in purchases, which means that the overall demand decreases. Faced with less and less orders, factory managers are forced to lay off some of their employees, in order to minimise costs to avoid bankruptcy. This, in turn, fuels the economic decline, and, ultimately, impacts the military's capability.
Kindt concludes: “The social costs of gambling are high, but the overriding strategic issue has always been the military and national security implications of economies that get weaker and weaker because of gambling.
"We're seeing all kinds of really outrageous examples of people averse to our interests who are using gambling to their advantage and our detriment, such as laundering money through casinos around the world. Gambling actually destabilizes and corrupts governmental and financial systems, and legalized gambling poses significant threats to the national security of the United States and its allies,” Kindt concludes.